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The Urbz: Sims in the City

Developer: Maxis | Publisher: Electronic Arts
Players: 1 Player Game | Release Date: 11/09/04 | Genre: Simulation

The Urbz: Sims in the City is a step away from the classic Sims Suburbia we've all grown to know and love. In The Urbz it's not so much about what you know anymore, it's all about WHO you know. Popularity is key in this Sims game. To get anywhere in the game you must first rub noses with the high and mighty of the big city. As the game progresses you will meet new and interesting people throughout the city.

You'll start out meeting Darius and Will, who are essentially your tour guides. They will meet you at your new pad and give you some info about what you need to do to move up in status in the city. You'll quickly learn that your new pad is sparse on furniture and basic necessities (it lacks a toilet!) and that you must quickly earn some cash to upgrade. So you head off in search of employment, thus starting your climb up the socialite ladder.

For those players that prefer the more goal-oriented aspect of the console versions of The Sims, you'll be in for a treat. Just about everything you do in The Urbz is surrounded by a goal. To get a job you must complete a goal; to buy certain items you must complete goals for them to appear in the shop. Speaking of shops, there is no longer a 삵yenu, you must locate a cash register at one of the locations and make your purchases there.

However, shopping can become frustrating when your boss tells you that you cannot advance to the next career level until you have mastered a technique (i.e. body building, logic, etc.), because you must first unlock these items before you can purchase them. While this does not seem like a difficult task, one can easily become frustrated because to unlock the needed items, you must travel to other areas of the city. For example, one of the first jobs you'll be offered is a fashion model. After you finish your photo shoot the agent will tell you that you must buff up your body by purchasing a weight machine, which you later find out can only be unlocked by going to the other side of town. However, you must first complete a number of other goals before you can unlock that part of town.

One of the biggest differences in Urbz was the ability to design your Sim. From hair color, to skin color, to clothing choices, to tattoos, you have many more options to choose from as you create your perfect Sim. As always, you are responsible to keep your Sim's mood up, and it's easy to keep track of his/her mood by checking the status of his/her needs. These needs show up as green/red bars at the bottom of the screen, the more green the better, if you start seeing a lot of red, you'd better start making your Sim happy. Happiness is the key to success in this game. If your boss sees you are unhappy they will send you home until your mood returns.

When you're socializing, you'll notice some differences in the options you can select when talking to another Sim. First of all, there are more options and the options are colored. A green option means it will usually work on that Sim, a yellow means it might or might not work, and a red options means you'd better duck if you use it! Each Sim is different, and as you get to know them the option colors will change, so be sure to pay attention. As the game progresses you will learn Power Social moves. These moves come in handy when someone asks you to do something. For example, the sleazy tabloid reporter will give you his camera and ask you to get shots of some local celebrities for him. To be able to get those shots, you must first learn the Power Social move that will convince the celebrity Sim to let you photograph them.

While it seems that The Urbz is much like the other Sims games, it's really not. As stated before, in this game, it's all about WHO you know and how you look, no one really cares how your house looks anymore, because chances are you'll only go home to sleep, if even that. The goal here is to become the biggest Socialite SimCity has ever seen. Now you get to follow your Sim to work and see what they do all day, rather than sit around and wait for them to come home and 찬ay Now you can take your Sim out on the town and enjoy the nightlife of the big city, rather than have your friends over for a night of barbecuing and swimming (or poker).

Graphically, the game is better than the other Sims games, and given that they had to design many more areas, I think it came out wonderfully. They got it right all the way from the snooty penthouse apartments down to the skuzzy street life of the South Side. The audio is good and features some great music that fits each area of the city in its own way.

The biggest complaint I've had thus far is the load times between areas. If you can look past that, this one is worth a look.

This article appeared in the July 2005 Issue of CVGames. You can view this Issue by clicking here.

By Amber Meadors - 07/06/05
ESRB Details: Crude Humor, Sexual Themes, Violence
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Screenshots for The Urbz: Sims in the City

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