Preview: Wii customisation goes crazy

EA has pledged to bring plenty of original games to Wii and MySims, one of the first original Nintendo-exclusives from EA, is one of our most anticipated Wii titles of the year.

As you will no-doubt know heard by now, MySims is a spin-off of the life-simulating Sims franchise, made famous on PC. Along with the complete change in graphical style, which has seen the game take on a more Nintendo-style, cartoony look, the gameplay has also changed, completely refreshing the whole Sims formula.

MySims focuses on player creativity - there's absolutely heaps of it. Everything from your character's face, hair and clothes to the furniture in your house and even entire buildings can be built from scratch, by you. But this is creativity of the simple kind.


As you'd expect, you start off designing your Sim. There's none of that rigmarole of customising each individual bone in your characters' face, like in previous Sims games, which we could never be arsed with. To change any feature of your Sim you just move the cursor over the bit you want to change and hit A. Using the Wii Remote as a pointer, it all controls very easy.

You can flick through different styles of hair, eyes and mouth, as well as set the skin tone and outfit, and add some glasses. Even cooler, you can tweak your Sims' voice - a first for the series - with a selection of six voices and the ability to set the pitch of the voice. If they don't include an Arnie voice, it'll be a lost opportunity.

Customisation in MySims isn't just a gimmick - it's the basis of the primary objective of the game. You start off in a rundown town with a lack of residents, and your ultimate goal is to spruce up the place to attract and re-establish a thriving neighbourhood. A bit like Animal Crossing, if you will.

A Star Meter on the right of the screen shows how far you've progressed with that hefty objective, so at the start of the game you'll have no stars. But as your town slowly builds up and your star level increases new people will come to live in your town. You meet these people at the town hotel, where you find out what type of personality they are so that you can build the perfect house for them to live in.

Environmental customisation is made just as simple as designing your Sim because of a cool block-building system. It's like virtual Lego. You will have seen how simple the MySims world looks, and that's because the whole world is constructed using these large bricks.

Each Sim that comes to the Hotel brings with them (somehow) their own building blocks, giving you everything you'll need to build the right house for them.


To make a house, you start off with a base and some basic bricks on the screen and, again, using the Wii Remote's pointer, you pick up and place the bricks where you want them to be before saving your creation and allowing the new Sim to move in.

Once you've made the house you can dive in and make furniture too using the same simple block system. This lets you create everything from chairs and tables to beds, units and shelves.

But you don't have an infinite supply of blocks to build anything you like. To make things you need to gather Essences.

Essences allow you to build and paint things in your world. You gather Essences by interacting with Sims and performing tasks around town. So you might go to a dark cave and scan the ground for hidden Essences underground, or you might interact with another Sim who finds your ability to blow bubbles (presuming you have that ability) so impressive they give you Essences.

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