In play

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

In 2000, the minds at Maxis Entertainment, specifically Will Wright, came up with the idea to actually simulate human life at its baseline. They created The Sims and it was instantly a huge success. The game involved living your daily life as a computer-generated person, doing daily tasks and socializing with other Sims, getting a job, finding love, and so on and so forth.

Over the course of the next 9 years, the Sims franchise has seen numerous expansions, three core games (The Sims 1, 2 and 3) and has become the best selling PC franchise of all time. I don't really get the infatuation of it, but to each their own I suppose.

In 2007, the Sims franchise, now owned by Electronic Arts, decided to take the Sims universe and kid size it. My Sims was released for the Nintendo Wii and tried to emulate the style of the best selling computer franchise. Unfortunately, My Sims was not too great. It had clunky controls, odd camera angles and lacked the fun that its successor apparently had tons of.

Over the next 2 years, EA has continued its efforts with the My Sims franchise and things are looking up. Here are the latest three games in the My Sims line with the emphasis placed on the last game.

My Sims Kingdom (Wii, DS) Rated E for Everyone

In My Sims Kingdom, players take on the role of a citizen of King Roland's Kingdom sent on a fantastic mission to travel the world in search of other kingdoms. While on your travels you are tasked with helping these other kingdoms build up their lands by solving puzzles, building buildings and interacting with NPC's to help them with their problems. The game takes you through many different kinds of kingdoms like a western, mad scientist, and DJ-themed kingdoms, all with their own types of buildings and missions. In the Wii version, many of the controls are motion-based using the Wii remote and in the DS version, you utilize the touch screen. Both games seem to pull off their control schemes pretty well and the game will keep you coming back for more.

My Sims Racing (Wii, DS) Rated E for Everyone

My Sims racing is like Mario Kart with customization. I think the game is pulled off perfectly and uses many of the same controls and aspects that Mario Kart does, such as boosting and power-ups. The kicker is the customization the game allows you to make to your racers. My biggest beef with the Mario Kart series is its lack of ability to build your own racer and in My Sims Racing, now you can do just that.

Players pick from either a small, medium or large kart and go from there. Winning races gives you new parts for your kart like engines and tires to hood ornaments and paint jobs. All in all I think this an excellent racing sim and definitely worth checking out. The Wii version is four-player on screen action and the DS allows you to link up four-players wirelessly for racing with friends.

My Sims Agents (Wii, DS) Rated E for Everyone

My Sims Agents puts everything together in one amazing package. You take on the role of a super secret spy tasked with cracking the case of a criminal mastermind. Use gadgets such as a magnifying glass and password decoder to crack the clues and solve the mystery. My favorite parts are the mini-game puzzles that have to be solved in certain parts of the game which rival intelligence tests on many levels, making kids use critical thinking to progress through the game.

For example, sit down with the web page and follow along with the case files and try to solve it. The game on the website won me over immediately! The game also includes tons of customization, including setting up your secret base and picking out your own spy wardrobe. Fly all over the world and bring an end to the crime spree of Dr. Morcubus -- all while having a blast doing it!

Lastly, for tons of multiplayer fun, check out My Sims Party for the Wii and DS where you and three of your friends can battle it out mini-game style in a title that rivals Mario Party.