EA has made many of their hit titles into mobile versions for iOS, and its latest game, The Sims Medieval, is a sub-set of the PC version but keeps things interesting on the mobile platform nonetheless. Set in a completely different environment, The Sims Medieval still has the signature graphics, music and the "Sims talk". However, you have access to a completely different style of wardrobe, hairdos and you get to play with medieval-ish weapons like swords and hammer, or make potions and cast spells. The game is very quest-oriented since the selection of things and furniture you can buy is limited compared to the PC version, but the quests will keep you busy for a while.
The gameplay in The Sims Medieval follows strictly the well-known formula: keep your Sims character (or your hero as he/she is called in the Medieval time Sims) fed, rested, socialized and entertained. But before your hero takes his/her first breath in the Medieval kingdom, you must create the look, personality and other treats. The selection of these isn't as full as the PC version, but there are enough to make your character look interesting (how about a vampire?). You can create up to 5 characters in The Sims Medieval, which is a great if you and your family members play the game that keeps track of each person's Sims.
The Sims Medieval keeps it easy for you to manage your Sim's needs. The only thing that can kill your Sim is hunger. So keep an eye on the hunger icon in the needs toolbar. But if you keep your Sim happy and healthy, you earn Focus Points which give you the opportunities to ask for questions from the townsfolk. And when you complete the quests, the quest givers will reward you with samoles or useful items, with which you can buy more expensive furniture and items. As with most The Sims games, the more expensive the items the better it serves your Sim. For example, a better bed gives your Sim better rest with the same amount of sleep time; with a training set you gain skill points faster than a dartboard, etc., so grab the better gear whenever you can. As you gain levels and reputation, you will get house upgrade and item upgrades, which are great incentives for the overachievers.
As with the PC version, the game makes it easy for your Sim to be social. Every time you go to your own house, there are always visitors for you to interact with and some bring quests as well. But for the full experience in The Sims Medieval world, you must visit the kingdom where people (represented by the moving pins) hang out and drop by different buildings and the market. Any of the townsfolk who have a quest available will have a yellow explanation mark above their pin. If you choose to meet them, the location changes to a street view and the pin changes into a real Sim. The buildings too have yellow markers to let you know that someone with quest-related info is in the building. The game has an market where you can buy and sell items, and since several quests require you to go fishing, the market also offers bait and super bait.
Another interesting aspect of the gameplay in The Sims Medieval is fighting. Don't get too excited, this is not a real time 3D fighting, but a dueling style fighting, but it's sufficient to mix things up and give your Sim something different to do. You can fight with anybody because in this Medieval town everyone carriers a weapon, but there is always the Bandit you can sharpen your skills with. As you gain skills in fighting, you unlock additional actions and abilities, and eventually you can recruit guild member to fight with you. This comes in very handy when fight against strong enemies, as your guild members automatically step in when you are down.
The Sims Medieval for iPad has the distinct The Sims graphics style but with less details and a much small set of items you can buy and decorate your house with. Characters have smooth animation and the AI does a good job moving everybody along. There are some basic farming and fishing activities, and the graphics look adequate in these scenes. The controls work well. While there is no pinch-zoom, the game offers ways to scroll closer to the areas you want to go and rotate the angles in which you are viewing a building.
As with other The Sims games, The Sims Medieval for iPad doesn't offer constant background music, but comes with sound effects and voice over. It doesn't have a big selection of dialogues (no, you still won't understand what they are saying) and characters often reuse them.
Going back in time with The Sims can be fun! The Sims Medieval for iPad brings enough gameplay to keep your Sim busy. Yes, it's a subset of the PC version, but it also comes with quick mini games like fishing and farming. The game has some RPG elements where your Sim gains levels and skills as the adventure moves along. The quests are nice system for mobile platforms, and the tempo of the game is regulated by Focus Points which you earn over time and by keeping your Sim happy. All in all, The Sims Medieval for iPad is fun to play and with 48 quests among other things it will keep you busy for a while.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 4.5 - Smooth animation and intuitive UI. Sound: - 3.5 - Minimal music, but good sound effect and voice over. Controls: - 4.5 - Very easy to use. Gameplay: - 4 - Offers a good variety of actions and activities. Uses Focus Points to move the game along but not to rush it to move too fast.
Playing Hints and Tips:
-When you fulfill your Sim's needs, you gain Focus Points. -You can make money by selling items you collect around the kingdom and you can make potions as well. So keep collecting plants and keep fishing. -When you steal stuff from people, you won't go to jail but the person you steal from will drop friendship with you. -You can check the personality treats on each person you meet. This helps you choose the appropriate topics.