The Sims 3 is a life simulation video game that was initially released in 2009. This is the third installment in The Sims franchise and was developed by Maxis Redwood Shores. Just like in the previous games, players get to create characters called Sims and have complete control over their lives, from the beginning of the game up to the characters' death.
Here are some of the main features of The Sims 3:
Worlds: In this installment, the Sims live in neighborhoods called Worlds. These worlds can be customized and different areas, such as parks and gyms, can be created, some of which through the extensions - this is namely the case of the local university, unlockable through The Sims 3: University Life, which is the ninth expansion of the game. The PC edition of the game is set in Sunset Valley, which is supposedly the same place as the town in the first installment and Pleasantview in the second installment, with some storyline connection. The console edition is set in Moonlight Bay. Those are the two primary worlds in the game but not the only ones. Also, characters move through different lots without any loading screen.
Story Progression: This is another feature that comes with The Sims 3. This mechanics means that different Sims in the neighborhood can move on with their lives by themselves and the players don’t have to control them all the time. This way, the storyline of each neighborhood can continue autonomously.
System: In The Sims 3 a new Wishes system replaces the Wants and Fears system from the first two installments. In the present opus, the Lifetime Happiness score of a character depends on fulfilling their wishes and allows exchanging those points for Lifetime Rewards.
Life: Sims go through different life stages that are baby, toddler, child, teen, young adult, adult, and elder - the cause of their death can be their old age but it can also occur prematurely as the consequence of various events, such as fire and starvation, among others.
Skills: The core game comes with the following skills: Logic, Cooking, Painting, Gardening, Writing, Guitar, Athletics, Handiness, Charisma, and Fishing, as expansions add other skills. Improving those skills will influence the career possibilities, as well as the unlockable activities.
Families: In The Sims 3, characters can have their own families. This is possible either by modifying a Sim’s relationships or by manually meeting new characters. In this installment, the Try for a baby mechanic is not available for younger than young adults. While the feature is also locked for senior female characters, senior male characters have access to it but the conception is harder. Pregnancy comes with some symptoms such as nausea and appetite modification.
What do the critics say?
The present installment experienced an overly positive reception with a score of 86 points on Metacritic:
"The best Sims game yet. It's still about playing with virtual dolls, but it's never been this big, beautiful, and eager to please." (PC Gamer)
According to the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), the game is suitable for teenagers and older.
Is The Sims 3 free?
No, this game is not free. Different purchase options exist, with the one-time purchase of the base game being $19.99 on Steam.