Intro to The Sims FreePlay - The Sims FreePlay
Playing Your First Sim
Now that you have created your first Sim you find yourself in his house, while you are shown a number of tips -- but before we do anything else we need to take a quick look at the controls and how we play the game...
At the top of the screen is a display that shows you your current level, the day and time, and below that from left-to-right your current Simoleon Bank, current Life Points Bank, the number of Sims you have in your town, and the value of your town.
If you tap the Simoleon or the Life Point displays you are taken to the Sim Store, where you can spend real-world money to purchase items like Simoleons or Lifestyle Points, or the Specials of the Day, which can range from a combination of Currency/Lifestyle Points and the item of the day, or just the item of the day...
The Game Interface
Tapping the Sim Count will take you to a screen that shows you how many Sims you have in your town, and finally tapping the Town Value icon shows you the current value and the next Reward Level target. If you just started out your town is worth $10,000 and your next reward is at $25,000.
On the bottom left corner is your Sim Status, which shows you their various needs and how well they have been fulfilled, such as Food, Hygiene, Bathroom Needs, Social Needs, Rest, and Happiness. Keeping all of those in the green will make your Sim inspired, which will provide them with better results from the actions and goals that they experience in life! A bar on the top of the Sim Status displays their current goal which tells you what you need to do to earn your next reward.
In the bottom center of the screen is the main menu controls, which include, from left-to-right, the Create A Sim Window, the Sim Store in which you spend in-game money rather than real-world money and in which the in-game items are obtained, the City Menu, and another button to take you to the Sim Store Window for spending real-world money. The center-bottom selection is the Pause Menu (three dots) which gets you to the Options Menu, the EA Games Window, and the Info Window.
The Options Menu allows you to change the sound levels for FX and Music, set your language, notifications, and finally, to reset the game.
The EA Window allows you to see what other games EA has for you and your iOS device, which you can purchase and install from right within the window.
-- Your First Play Session --
Before you start playing you should know that each action that you make in the game takes a specified amount of time, and each action may result in obtaining one or both types of rewards, or accomplish some other goal such as using the bathroom, eating, socializing, that sort of thing... But the amounts that you receive for completing tasks is directly related to the mood (inspiration) of your Sim, so keep that in mind as you play!
As the game settles into its focus upon your first Sim, check the upper-right corner and you will see that there is a magnifying glass icon -- you can use that to zoom in on your Sim -- so do that and you will hear and see a stray dog entering your lot, and receive your first goal: shake hands with the dog!
Go ahead and do that, and you will earn your first Life Point -- and another goal, to make the dog dig for an item. Go to the dog's location and tap the icon over their head and they will dig you another Life Point -- well done!
Your next goal will be to satisfy your Sims Bathroom need -- and to do that you must access the Buy Menu which is now available -- and buy your Sim a toilet. Once you place the toilet have your Sim use it and you will have fulfilled that need! Fulfilling that need gets you another Life Point, and then the window showing you how all Sims have needs, the next one of which is to wash their hands since they just used the bathroom of course!
Your next task will be to purchase a Garden Patch -- it asked be to buy Bell Peppers -- so I bought the plot and placed it, then clicked the plot icon to tend to the Bell Peppers, which took a specific amount of time. After completing the action I then harvested four Bell Peppers and was given my next goal: buy a stereo and place it in my house...
Doing so gives you the option to listen to music (and dance) for the specified amount of time -- and this completes the basic tutorial for the game to this point, whereupon you are prompted to add another Sim to the neighborhood as your Sim needs a neighbor!
-- Adding a Neighbor --
Hit the City Menu button and then select Add a Sim in the lower left corner, and you will then select a house to place them in -- since we do not have money or Life Points to spend, the free house that is available is our only choice, and it takes five real-world minutes to be built -- so we have to wait for that event to complete, and that underscores the primary mechanism for this game: time.
Your New Neighbor's Building Timer
Basically the revenue stream for The Sims FreePlay is choosing whether to wait the real-world time it takes to accomplish various tasks, or spend real money and pay to complete them without having to wait.
You will notice that as the current action timer progresses, the icon that represents it begins to fill up with green to show you your progress. When the construction on your new neighbor's house completes, you then create the Sim who will live there, after which you get another goal, to spend $600 on walls and floors.
Once you finish that, you will be prompted to buy and place a refrigerator, and then a shower and lounge, and then a TV. At this point you will be placed into build mode to expand the size of one of the rooms, and then prompted to buy and place a bed -- at which point you have provided all of the items that your Sim technically requires to live in their new home.
-- Back to Your First Sim --
Your next goal is to use the Sim Tracker to locate your first Sim -- so do that now! He looks hungry so why not have a snack, and then have them go over and introduce themselves to the new neighbor! You will notice that you have a new goal -- to make a specific expression or action -- so during your socializing make that expression or action to fulfill the goal.
Continue to interact socially so until your relationship changes between the two Sims, and you have established an Acquaintance, which pays you 100 XP and well done mates! You should also level-up and unlock some new items like another Sim slot for your neighborhood! Again, well done!
Your next goal is to Inspire two Sims -- and to do that simply click on the Cupcake Icon and you will fulfill that goal instantly! The next goal is to get two Sims to Garden at the same time, so place another Garden Patch on the property and have your two Sims tend a Patch each -- using the Sim Locator menu to switch between them. Well done!
Adding a Sim Earns a Life Point
At this point you will be instructed to use the Town Menu to collect money that has been earned -- so do that now! When you pop back to the game screen you find that your next goal is to take a Power Snooze -- so do that to trade 4 minutes for 33 XP, then have a Turbo Snack before being prompted to add your third Sim to the neighborhood!
-- Adding Your Third Sim --
As you can see this is a progression of the basic tutorial mode of the game, but go ahead and add yet another Sim to your world so you have more options and the potential to earn more money and Life Points -- but bear in mind that this time around because we do not have sufficient funds to purchase one of the more advanced houses we have to go with the 250 Simoleon choice, which has a 30 minute build time! So we will have to wait half an hour for our next Sim to come into the neighborhood.
While we wait out that build-time we can head back to our other Sims to Garden, play with our dog, or socialize for XP and other rewards, as the timers for the different activities that are taking place in the neighborhood will run regardless of whether or not we are present to oversee them. Gardening is a good way to pick up money and XP, and of course keeping an eye on your dog in case they find something to dig up is another way to score additional rewards!
You do not actually have to remain in the game to progress the different activities -- that is one of the strengths of The Sims FreePlay, which is sort of like a very complex Tamagotchi in a way -- you can set the activities, go away, and come back and time will have passed since the game uses the real-world clock in factoring in-game time, making it an ideal game to play in small snatches throughout the day -- just try not to let your boss catch you, right?
Bear in mind though that as time passes, the needs for your Sims will lower, so when you do return you will need to tend to those needs or they will just get worse. That is why you do not want to go away from your game for more than a few real-world days -- and why we compare it to a Tamagotchi!