The Sims 3 – Full Review

Price: $9.99    Score: 9/10    By Shaun CampbellThe Sims 3

The Sims 3 was probably the most highly anticipated iPhone game of 2009. And rightly so. The Sims franchise is a juggernaut in the gaming world – but how does the mobile incarnation measure up? Released simultaneously with its PC counterpart, The Sims 3 for iPhone is not a direct port of the PC game – and was designed specifically for the iPhone with the iPhone gamer in mind.

Sims 3 for the iPhone starts with the Sim creation screen.  Here you can customize the appearance of your Sim – you can choose your gender, change the skin color, eye color, hair, clothes and shoes. The options for customization are not as comprehensive as you’d find in the PC version, but there are enough options to make your Sim unique. The most important part of creating your Sim however, is choosing their Persona.  You can choose from six different personas, including Jack of all Trades, Nice Guy, Jerk, Sleaze, Power Seeker and Maniac. Your Sim’s persona decides their “Personal Goals”, and provides an overall structure for the game. Jack of all Trades for example has the life wish of reaching the highest skill level in cooking, repairing and fishing. Additionally, you can choose five ‘traits’ for your Sim – traits include things like a good sense of humor, being active, friendly, neat or neurotic.


In addition to the life-time wishes associated with your Sim’s persona, there are also little wishes that pop into your Sims head from time to time. Things like a desire to grow carrots, stay well-fed for 3 days or to catch a fish. There are purported to be about 75 personal wishes in all, and you can have 5 wishes “locked-in” at any one time. However, if you fulfill a wish that is not locked-in at the time – you won’t get credit for completing it. While not essential, especially in a game that doesn’t really have a specific point to it, the wishes do add variety and keep the game ticking along nicely.

As far as actual game play goes, The Sims 3 for iPhone doesn’t stray far from that playing style of its predecessors – and that’s a good thing. You will still spend most of your game time tending to your Sim’s 5 needs – Hunger, Energy, Bladder, Hygiene, Social and Fun.  When you first start a game, your Sim is given a small house already kitted out with everything needed to fulfil their needs – fridge, bed, toilet, shower, phone and TV. Once you get a job and start earning some money, you can upgrade these basic posessions and also upgrade your house. On the 5th day of play, the upgrade feature appears – and you can choose to upgrade for §1000. For one thing – upgrading your house allows you to grow your own vegetables, saving you from constant trips to the supermarket.


But §1000 isn’t chump-change in The Sims 3 on iPhone – and to earn money you need a career. There are four careers available to your Sim: Politics, Biology, Culinary and Business. To start your career it’s as easy as walking up to the right building in town and accepting the job. Each job has different hours and pay rates, and what you do is really up to you.

Your sim has social needs too – and building and progressing a relationship in The Sims 3 is probably one of most enjoyable aspects of the game. You can engage with another sim simply by tapping on them – which brings up a menu of conversational options, such as compliment, humor and romance. You can guage the other Sim’s reaction to you from “+” signs above their heads. As you get to know the Sim better, your “relationship” status progresses – as indicated by a green bar in the bottom of the screen. Progress far enough – and you might even get the option of being able to “WooHoo”.

There are a couple of mini-games in The Sims 3, and fishing is an example of one executed well. Cooking on the otherhand, can feel like more of a chore. You need recipes to cook for your Sim – and they can be bought from the Bistro in town. The annoying thing is though, if you lack even one of the ingredients, you can’t cook it. You can’t just make something up with what you have. Your Sim has to trudge back to the town map, then to the supermarket to pick up the one item you forgot. 5 minutes of loading screens later, and you’re finally back in your house and cooking. The need for individual ingredients feels like an over-complication to me, and is my only criticism of the game-play in The Sims 3. That and the pesky loading screens.


As far as graphics and sound go – I have no complaints. The visuals are some of the best I’ve seen in an iPhone game. They’re bright and colorful and stay true to the “look and feel” of the series. I came across a few frame-rate issues, but nothing major. Sometimes you just have to remind yourself you’re playing this game on your phone.

Bottom Line: The Sims we all know and love – on the iPhone. Not perfect, but a thoroughly enjoyable game that comes highly recommended. Download the Sims 3.

The Sims 3 requires the 2.2 iPhone software update and is compatible with both the iPhone & iPod Touch.

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35 Responses to “The Sims 3 – Full Review”

  1. joe says:

    Nice review. I think there’s word going around that you might be able to purchase extra content like items and stuff through the new iPhone OS as well. Still don’t think I’d pay extra $ for new virtual clothes though…

  2. Manos says:

    Hi nice review!!!
    I just have a problem with the 73 goals on the checklist i have find and completed the 72 of them!Can you find the full ckecklist so i can see what i have i have missed!

