It just so happens that I'm ancient enough to have played the original The Sims when it came out. I even went out to read about it a German gaming magazine, even though I can barely understand a word in German. That's how intrigued and excited I was for it. The Sims was quite a novel concept for the turn of the millennium. Although being more of an activity than a game, it captured my attention for months until I finally became saturated and stopped caring for my blocky little Sims. It was a nice experience nonetheless, especially since the 2000's were still a period of pure gaming. I mean gaming wasn't sullied by the ugly wave of DLC, micro-transactions and eugh... the freemium concept.
But now we'll look at the "freeplay" version of The Seems that's playable on the Android... yay.
At the beginning, you'll need to construct your first Sim. The random generator seems to be picking darker complexions some 90% of the time. Since I happen to prefer the whiter phenotype, I had to manually assemble my first Sim. This didn't bode well with me. The fact that the game's page features an interracial wedding did not bode well with me either. But even if whites are an absolute global minority (next only to the Jews) this gimmick rather infuriated me.
The next thing you'll need to do is exactly what the tutorial tells you to. The tutorial consists of earning byte size rewards for tapping in the right places, as if you are a good little dog. Don't you just love freemiums? I know I don't! Well, at least you learn about the interface and how to navigate between house & town view.
The basic premise is that all your Sims live in a sort of a lovey-dovey communist society. All the money that it is earned goes into a collective pool, out which you will pay for everything, from personal items to land and public constructions. To make it clearer, after playing for three hours I'm still waiting for my entire community of Sims to produce enough simoleons to buy a bed and a toilet bowl. I need to mention that I had the decency of purchasing four walls and a door first, but my oh my, how expensive those were.
Which brings me to the main issue with The Sims FreePlay. FREEMIUM!!! In the original The Sims (the made for PC one), the main way of earning money was to find your Sim an occupation (or job). The real time gameplay had day and night cycles, and you could speed up time whenever you'd wish. Considering night was reserved for resting and the occasional burglar break-in, you could easily just skip through it. Daytime fast forwarding was also in order when your bread winner was out working and you didn't have many Sims to babysit around the home. A steady income that would arrive every few minutes insured that you could invest regularly, ensuring smooth gameplay sessions.
Not the case with FreePlay though. Money here is earned in the 'classical' tap the coin style. With every property, facility and resort that you purchase, you get countdown timers that tell you how long it will be until you may collect your 5 simoleons. Yeah, that's right. Essentially you will need to keep staring at the screen and tap every so often until you earn enough cash to buy a flower pot. I'm not saying that the original The Sims was exciting, but this is downright sleep-worthy.
And it's not getting easier with time either. Every new plot purchase will increase the price for the next. I mean, I know I'm creating an all-white neighborhood, but this is ridiculous. Also, every new property will have a slower cool down than the previous one. As an example: The first house will give you bucks every minute, while the second will do it every 5 minutes, then 30' and so on. Would you rather tap once every minute to get maximum income efficiency or wait for the longer ones to tap on all coins at once? Screw this!
It's true that you can also send your little Sims to work, but it takes ages to complete their day. They literally work for 8 hours, and I'm not staying around to find out how much dough they'll bring back with them. I want gameplay NOW! Unfortunately there is no premium version of The Sims on Android, because that of course, would earn EA far less real-o-leons than this abomination.
I must admit that I have next to zero expectations when I try out a "free" game. However, The Sims Free play managed to lower them further, by making gameplay a drag from the very beginning. You'd usually expect a freemium to let you play around for the first iterations, but damn me if I've ever seen such strictness. EA should be ashamed of themselves. This is not a game. It's a pay-to-play activity.