Just in case you didn’t think you were putting enough time into Facebook, gaming giant Electronic Arts has a solution: The Sims Social, a browser-based version of their popular real-life simulation game that enables players to create their own sim people, set them up any way they like, build their houses, advance their careers, and interact with their friends. Except in The Sims Social, a sim’s friends are a users real-life Facebook friends.
EA launched The Sims Social as a beta on August 9, but says it’s ready for prime time now.
“The Sims Social brings the authentic life-simulation game design that only The Sims can deliver, and melds it with truly intuitive social-interactive features,” said EA Play general manager Lucy Bradshaw, in a statement. “The Sims Social gives our fans tools to express their creativity, experience the unpredictability of Sims’ personalities, and live out their dreams, all while enabling them to connect, engage, and play with their friends.”
The Sims Social builds on more than a decade of The Sims franchise, enabling users to customize their sims, build up their homes, become neighbors with each other, and wander through the local neighborhood—dubbed Littlehaven. Of course, users can also engage in all sort of drama and mischief, becoming friends, acquaintances, lovers, and enemies, all while scooping up energy and in-game achievements—including themed items from the likes of Toyota and Dr. Pepper, and there’s even a Dunkin’ Donuts shop. Like desktop Sims games, a player’s sim is still around even when its user is online, so other folks can wander by to pull pranks or interact with someone’s sim even if that person isn’t around. (Going into someone else’s house and using their toilet seems popular.) Fortunately, a “Replay” feature enables users to see what happened to their sim while they were out. And, being fully integrated with Facebook, events in The Sims Social can make it to people’s newsfeeds and wall posts.
Like all Sims games, The Sims Social features an isometric view style, and—being a browser-based game—is more cartoonish than other entries in the franchise.
The Sims Social may represent a new commitment on EA’s part to social gaming: the company recently announced it is acquiring casual game maker PopCap for $1.3 billion.