MySims Kingdom for Nintendo DS from Electronic Arts will remind you a lot of Animal Crossing from Nintendo. If you are a fan of Animal Crossing then you will probably enjoy MySims Kingdom also, since it has a lot of similarities, but it is different enough to hold its’ own. The game begins with you customizing your character’s, eyes, hair, skin color, and clothing after you name your island. Once you have completed these tasks you will be taken to talk to the mayor who will inform you that someone has stolen all the towns decorations and this is where your adventure begins. You must find out who has been stealing the items and also restore the town back to its previous state by decorating it yourself.
The storyline in MySims Kingdom is one of the things that sets the game apart from Animal Crossing. In Animal Crossing you play the game to collect things and earn money to buy items and upgrade your house, but in MySims Kingdom you can do those things while trying to figure out the cause of all the disappearing items in the town.
You will also be put in-charge of making items using a couple of tools given to you by the local professor to redecorate the town. To make items you use the Extractor device to suck essences out of objects located around town. Then you use the Synth-O-Tron to combine two essences to make different items either manually or automatically, depending on which option you choose. After you have made an item you are able to place it around town on the map. The map has a grid on it that only allows you to place one item per block. This seems a little limiting, since you don’t have the freedom to put things exactly where you want them in a certain block, but they probably didn’t want to get into that much detail and complicate the game. You can also buy and place things in your house similar to Animal Crossing, but I think Animal Crossing has some cooler themed rooms available compared to MySims Kingdom.
Another similarity between MySims Kingdom and Animal Crossing is the graphical style. Both games have big headed characters that are cute looking, but where Animal Crossing has you talking to animals throughout the game, MySims Kingdom sticks to only humans. MySims Kingdom’s graphics look good for the Nintendo DS and fit the theme of the game well. The customization of your character as mentioned above is also pretty decent for a simple Nintendo DS game. Plus, the style of graphics allow you to see the customization of your character easier than some other games that try to make your characters look more like real people instead of big headed cartoon characters. If you like Animal Crossing’s cute graphic style then you will enjoy playing MySims Kingdom also.
MySims Kingdom’s music is soothing and relaxing and fits the theme of the game well. You will hear music that sounds like it is coming from a music box and then other music that will remind you of calipso. All of it is synthesized, upbeat, and well done for a Nintendo DS game. The sound effects are also decent and appropriate but nothing special. All of the dialog in the game is written, so no voice-acting is present in MySims Kingdom.
Another thing that sets MySims Kingdom apart from Animal Crossing is the mini games available in the game. They range from tennis, kayaking, and ghost blasting to vegetable vending, ski jumping, and snow ball fighting. All of the mini games are decent and the tennis game is actually a pretty good tennis game hidden inside MySims Kingdom. The kayaking was kind of hard to control, since you have to paddle back and forth on the touch screen with the stylus. The ghost blaster game has you tapping ghosts that appear on the screen, while the vegetable vendor mini game makes you choose the matching vegetables that appear on the screen. Playing these games earns you money and also special items that will help you progress through the game. You can also play some of these mini games versus another person as long as they have a Nintendo DS and another copy of MySims Kingdom.
Photography is another part of the game that isn’t really a mini game, but something to keep you busy. You need to take pictures of the animals you see while you travel around the town and deliver them to the zookeeper so they can bring the animals back to the zoo. Different animals will appear at different times of the day, so you have to be on the lookout for them. The only thing a little annoying about this part of the game is that you can only give one photo to the zookeeper per day instead of being able to unload all three you can store all at once.
Controlling your character in MySims Kingdom is simple enough and you will be either pressing the control pad, buttons or touch screen to navigate through the game and menus to buy, sell, place, and move items. The controls seem pretty solid except for the kayaking mini game, but maybe I just need to practice that some more.
MySims Kingdom is an enjoyable game that will appeal to fans of Animal Crossing. While I still think I like Animal Crossing: Wild World more, I enjoyed playing MySims Kingdom and my 5-year old son did too. I think if you are looking for a non-violent relaxing game to play on your Nintendo DS then MySims Kingdom is worth a look and should keep you busy for a while decorating the town and your house while solving the mystery of the disappearing town decorations. But, if you already have Animal Crossing then you may not get a lot out of this game and if you don’t own Animal Crossing: Wild World then it might be worth buying it instead of MySims Kingdom.
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