  3. Kitten says:

    Hey, manos! You seem to know what your doing! Maybe you should post a tutorial… As many still have questions on how to complete goals. For instance, I am best friends with everyone, however am getting no where being romantic, as far as the “start a romantic relationship” goal is concerned, or the slap a sim…

  4. Kitten says:

    Oh! Another thing I learned… From another tutorial… You can sell your fish and veggies at the market for $$$!

  5. Harlow says:

    Hey Kitten… In order to start a romantic relationship you actually have to start working on it from the beginning (the first few times you meet the other sim)… Once your at “best friends” with them no matter what you do you won’t be able to start one. The solution however is to make them dislike you, that is to say treat them poorly until you are at “friends” with them (it’s a scale) then to attempt to be romantic with them… Actually as you try tomake them dislike you you should also find that you will now be able to access the “slap” action… Hope that helps! :)

  6. Nick says:

    How do I can change my sims clothes? After I creatied them.

  7. archangl says:

    Manos, i’m trying to get some more goals on my checklist, what do you have, maybe i have the one that you dont, I havent seen a full list anywhere, but maybe we can all combine our answers to get the full list

  8. Jordan says:

    Are there any trix u guyz could give me on how to get rich fast besids fishing, gardening and jobs?

  9. Aliyah says:

    Does anyone know how to make another sim character on sims 3 for the iphone
    Because on the computer you can have more than one sim…in a single game…so i was wondering can you do the same on the iphone…or can you just have one person?

    please reply

  10. You can definitely have more than one character (upto 3 I believe), after tapping “start game” in the main menu, just select one of the empty slots on the “select game” page to start a new character.

  11. Fred says:

    How do you get the pawn shop to open? And how many house upgrades are there and can you ever leave town?

  12. mae says:

    you’ll be able to open the pawn shop once you complete all the 73 goals. i don’t think you can leave town though…

  13. Jared says:

    To begin a romantic relation ship you have to be just “friends” you can’t be good friends or best friends. To slap a sim you have to click the person. Then scroll to be rude. Then argue with them for a bit. Then under be rude it should say slap.

  14. Leah says:

    Could someone please help me? I cannot figure out how to cook. I have plenty of food and recipes but whenever I do the cooking minigame I can’t figure out how to shake the pots to keep them from overheating like it says to. I touched the pots and tried to move them with my finger and it won’t work. What am I doing wrong?

  15. Jeff Edsell says:

    To shake the pots, shake the phone.

    My problem is weird…I met, courted and married a Sim, but he still lives in her own house! I can’t figure out how to get her to move in! (Wonder if it’s a step I missed in the process…do I have to divorce her and start over?)

  16. Jeff Edsell says:

    Figured it out…I had to call her on the phone and invite her over, then when she’s at the door, go to Actions and invite her to move in.

  17. Felicia says:

    How do you make your Sim woohoo?

  18. Djay says:

    You have to be romantic with the sim and be dating to get a chance to woohoo

  19. Cassidy says:

    Here’s an easy money trick! If you have an iPod or IPhone, then go to the app store and see if there is an update of the Sims. It should be as of 6/11/2010. Then let it load, install,etc. THEN go to the sims application and go to your person. When you get IN your room, click the “…” button in the bottom left corner. Click the “help & about” button, then click on “Gardening Tips”. Then just shake the iPod and you should hear a “Cha-Ching” sound and see a green simoleon sign. And VIOLA! You have money! The more you shake, the more money! Hope this helps! :)

  20. Chris says:

    To start a relationship with a sim can happen at any status. You just won’t see the progress while you’re good or best friends, if you keep doing romantic actions “budding romance” will appear even though you didn’t see a progress bar or any advancement in the friendship bar. But be careful not to be funny or chat while budding a romance because it will start you over as a friend.

    Does anyone know the pay rates for each job? I’ve reached the limit as a biologist and the pay is 300 a day. Is that the same for all jobs?

  21. Layla says:

    Im having the same problem that Manos is having i completed 72/73 but cant discover #73!!!! anyone knows how?

