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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, February 16, 2010

'Sims' celebrate milestone with some new toys

By Marc Saltzman
Gannett News Service

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Computer-generated Sims characters, such as this one, have been around for a decade.

Advertiser library photo

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Happy birthday to Electronic Arts' "The Sims," the best-selling PC game franchise of all time.

It's been 10 years since the first "The Sims" disc appeared on store shelves, allowing you to micromanage the lives of computer-generated people known as Sims. You can nurture their relationships, advance their careers and decorate their homes with purchased in-game items.

There were highly publicized sequels, of course namely, 2004's "The Sims 2" (take control over Sims for their entire lifetime) and 2009's "The Sims 3" (allowing your Sims to go anywhere in the neighborhood) and you can pick up more than two dozen expansion packs for these games.

If you still can't get enough, new digital toys are now available to expand your "Sims" experience even further. Here's a quick look at some options for those who own "The Sims 3," each rated Teen by the Entertainment Software Rating Board.

'The Sims 3: High-End Loft Stuff' (Electronic Arts): Treat your Sims to items you might not be able to afford in real life with this collection of "stuff" for their home, such as a new stereo to play at their next soiree, modern sofas to sit on or fancy artwork to hang on their walls. When they're done entertaining, they can pour themselves into the new Jacuzzi.

Figure out where to hang their new TV and which room to place the treadmill in. To commemorate the 10th anniversary of "The Sims" series, Electronic Arts has also added some fan favorites from "The Sims" and "The Sims 2," including a heart-shaped vibrating bed, large aquarium and an electric guitar.

And you can't expect to dress your Sims in shabby clothing when their home has been made over, so you'll also find new fashionable apparel on this disc, including tailored suits for him and trendy blouses, skirts and shoes for her. New hairstyles are also available.

But with only 35 or so items, $20 feels a bit steep for what you get. That, and there aren't any new game-play elements to sink your mouse into.

Perhaps a sub-$10 digital download would have been a better idea.

'The Sims 3: World Adventures' (Electronic Arts): It's time to get outta Dodge in "The Sims World Adventures," the first expansion pack that lets you take your Sims to exotic locations around the world including Egypt, China and France.

See how your custom-made characters from "The Sims 3" fare while exploring ancient tombs underneath pyramids, mastering martial arts in the Far East or visiting the "Champs de la Sims" countryside outside of Paris to ride a Vespa, make wine and solve a mystery or two.