If you are looking for a way to play The Sims for free online, you're in luck. Not only does Electronic Arts (EA) offer a free app called The Sims Freeplay, but you can find free trials of the full game as well. Several other free online simulation games also offer a similar experience.
The Sims Freeplay
Originally released in late 2011, The Sims Freeplay is a free mobile app available from iTunes (for iOS), Google Play Store (for Android), Amazon (for Android) and Microsoft (for Windows Phone/Mobile).
Like the full game, you can grow families, build buildings and fall in love. This will just take a little longer since you will need to complete goals, quests and tasks to level up and progress through the game. Move your Sim into a home and begin designing your character, including name, sex, skin color and wardrobe. After a short tutorial, you are ready to begin completing achievements and advancing your Sim.
In addition to having to complete quests to advance, another noticeable change between Freeplay and the computer version is the use of real time. Instead of one minute equaling an hour in the computer version, one minute is equal to one minute in the Freeplay world. If you don't have the patience to wait, EA offers you the option to upgrade or pay to speed up the process.
The Sims Freeplay has generally been received positively by online critics and gamers alike. Common Sense Media scored the title a four out of five. With over 800,000 reviews in the Google Play Store, the mobile app has an overall score of over four out of five as well. A few of the negative reviews on Metacritic complain that the real-time play is boring, but overall ratings are still high.
Sims-Like Online Simulation Games
While you are waiting to level up in real-time on The Sims Freeplay, there are other simulation games that you can give a try. These games are all free and very similar to The Sims.
In this online avatar-based game, you can customize your avatar, shop, make money, and even chat with friends. Choose the look and wardrobe of your character, adding a name, birthday and email. The fun app offers a very Sims-like experience with also allowing you to connect with other players. Players can hit the "chat now" button as they explore the world.
While this website says it is designed for 13 and up, Common Sense Media states it is more suitable for players at least 15 years of age, with warnings for language, violence and sexual content. Additionally, the social media aspect of the game can open children up to online predators and cyberbullies.
Another user-generated virtual world is Second Life, which is a massively multi-player online role-playing game (MMORPG). In this free online game, players create a custom online avatar to maneuver through a completely user created world. The avatars (or "residents") can completely build their own house or shop in a user-designed mall. You can also connect with friends and other players.
Second Life is designed for 18+ users (you must verify your age upon account registration), and there are no limitations to the type of content within the world since it is all user generated. Therefore, you will see very adult-oriented situations that are not appropriate for teenage users.
My Sunny Resort
Another fun online game is My Sunny Resort. In this simulation game, which bears some similarity to Farmville or Rollercoaster Tycoon, you use credits earned from tasks to create an island paradise. You start by creating your bungalow then move through the levels to accumulate more funds until you have built your very own vacation resort.
While My Sunny Resort is fun to play, and no download is required, you do have to earn achievements to get the money required to decorate and upgrade your bungalow. Additionally, if you are a fashionista, there is also no avatar to dress up, but there are fun home renovations.
Full-Version Sims Games
If you need to get your fill of the newest game for cheap, there are places available that offer great deals on the full version of The Sims 4.
If you are looking for the standard disc, it will cost you.
- You can find the new game on websites like GameStop offering the Mac and PC version in CD format for around $32 and the digital version for about $30.
- There are also some used games around. However, unlike console games, computer sims games come with an activation code and registration that once redeemed can't be used again. Therefore, finding the physical game with an unused activation code is very difficult. However, there are a few places you can find the game online like the Amazon Marketplace for around $22.
If you don't want to wait, several sellers offer you the option of downloading the key from them, after downloading the game from Origin. Depending on the seller, you can't be sure if you are getting an original key or a hack, so be aware. If you are looking to get Sims 4 as a download for a cheap upfront cost, Origin does offer a $4.99 monthly subscription (or $29.99 a year). You can also get the standard edition for $40 outright.
A free trial is also an option. After signing up for a free account, you can choose between a trial version where you can try the full game free for 48 hours and a demo version where you can only play a portion of the full game.
More Ways to Find a Deal
There are other ways that you can find a deal. For example, you can try to find an online coupon for The Sims. For example, Groupon typically offers an array of online coupons for Origin products, including the Sims. Additionally, if you don't need the latest copy of the Sims, you can find The Sims 3 for under $10 from such stores as GameDeals.com.
Creating Your Own World
Simulation games like The Sims offer you a fun escape from everyday life into a world that you create. Not only do you get to create the characters, but you also map out their whole life. Now that you know the basics, pull up a computer and get your Sims on!