The Urbz: Sims In The City (Nintendo DS) Preview

By Nick Cheesman 16.08.2004

EA's friendship with Nintendo would always be good for the DS, not only should the Dual Screen get a library of sports games, but also many of its other "popular" franchises. Among them, is the new spin on the Sims title, the Urbz. There is also a GBA version of this game in the works, and EA themselves have commented, how the DS and GBA version will bear similarities, more than with the console versions. Yet the DS' sole function was for new ideas, and The Urbz does attempt to weave something new.

As with all the other versions, you take control of your Sim or Urb, as EA are plugging it, and lead them through a 24/7 lifestyle in the city. You travel across the various city districts, building up your reputation, by doing jobs and socializing, unlocking new districts as you go. A change though, is this city is called Miniopolis, a no brainer here, but still the game relies on living with your Urb and fraternizing with the citizens. Each district has some different character to it, with different fashions and trends. Also with different storylines which aid to your mission objectives. Unlike the Sims, the Urbz is less focused on making your Urb live around the house, in the Gamecube version you can't even create a house, and can only customize the interior. With that in mind, it is a fair comment to say the DS version is bound to have even less traditional Sims features.

Screenshot for The Urbz: Sims In The City on Nintendo DS

The more important factor is of course, what EA do with the second screen. The touch screen is used again to go through menus, objectives, speak to other Sims and get to other social screens, maps of the city, customizing your Urb's appearance, and even paint pictures for your Urb's "crib". Quite a nice addition, very pointless and gimmicky, but an attempt at greater interior customization. It also makes use of the Wi-Fi as you can trade pictures with other gamers. The top screen is where your Urb is controlled, using the D-Pad, as well as A and B buttons. A trend in the DS games at the moment, no real innovation, but it will probably allow for ease to find place locations and may possibly allow for more social interaction. Yet it does have one more purpose.

Screenshot for The Urbz: Sims In The City on Nintendo DS

Mini-games are meant to build up your reputation in the Urbz, and EA have followed the example of Wario Ware. and will be using the touch screen for them. These mini-games have all been taken from the GBA, along with a few new DS ones. An example of one found on the GC version, is where you must chop sushi. A guess would be you use the stylus to cut through the raw fish, very much like Wario Ware. Exclusive to the DS though, is new a mini-game island, named Splicer Island, where upon completing the mini-games here, the hidden part of Miniopolis will be unlocked. Such DS only mini-games include; pet creation and challenges, "G-Disc" and lottery scratch. The lottery scratch will no doubt be rubbing the touch screen, and "G-Disc" could simply be turning something with the stylus, but most certainly there should be more to it than that. EA also assure gamers, there will be mini-games that would not work without the second screen, which hopefully means, not just using the touch screen option, but actually both screens.

Screenshot for The Urbz: Sims In The City on Nintendo DS

There is even the option of multi-player mini games over the Wi-Fi, something that should definitely prove to be enjoyable, along with auctioning items over to other players or simply trading. Good use of the Wi-Fi, but what would have been excellent, would be trading Urbs to different cities and meeting other player's citizens and seeing their homes, reminiscent of Animal Crossing. The DS version will not vary greatly from the other versions, in appearance, sound or even gameplay, but it will simply have a few features, that are unique to it, though they will not be numerous in number. The actual DS specific numbers are in fact 7 new characters, 5 new mini-games and 8 pets that are created by a "gene manipulator."

Screenshot for The Urbz: Sims In The City on Nintendo DS

Final Thoughts

Overall the Urbz does seem to be quite a well rounded game, and is using the DS' utilities, not doing anything breathtaking, but using them nonetheless. It seems a good starting point for the start of the dual screened games, and I hope the other areas will be investigated into further in the future.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10 (4 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


There are no replies to this preview yet. Why not be the first?


Comments are currently disabled

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?

There are 1 members online at the moment.