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Platform: GameBoy Advance
Genre: Simulation
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Maxis / Griptonite Games
ESRB: E (Everyone)
Released: Q4 2003


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The Sims Bustin' Out

Score: 8.0 / 10



- Harmless distraction

- Manages to get a lot of the nuances of the Big Brother versions

- Good controls



- Aimlessness can spiral to boringness


Related Links:

Review: The Sims (GC)

Review: The Sims Bustin' Out (GC)

Review: The Sims (PC)

"Sims Bustin’ Out is perfect for people that enjoy a low-impact game."


To be honest I never really caught the Sims bug – even with my glowing review of PC original.  Until now, I’ve managed to avoid everything Sim-related; none of the PC expansion packs and none of the console versions have I played (until very recently).


sims bustin out           sims bustin out


After the Sims Bustin’ Out (SBO) I can honestly say that I won’t play it for much longer after finishing this review.  I’ve discovered that I really enjoy storylines.  SBO is a “living simulator” where you have to direct your sim creation in everyday tasks (i.e. eating, going to the bathroom, watching TV, etc.).  SBO has a story to play through – you begin by taking up residence with your farmer uncle – with defined goals, but there’s no sense of urgency to do anything.  I spent (in-game) days wandering around collecting cans and radioactive rods for extra cash and running errands for the townsfolk to have enough money for a really cool couch.  As a game, for more than 20 minute spurts, it’s about as gripping as the dynamic interaction of paint drying on a cedar plank.


That being said, the developers did a good job streamlining the controls and interface to suit the GameBoy Advance.  From character creation to interacting with objects, there’s never a problem with getting your onscreen character to do the right thing.  Even during the inane mini-games there are very few problems.



Building relationships – the other “goal” of the Sims – proves easy.  I went on a days-long bender (sleeping on park benches) and just blowing around town on my scooter but when I came home, my live-in girlfriend required only a joke and a kiss to forgive me and get our relationship meter back into the 90s.  You always have to (eventually) return home as one of the meters you monitor is one that measures “homesickness.”


sims bustin out          sims bustin out


Obviously some graphical sacrifices had to be made in the transition from much more powerful hardware but SBA is actually an okay looking game.  All the structures are pre-fabricated – you can’t build your own place but you can outfit it with neat stuff – so those looking for complete creative freedom will be disappointed.


Sims Bustin’ Out is perfect for people that enjoy a low-impact game.  It’ll score many points for being easy to get into and a leisurely way to pass the time, but people that like things to happen should steer clear.


- Omni

(February 28, 2004)


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