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Game Guys review - The Sims 3: University Life

6:33 PM, Mar 26, 2013   |    comments
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  • 'The Sims 3 University Life' from Electronic Arts.
  • 'The Sims 3 University Life' from Electronic Arts.
    

It seems like the folks at EA just keep coming up with new ideas for expanding their The Sims 3 computer game.  The Sims 3: University Life may not be a fully original idea by the development team (The Sims 2 had a similar expansion), it brings a number of new elements to the aging casual game franchise with mixed results.

As the title rather suggests, University Life opens up the higher education system for younger and older Sims alike.  They'll not only be able to attend college, but will also earn a degree to give them an edge employment-wise over Sims without a college degree -- much like real life (stay in school, kids!).  

Life for a university student is broken up into majors, with each degree needing 48 credits to achieve.  Those credits are broken up into terms and there is a maximum number of credits a Sim can earn during any one term.  This all takes place in a special university-only town where the player's Sim gets wisked away leaving the rest of the world in a stasis-like state.  Those who played the early expansion World Adventures will find this concept rather familiar.

The town itself is rather charming and has much of the appeal a small New England college town might have.  It also packs a rather good social life for one's Sims.  All irony aside, there is much to do both scholastically and socially and balancing the two is key for a Sim's success.  Should a Sim study to exhaustion or goof off too much (like taking part in the "wild" fraternity parties), that Sim is likely to fail their ever-important exams.  And nobody wants that to happen.

As should come as little surprise, there are a number of new skills that come along with this expansion.  The small assortment supplied include the practical (science) and the not-so-practical (street art).  Within the expansion, these skills have their rational place.  Back in the "real" Sim world, however, their relevancy is up for debate.

Coupled with all of the above is the usual assortment of theme-specific objects.  Dorm furniture reigns supreme, though EA stopped short of importing the Ikea catalog for this game (and thankfully so).  Like the skills, most of the objects would seem out of place once back in the "real" Sim world.

The Sims 3: University Life should appeal fine to players who like to go out and explore with their Sim.  Those who liked World Adventures or enjoy visiting other players towns (a feature added a few expansions ago) should like this latest expansion well enough.  Those who prefer just to chill at and around home, however, will find little benefit in picking this one up.  It's not perfect as there are a few bugs that have been reported (none of these were experienced during this review playthrough), but overall it's not half-bad.

GAMEPLAY: PRESENTATION: STORY: QUALITY: FINAL SCORE:
18/25 19/25 18/25 19/25 74/100

Version tested: PC

(Electronic Arts supplied a copy of this game for review.)

News10/KXTV

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