I have been a Sims gamer since the original game came out many years ago. My sister actually turned me onto the game while she was pregnant with her 3rd child - she's now on child #5.Not only do both of my sisters play, but so does our mother, who is in her 60s. We have had Sims parties and played together, sometimes in the same room, but mostly via long distance and on speaker phone (when I had one, that is).
The Sims 3 came out in June of 2009, but was suppose to come out earlier and was my birthday desire.
But allow me to back up a bit and say that I am mostly a builder of Sim homes and lots and love creating these for other players. The Sims and Sims 2 websites had allowed more player interaction, but The Sims 3 site is completely different and even though you can have friends on the forum, contacting each other is quite hard.
Now, creating your Sims can take a long time, if you are a perfectionist like me. The eyes look very real and even though I liked The Sims 2 characters better at first, The Sims 3 characters are pretty cool now. I have included a few screenshots of some items from my game. One is myself as a Sim, another is of a home I built, and then there is one of the new ghosts that The Sims 3 has. After your Sim character goes through its life cycle or passes away for unnatural causes. Now they come back more ghostly and still have certain color auras around them, which relates to how they died. The colors are:
red or orange= they burned up in a fire
purple= a Sim died of starvation
blue= drowned in the pool - however, now, you would have to build a fence around the pool in order for this to happen. As they can climb out without the steps, unlike in previous Sims game versions.
yellow= electrocution - especially if your Sim doesn't have experience in changing light bulbs - electrocution can occur, of they can be struck by lighening.
white= old age/natural causes
I know the list above seems a bit morbid and for those reason and also because The Sims characters can have sexual relation with each other, I would not recommend it for very young children. Even young "tweens" should probably use caution, even though nothing is revealing in the game, it's still insinuated and therefore that's why there's a maturity rating on the game. Plus, the game doesn't decipher between the sex of your characters and it could appear that 2 Sims of the same sex fall in love, but it's only because the system doesn't make that difference. It just interacts two separate characters and the interactions that have occured between them in game play.
The graphics in The Sims 3 are amazing. However, most people who play regularly have had to upgrade their old computers or buy new ones in order to keep up with the processor speed and space needed to play the game. Some people also have issues on laptops, but again, it's all in the processor needed and space that the game needs to run.
You can have larger families now in The Sims 3 and the characters can actually walk down the street and walk across the street to visit other players. Lots of new interactions have happened in The Sims 3 game and their newest Expansion Pack is coming out very soon. This is called The Sims 3 World Adventures and is available in both electronic download from The Sims 3 website or in hard disc version. That Expansion Pack looks like it will be incredible and your Sim will be able to go off on vacations to exotic locations.
There are so many new kinds of interactions in The Sims 3, that it's so hard to list them all. But another neat feature is that you can now recolor your own furnishings, wallpapers, floors, etc. This allows you, as a player to color code your rooms and lots how you want and not spend so much time searching on forums for this stuff.
Another feature that some players are not too happy about is that the whole neighborhood ages together, where as in the past, your Sim might age (unless you turn the aging off) and then your friends would always be the same. Now, the game is more true to life, so to speak.
Yes, you still have to teach your Sims to cook, go to the bathroom, read, gain skills, careers, etc., but like most women out there who play the game, control is a dirty little monster and we like the control of the characters - simple as that. They can have really rotten attitudes or be sweet as pie. It's your call. There are lots of men and kids that play too, but The Sims games do have a very large adult women following or cult, whatever you wish to call it. Maybe a sickness?
You can still buy the special Collector's Edition with the green Plumbob thumb drive and bonus downloads for $69.95, but no matter how much I wanted that thumb drive, I just couldn't bring myself to spending THAT much. Note: A "plumbob" is the green diamond shape that appears over a Sim's head during game play. Oh - you can even turn that off if you choose to. And making movies with your Sims is even easier too now.You can also get this game for a little less, if you shop around. But since the game needs to be registered at EA Games, I would NOT recommend buying a used game that somebody else already registered. Having the Internet to get free downloads and also purchase game content is required, which mean you need a Sims 3 website account to do so. Games are registered by the game license code that comes with it.
Platforms - Windows PC and Mac
Game Rating: "T" Teen but has sexual themes and violence. Teen meaning 13 and up.
For system requirements, I thought it best to put the site link - it's pretty long:
If you'd like to look me up or even request a lot to be built for your Sims, please contact me or become my friend - my user name is Booey4864.
Update On Apr 18, 2010: The Sims 3 has a Facebook Fan Page that keeps everyone up to date on what's going on. They hold lots of contests and show inspirational creations that keep the game interesting.