Review by humantarget00

"The Urbz. More fun than expected."

The Urbz: Sims in the City for the Nintendo DS.

This game may look just like another attempt to cash in on the apparently unending sim-mania, but when you actually play it you'll discover that it's a real hidden treasure. It's far superior in it's DS iteration than in the console versions, and is way more fun. What's so surprisingly good about it is hard to put your finger on, it's a case of the whole being greater than the sum of it's parts.

You start with almost nothing but the clothes on your back but you'll have ample earning opportunities as you travel throughout the city, to the bayou, and even to secret islands. There's plenty of space to stretch your custom-clothed legs in. The large game-world makes you feel free in a large habitat when compared to the original Sims games; which make you feel enclosed in a little box.

You can choose your Sim's gender and what clothes he/she is wearing, adding a bit of uniqueness to your avatar. And while it doesn't have as big a catalog of gear to choose from as The Sims does, (Especially with all those expansion packs, sheesh...) it's nice to choose what your Urb is going to look like and will be wearing.

The game features a new "group" system which, according to the questions you answer in character creation, assigns your character to membership either the Nerdie, Artsie, Richie or Streetie group. (I was, of course, thrown in with the Nerdies.) Regardless of the group you are assigned to you will still go through the main storyline, but will have access to a different set of side-quest goals.

At one point during the game there is a neat mini-game that, depending on how well you do, allows you to acquire a bigger and better pet to play with in the zoo place. This is the kind of fun little detail that makes the game as a whole a worthwhile experience. You can even name your animal. (I named mine after myself, of course!)

The missions, (goals) have you going all around the town, bayou, island, etc, to specific spots, such as the tops of building and many interesting places to meet colorful characters and perform various and sundry tasks. Many mini-games will be available throughout each day and you can make much-needed money from them. After a while, though, only a few these mini-games are even worth playing for the money and usually they're going to be the ones you have the ideal skill point arrangement for.

The storyline is interesting and fun to play though. And while the visuals really aren't anything special for the DS, they won't be a problem unless you're really picky about games having cutting-edge graphics. The sound is pretty much in the same boat- nothing special but not bad. Still the game loses a point or two due to the graphics and sound.

Overall the The Urbz! is really an enjoyable experience for folks who want more of a game and less of a simulation (compared to the original Sims games) but if you'd rather get something newer-looking for the DS consider The Sims 2 which is comparable but sports a more attractive 3D perspective and actually sells for less at many stores.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 05/12/06

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