| MySims

There are few gaming phenomena that have broken into the wider public consciousness, but along with Dr Kawashima's Brain Training and a certain online RPG that all the kids insist on talking about, The Sims is definitely one of them.

MySims strays from the classic formula of befriending a school/town/university full of characters by remembering whether they prefer to talk about cars, flowers or films. It's more of an adventure game with a few bars showing how much people like you tagged on for good measure.

As you wander around the town in which the game is set, the various citizens ask you for favours that see you scurrying around the houses like a dial-a-courier, ferrying loosely contextualised objects to their inhabitants, who are apparently scared of leaving their doorstep.

Occasionally, one of your tasks will demand that you play a mini-game.

There are six included - ignoring the seemingly obligatory symbol-matching conversation topic game you have to play before talking to anyone, - ranging from fishing and racquetball to paragliding and skydiving.

These are fairly simple arcade-style affairs. Although not quite one-thumbed in their control schemes, they don't demand that you achieve an amazing score before progressing past them and deeper into the story. You can also play them directly from the game menu.

Thankfully, each mini-game is worth revisiting, if only to trounce a less-than-impressive score achieved when playing it in the main game mode. Fishing in particular is strangely compulsive, with a list of different fish supplied keeps you playing until you've ticked off each one.

It's just a pity that the story and game script aren't a little more compelling. Most of the elements are there - characters with different professions and quirks, a few different areas and the over-arching plot of restoring the town's crystal centrepiece - but the flat script stops you from ever feeling particularly involved.

Tasks generally lead on from each other in a vague, ambling sort of way, but it's still slightly disjointed, meaning you're likely to find yourself occasionally confused as to what you need to do next, bouncing from house to house to find out exactly who wants what this time.

In fact, MySims almost encourages you to skate through the game. Although you control your character directly, the environment is actually a series of waypoints that you slide between rather than a fully traversable area.

Although there's nothing wrong with this, it does cramp the sense of exploration somewhat. You can travel directly to any previously-visited character too, lending the adventure a very casual air.

However, this is ultimately what MySims seeks to be. If you took classic mobile adventure game Stranded, chopped out the darkness, removed the murder, eviscerated the peril, turned up the colour saturation and hit the 'simplify' button, you'd end up with something not unlike MySims.

For younger adventurers more likely to be entranced by the cute visuals than disappointed by the lack of Wildean wit and invention, MySims is a good choice.


A colourful, casual adventure game with a generous dollop of mini-games on top, MySims is well-suited to the younger audience it's also likely to reach on the DS and Wii. It could do with an injection of humour and personality, though