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Poor old King Roland is a monarch with a problem – not that you could tell from his fluffy smiling face. Despite the apparent lack of concern, his kingdom is crumbling because nobody remembers how to rebuild and repair stuff anymore. It’s a magic kingdom however, where you can’t just knock something together with a few planks and some nails, so the King holds a contest. The aim is to bless somebody with the mighty powers of a Wandolier – the only person who can solve everyone’s troubles using bricks, paint and some special essences.
Unlike last year’s MySims, this sequel focuses on the characters and plot. While you still have to build stuff using the same satisfying 3D interface, it’s greatly simplified. You don’t get to create elaborate chairs, mirrors and other gifts for your buddies. Instead, you wander around the kingdom’s 12 islands, meeting people and collecting the essences needed to build specific items. For example, the wildlife park needs a visitors’ centre, so you gather the required bricks and wood, then build it to the park ranger’s specifications – with a few of your own special flourishes added.
There are also mechanical things to repair. You collect the essences needed to unlock the plans for a machine, then sit together various rods, cogs and pulleys to make a working gizmo. It’s basically a matter of hooking up point A to point B, but you can create some pretty crazy artistic contraptions by drawing outside the shadows that mark the recommended blueprint. When a Sim has something you need, you can persuade them to give it up with a little social minigame, which plays similar to MySims on DS. Like the rest of the game, it’s extremely simple and heart-warmingly rewarding.
MySims Kingdom is about as untaxing as games get. You’ll probably never get stuck – even during your first play. But it’s not here to give you a challenge. It’s sweet, it’s funny, it’s like a little comic offshoot of the bigger original. Good wholesome fun for the entire family.
Oct 28, 2008