  22. Amber says:

    Goals for all Sims (55)
    Try fishing
    Try cooking
    Buy fishing kit
    Buy watering can
    Buy repair kit
    Buy a stove
    Buy a bath
    Gain a skill point at cooking
    Gain a skill point at fishing
    Gain a skill point at repairing
    Meet a new Sim
    Befriend a Sim
    Begin a romantic relationship
    Make an enemy
    Make a Sim laugh
    Annoy a Sim
    Insult a Sim
    Creep-out another Sim
    Slap a Sim
    Get a job
    Buy something
    Catch a fish
    Catch a trout
    Catch a salmon
    Catch a catfish
    Repair something
    Discover a new recipe
    Cook something
    Cook grilled cheese
    Cook steak & veggies
    Cook minestrone
    Grow something
    Grow carrots
    Grow corn
    Grow tomato
    Watch TV
    Kick over a Trash Can
    Sleep in another Sim’s bed
    Use another Sim’s shower
    Use another Sim’s toilet
    Get a better couch
    Get a better TV
    Accumulate $1000
    Catch 15 fish
    Harvest 30 crops
    Stay entertained for three days
    Stay fed for three days
    Stay rested for three days
    Stay clean for three days
    Meet all the Sims in town
    Make a Sim jealous of you
    Sleep in three other Sim’s beds
    WooHoo with someone
    Get a promotion
    Reach the top of the career ladder
    Maniac Personal Goals (4)
    Use everyone’s toilet at least once
    Use everyone’s shower at least once
    Creep out five people
    Watch three people sleeping
    Sleaze Personal Goals (2)
    Be romantically involved with three Sims
    WooHoo eight times in one day
    Power Seeker Personal Goals (3)
    Accumulate $5000
    Own the best house
    Own the best TV, stereo and stove
    Nice Guy Personal Goals (2)
    Get married
    Be liked by all the Sims in town
    Jerk Personal Goals (4)
    Be disliked by all the Sims in town
    Slap four people
    Insult five people
    Kick over all the trash cans in town
    Jack of All Trades Personal Goals (3)
    Achieve the highest fishing skill level
    Achieve the highest repairing skill level
    Achieve the highest cooking skill level
    There are six Sim classes:

    Jack of All Trades
    Nice Guy
    Power Seeker

    I hope this works for you Layla

  23. chelsea says:

    Hey i have been looking for ages and cant seem to find the market?

  24. KC says:

    72/73 cant seem to unlock the last for the life of me.. Last one says ??? have done everything and cant figure it out. Please help me. Maybe I still have to find all the others traits, will cont’ on my journey.

  25. Karlyce says:

    Ive went on differnt website’s andd otherr peoplee saidd to fill fishinq , repairinq , and e.t.c until it;s to 5 ; then save it and do it with all of your other 5 sims ; then once you do that instead of playinq on your jack of all trade’s sim ; your main onnee ; that when you playy on your other created sims the last qoal will appear after awhilee . . Is this true ; because I don’t want to waste my time playinq on my other 5 sim’s if the last qoal doesnt eventually appear . Ive been playinq this qame for about a month now ; I just need the last qoal . Then I thouqht I had to unlockk all the traits for all the other sim’s ; a waste of timee . Nothinqq . I need helpp . I qoht question’s ; but no answers ! Has anyone achieved or beat the qame andd cann helpp meee ; :( ?…!…? Thanks ; :) .

  26. Elisabeth says:

    Can someone tell me how to own the best house? I have completed all 72 of the 73 goals and this is the last one! Please and thank you!

  27. kaleigh says:

    Please will someone tell me where the market is?

  28. kate says:

    the market is the quickmart…press the – button to sell items!!

    in order to own the best house it can only be acheived if u are playin with the power seeker sim….u just need to have upgraded ur house twice n
    and then the personal goal should be completed!!!

    i have completed 72/73 goals but i cannot seem to unlock the buy a repair kit goal….can anyone offer a way i can do this???

  29. Sarah says:

    To buy the repair kit if you already own one you need to sell it back to the hobby shop as you can only own one!

    I only have 54 goals discovered and can’t seem to discover anymore how do I do this?

  30. Thalia says:

    Hello! I have created a jerk sim and completed all goals except kicking all the trash cans. I went to everyones house to kick them, including my own, and i saw my persona that it is not ticked, meaning not complete. I went a few rounds already. is there a hidden trash can somewhere? Anyone can help me? (I am not playing the iphone version)

  31. Leanne says:

    how do i annoy another sim, i keep getting told that ive creeped out another sim but cant work out how to annoy them!

  32. Chase says:

    Taking a shower in their house will annoy them.

  33. Taylor says:

    How do you get rid of wishes…? I have four piled up and I can’t save anymore…

  34. Anonymous says:

    Hey leah, i can help you to learn the cooking minigame, its very easy
    you only have to touch the pots and shake your iphone or ipod. If you dont
    understand yet, go to the cooking tutorial :)

  35. Rosella says:

    So I downloaded the app. I love to play Sims. I can’t figure out how to play this version. Where can I get help? There seem to be no instructions anywhere. I am stuck but not in the usual place of checking the mail. I haven’t even got that far. I am supposed to but a TV but I do not have enough funds. I want to plant something to get more simolians but cannot figure out how. I can’t work out how to view the town or change to the first Sim I created.

    I think I will have to resort to my original game on the PC. At least I can work that one.

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