MySims is dead. Long live MySims Kingdom. Just a year after the excellent MySims hit Nintendo consoles, EA has ripped the whole thing up and started again. Rather than being an Animal Crossing-style socialising sim, MySims Kingdom is now an adventure game.
This does mean we have to enter a short period of mourning for the Workshop - the place where you could let your imagination run wild and build anything you like. For many, this was what made the game stand out from everything else but it's gone and although you can still build things, this time you're doing it to help people with their problems on the Kingdom's various islands.
Yet EA hasn't killed off everything from the first game and when you land at Cowboy Junction you'll be greeted by a familiar face: Gino the chef. He wants to take you on his famous pizza tour but his tomatoes are dead, the cow's pen has been destroyed and a thief has stolen his lucky horseshoe. Reviving the tomatoes is a bit puzzling as you'll need to build a water station, then fix some pipes and sprinklers to it. But before you begin a task you need to unlock a scroll power with essences. To do this, you'll need to pull up weeds, shake trees and mine for metals. This also gives you a chance to explore the beautiful island.
King For A Day
Each island is stunning and is filled with great characters and its own little story. Gino is desperate for no one to learn that his pizza making skills are thanks to his lucky horseshoe and it's amusing to watch the expression on his face turn from joy to woe as you complete a task only for him to find out that something else has gone wrong. Once you've completed Cowboy Junction you'll leave with a big smile on your face as Gino throws a big party. It's actually a bit of a wrench to leave but there are new places to explore, new friends to meet and things to build.
In the nature level for example, your first task is to build the new visitor centre. While you can't create anything from scratch you can still be creative. After you've dropped basic blocks you can add windows, doors, chimneys and give the property a lick of paint. Next you can plant trees, sunflowers and roses before getting to work on the inside, placing your furniture and putting up pictures. The construction tools are not as expansive as in the previous game but you can still build a property that's very much your own.
Unfortunately, as soon as you land on Rocket Reef you'll realise that the variety of locations isn't matched by the variety of tasks on offer, as you're asked to collect robot parts. This would be okay if you hadn't already collected bandanas on Cowboy Junction and crab keys on the Nature Reserve. Each island's various mishaps will require you to collect stuff, build something or fix pipes to solve a puzzle, all of which demand that you mine, metal detect and fish to collect essences.
While the tasks do get more complicated a lot of the puzzles are easily solved with trial and error.
Like a lot of games these days, MySims Kingdom is all about the experience and it takes you on a charming journey where you get to meet and greet some brilliant characters. Yet, as an adventure, MySims is now in the company of the best that Wii has to offer and it just can't live with the likes of Galaxy and Twilight Princess. Still, provided you have some heart, this Kingdom packs more than enough personality to make it well worth a visit.