Reviewed: November 4, 2007
Released: October 22, 2007
The first Sims game was released on February 4, 2000 for the PC. Since then Sims has gone on to become the biggest selling PC game of all time. Several Expansion packs and even a new Sims 2 with its own expansion packs later, and the Sims is still going strong. Each year the Sims comes out with new objects and activities for your Sims to enjoy. Now you can do pretty much everything you can think of and more! The Sims is a virtual world with virtual people.
Now the Sims has made its way onto the new Nintendo Wii gaming system in the form of The Sims 2: Castaway. In this version you start out with nothing but what you have on your back and must collect all the materials needed to build your home. Will your Simís be able to survive!
Sims 2 Castaway is different than the normal Simís game. Youíre given nothing but your instinctive survival skills and the clothing on your back. But donít worry, these are no ordinary people because the Sims can master the secret to fire within a matter of minutes. Fortunately for the Sims, they also remembered to attach a knife to themselves on the sly chance that they would end up ship-wrecked. Smart thinking on their behalf. When you first start the game you choose the amount of Sims and what clothes they will be wearing. You can choose between several tropical themed items including, but not limited to a flower in the hair. The clothing selection on this game in the beginning is not as vast as most Sims but will improve as the game is played.
Once you have decided on your Sims career and clothing you will become stranded on an island! You will have several various goals and activities to perform. You will need to collect all of the materials you will need to survive. This Sims does not include the famous Simoleon, the currency used in most Sims games. There is no currency on deserted islands! Basically the only thing you would need money for would be to light fires or to use it as toilette paper. This Sims also does not allow you to meet anyone that you did not bring with you on your fateful voyage. Although once you are on the island you can befriend chimps and create certain items to be your friends.
On the Menu screen you can select from several different options. The first option is Plans. Plans is where you will be able to create all the things your Sims will need, including tables and chairs and the tools used to make the various furniture and appliances. Eventually you will be able to create island clothes and art work. During the game the only thing that compares to job advancement is your advancement it tool technology. Tools are your main survival necessity. As the game progresses you will be able to harvest more of what the island has to offer depending on your skill at tool making.
The next option on the menu is Inventory where you can see all the items and materials you have collected. You will be able to grab and place the items you have created from this screen. It also allows you to eat some of the food you have collected. The next option is Personal Info here you can see where your Sims need to improve so you can advance in the game. It also allows you to see how your friendships are progressing. It will also show your job progress and what you will need to do to advance your career. Yes, collecting wood and bananas is a career. It also lets you check out the personality that you chose in the beginning of the game. The Island Map option lets you see how much of the island you have explored. It also gives you the time saving option to click on the area you would like to go. This will enable you to avoid a lot of load times. Not that the load times where bad.
Game Options allow you to control the volume of the music and all the other basic functions. It also allows you to hear all the songs you will hear on the Simís radios. You will also have the option of changing the time it takes for free will to come into effect. The next option is Goals; this allows you to view all the things you will need to do to advance. You will receive goals as you travel the islands and as you complete past goals. Completing Goals allows you to advance your skills and it also enables you to make more items. Collectables allows you to see the special items you have collected on the island. The only two things you need to collect are Hieroglyphics and Pieces of the Treasure Map. Completing collections allows you to explore more the island.
Then there is of course Fashion and Grooming. Here you will be able to give your Simís a hair cut and change there clothes. In the beginning you will not be able to do any of these things so you Sim will probably become pretty hairy. Hair growth is one of the best aspects of the game, its funny to see just how hairy you can get your Sim. As you progress in the game you will be able to create different island themed clothes by using the materials you collect. Luckily these islands where blessed with a huge variety of plants and resources. You could only hope to be so lucky. I donít know how many islands that are uninhabited that offer pumpkins as well as cotton. But I guess the island has not always been uninhabited. Then there is also the option of Save / Quit which of course allows you to save and quit.
Controlling your Sims require both the use of the Wii Remote and the use of the Wii Nunchuk. This game does not however make use of the motion sensing controls. I found that moving your Sims was easy and fun. This game allows you to harvest and plant your own food. There is never really any reason to go hungry on these islands; there is plenty of food around. You will also be given the option of fishing and hunting. You can either fish by spearing the fish or using a fishing pole, each tool you will have to create. You never actually hunt and kill on this game. Sims is known for its blockage of nudity and violence, and I would say the ESRB rated this one too high. I wouldnít have any problem allowing young people to play this game; everything is pretty sheltered.
The graphics in Castaway are just what you would expect from Wii games. As Iíve always said, Wii focuses around fun not graphics. The graphics on this game where nothing great but I donít have any problem with them. I think the animation style in this game only allows you to enjoy the game more. However the graphic on this game are pretty grainy and resemble those of an early GameCube game. If this game was created with PS3 style graphics I think it would have had to take a much more serious turn. I wouldnít change the graphics on this game but I know that they could have been better.
The sound on this game is just what you would expect from the Simís only with island flair. This game also includes several songs in the famous Simís language. Overall I enjoyed the music and it made the game fun. There was several different types of music to listen to. Further in the game you will be able to use a radio. The radio allows you to hear all types of Simís language based songs. I really thought they put a lot of effort into the sound of this game and I wouldnít change it.
This game is currently selling for $49.99. I think that is a pretty fair value for this game. Its fun and you will spend hours playing it. This game has several different options and interesting things you can do. If you want you could make the entire island a virtual paradise. Sims 2 Castaway gives you several things to explore and things to achieve. This game is sure to become one of the Sims classics. If you want something fun for the whole family to enjoy this game is for you. Each family member could create his or her own home and character. This game will keep you entertained for hours.
I really enjoyed this game. The only problem with Sims in general is that it becomes repetitive. After you have completed all the goals all you have left to do is sit back and allow your Simís to live, which is pretty much the end of the game. The only thing I think the developers could have improved on would have been the diversity of the animals in which you hunt. They could have also added some island natives for you to interact with.
I would love to have explored more islands. But I know Simís producers never rest, they are always coming out with new and exciting things for the Simís to do. I can see an advanced version of this coming game coming out in the future. Overall I feel this game is fun and addicting and I would recommend it if you are a Simís fan.