The Sims 3 iPhone gameplay and goals revealed

Pocket Gamer interview probes the depths of a Sim's consciousness

The Sims 3 iPhone gameplay and goals revealed

Tracy's been chatting with the producer of the forthcoming iPhone Sims 3 game Justin Taber, who reveals the kind of gameplay we can expect from the portable version of this mammoth game.

To call Sims 3 a sandbox game is apparently quite accurate, though it really isn't very descriptive. But Taber explains that there are a total of 75 goals within the game, which are used to guide you through the life and evolution of your onscreen alter-ego.

"The 75 goals in the game exist primarily to help you discover more aspects of the gameplay and don't focus you so much that you lose the sandbox feeling," Taber explains.

These goals are instigated by your interactions with the 13 non-playable Sims characters with whom you share the neighbourhood. But it doesn't sound as simple as just finding them and talking to them.

"Early on we decided to focus on some of the key features that are defining the Sims 3 experience for players: the living neighbourhood and the more robust Personality Traits system," says Taber. "[We] felt that the AI for the non-playable Sims was going to be very important for making both of these features engaging, so we also focused a lot of effort on that aspect of the game."

Depending on the attitude of your own character, you'll build very different relationships with the other Sims, which can include making the whole town hate you, deliberately worrying them by talking to trees, or by teaching humourless sims to have a good time.

So despite the strong emphasis on the rather nebulous definition of sandbox gameplay, it seems The Sims 3 is as much about figuring out the rules of the game as actually following them. Indeed, it seems that much of the game's amusement will come from figuring out the rules, then deliberately breaking them.

Watch out for our full review when the game is launched on the App Store next week.