I am a huge Renaissance Faire geek. Seriously. I’ve jousted, courted and costumed it up with the best of them. I even have a real sword.
So I was very excited to find out that the latest addition to The Sims empire, The Sims Medieval, was coming to the iPad. Considering how much I loved The Sims growing up, combined with my fondness for “tales of yonder,” I was thrilled to play the game.
Was it all I thought it would be? Absolutely. Was I expecting much? No, not really – especially following the disappointment that was The Sims FreePlay. But in the end, The Sims Medieval For iPad was a great addition to the iPad gaming club.
Let me start by saying The Sims Medieval For iPad is really, really fun. It’s a level-based adventure that pits the young, attractive hero or heroine against the trials of medieval life. Whether it’s making potions for a wizard, dueling an evil bandit or fishing and gardening, there are plenty of things to keep the player entertained and occupied.
Keep in mind that most of these trials are pretty simple, at least in the first half of the game. In other words, this isn’t a game for those looking for a challenge. Most tasks and quests involve the same thing: go talk to person, complete objective and return to person to get reward. However, the ease of the quests is actually a benefit in my mind, since it encourages people of all ages to enjoy the game, including children.
Several of The Sims’ most popular features are also present in the game, though in much reduced forms. The player has to monitor his or her Sim’s hunger, sleep, entertainment and conversation. In addition, the player can build relationships with other characters, leading up to friendship, marriage or even religious conversion. And finally, the player can add items to his or her home, including bigger beds, writing desks and nectar barrels for getting “happy” at the end of a long day.
However, all of these features are not nearly as complicated or detailed as their PC-game counterparts. While the player can add items to the house, he or she can’t customize the house — meaning no giant pool in the backyard or light-up dance floor in the kitchen. In addition, maintaining the Sim’s health and relationships is incredibly easy; if the Sim is feeling bad, all it takes is a few hours sleep, one meal or one lovey-dovey conversation to make him or her happy as a clam.
At first, I was a little perturbed by the lack of complexity to the game — but after playing it for awhile, I was actually relieved at the gameplay’s simplicity. There was a reason my Sims would always be really, really mad at me when playing the PC version: I was bad at taking care of them. This game takes away that difficulty and instead presents a game that’s light hearted, fun and easy to pick up while waiting at the airport.
For serious The Sims fans who can actually keep their Sims sane in a PC game, the iPad version may be a little too easy. But for everybody else, this game is a renaissance of casual gameplay. It’s might as well be called The Sims Lite in Medieval Times — but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Here’s an App Store link for The Sims Medieval For iPad; it’s currently priced at $4.99.
Disclosure: A promo code for this game was provided by EA Games. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the “About” page.