MySims Party (Nintendo DS) - Review by Chris



As an off shot of the mainline Sims franchise, EA have really been pushing the MySims brand of games on the Wii and DS and they continue to venture into new areas and genres within the industry, being met with varying degrees of success. The original game played out like an Animal Crossing style game while its successor, MySims Kingdom, changed the setting and added another gameplay twist to the proceedings. The new entry into the series, MySims Party, adds another twist this time around by pairing up mini-games with the town management from previous games and results in perhaps the most kid friendly game in the series. Does it have enough depth, however, to sustain prolonged play or should you give this party a miss?


MySims Party starts out like any other entry into the Sims or MySims series of games. You begin by creating a character from a variety of customisable options such as clothing, facial design and hair, all of which can be later changed once the main game has started, and then take your character into the main game where you start life as the new resident of a town that has seen better days. It's the same tired back story that has attempted to pad out previous games. Yet while this would normally be an issue, this time around the game is squarely aimed at a younger generation of gamers, where the contextual information that provides the backing for the game will not be in the same focus as the gameplay.

However, the game does continue to push the story slightly as the game goes on, and it does give some reasoning behind why you are taking part in daily festivals. The town, which has clearly seen better days, is inhabited by a very small community of MySims characters and in an effort to bring in some new blood to the town and revive it, the Mayor decides to start throwing daily mini-game festivals, of which you will have to partake in, so as to create some excitement within the town and gain new inhabitants. The hook here, however, is that to get these new inhabitants, you must complete and finish first in the daily festivals. Doing so will allow new stores to open, where you can continue to customise not only your character but aspects of your house as well as parts or you town, giving the full Sims experience on top of the added mini-game mechanics which have been brought in this time round. It therefore means there's always things to do and see around town, and more so as you complete more of the festivals.

In all, there are 12 daily festivals you'll have to take part in. Each of these has varying conditions, such as the number of events, number of festival cards you can use and the number of players in your team. When designing your character, you'll have to assign 9 attribute points to it, in power, speed and technique divisions, and each of the mini-games during the festivals will either make use of one of these attributes or more. With 40 mini-games in all then, and attributes decreasing as you compete, this is where the festival cards come in. The festival cards allow you to stall the decrease of your stats during events or increase them for the next round and so on. You'll have to purchase these from a store in town and micro-manage these as they do become important as you increase the difficult of the game's AI. For what is meant to be a game for younger gamers, there is a lot of management necessary to be able to compete in and win the daily festivals but it is never too taxing and the game does lend a helping hand explaining everything clearly as it goes on.

With 40 mini-games, there's plenty of variety in the activities you'll undertake. You'll have to put together bouquets of floors, cut out fabric to create outfits, go fishing and even wake up a character by blowing up a balloon with a pump. It's varied enough to keep the game entertaining and even when events do make a frequent appearance, they always manage to remain enjoyable. The 12 festivals, and the full 40 mini-games, are completely playable in either single player or with up to 4 players through local wireless, meaning that if you can get a full group of players, you'll never have to play against the game's competent AI. Throw in some trading options, for trading items, created MySims characters and designs and there's plenty here to keep you entertained beyond many mini-game titles on the console.


The controls remain largely unchanged from previous entries into the series on the DS. You're given the choice of both button based and stylus based controls over your interactions in and movements around the town. Which setup you choose to use will ultimately depend on what type of gamer you are but for the most part, both setups work well. As with previous games, some of the touch screen control can be hit and miss, especially when moving around the town and interacting with objects, while the standard button setup seems to avoid any of these issues, ultimately setting itself up as the prime candidate for controlling the game. The two are largely kept separate throughout the mini-games however, so you won't need to worry about the inconvenience of having to hold a stylus in your hand and press buttons at the same time.


Just as with the controls, the visuals remain largely untouched from previous games. MySims Party looks almost identical in style and town layout to that seen in the original game and while familiarity is nice for some, some effort to distance it a little further from what has come before it environmental wise would have been nice. Saying that, the game still carries the colourful, chibi style look that many have come to love and everything is vibrant and exaggerated, creating a pleasant setting for the game and the many mini-games, with some well designed buildings and locations. It often lends itself nicely to some visual humour as well, a key part of any of the Sims games. Character models continue to look great and again, are very expressive in their feelings, often bordering on the humorous, and are animated extremely well throughout all of the mini-games.


Audio isn't a huge part of the game, taking a backseat to prove some pleasant background tracks to keep the game's atmosphere ticking over and feeling cheerful. The fact that it never pushes its way to the forefront of the game is a nice touch as it does help to compliment the atmosphere of the game and its characters.

Dual screen

The touch screen is put to some good use through several of the game's mini-game events and while the use isn't innovative in anyway, it's all well implemented and works well when it comes to these specific areas of the game. You'll cut material, draw designs on clothing and undertake several other tasks that really do use the screen well. It can also be used to navigate the in game menus, which is certainly a less clunky option to using the buttons, and as previously stated you can use it to move around, although here it doesn't work as well. This coupled with some good use of the top screen creates a game that makes good use of the console's functions.

Final comments

While the mini-games may not be the most inspiring we've seen in a game, those contained within MySims Party come off as enjoyable when looked at with the accompanying gameplay mechanics of the standard MySims game. Yes, some adjustment to the story to stop it being a retread would be nice and a new location that doesn't look like that from a previous game would be welcomed with open arms but the core gameplay of MySims Party is solid and will definitely provide ample entertainment for younger, and older, gamers looking for something to play with their friends during the holidays.

Pro: Mini-games are enjoyable, presentation continues to look great, entire game can be played in multiplayer
Con: Story is a retread of previous games, locations look similar to previous ones, touch screen controls still not great outside of the mini-games
Final score: 6.9


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Boxart of MySims Party (Nintendo DS)
Platform: Nintendo DS
Genre: Simulation
Developer: Electronic Arts
Publisher: Electronic Arts