Developer/Publisher: EA Redwood Shores/Electronic Arts
Platform: Nintendo DS [reviewed], Nintendo Wii
Genre(s): Mystery Adventure Game
Mode(s): Single player
Time clocked: The main storyline took less than 6 hours to complete, but game continues afterwards
Ultimately, this is a shame. Now, that’s not the best way to start a review, but it’s the truth. This game will let you down no matter what your expectations are, and considering I could only find one or two DS-only reviews online…well, I had zero expectations. The only thing I knew going into MySims Agents was that the Wii version was pretty good, that it involved solving mysteries and questioning townspeople and so on, as well as incorporating the standard Sims-like customization gameplay. Sounded like a great mix of things.
That is not the case here. Pun intended.
In MySims Agents, you play an agent visiting a town, there to unravel the mystery of its secret treasure. I named my town Megaton, but alas, the secret treasure was not an A bomb that I got to detonate and rid the world of these gibberish-speaking buffoons. Plot-wise, this is not a direct port of the Wii game. In the Wii version, you must stop Morcubus and his corrupt company MorcuCorp from stealing the Crown of Nightmares. In the DS version, you must stop Thief V from stealing the secret treasure. Seriously, it is written as secret treasure until the very end of the game when you discover what it actually is. SPOILER ALERT: it’s lame and insensible and…a giant bell. I’m not even kidding. Just goes to show the different level of care and love between the two iterations.
Gameplay involves receiving a mission from HQ, talking to townspeople, playing a minigame, waiting, waiting, waiting, solving a riddle, and then doing it all over again. In between all of this is the collecting of house blueprints, essences from in-game items, furniture, and fish, as well as redecorating your room and town. Repetitive, but the fun is left up to you, as I challenged myself to collect all things Japanese, which made it a little more exciting when dealing with the synthesizer and such.
The mini-games…they are uninspired. Granted, I still need to unlock three or four, but the ones I’ve played so far are either frustratingly challenging or just a rip-off of something else (hi, Diner Dash!). Kite surfing is extremely unforgiving (two hits and you basically have to restart), identifying the suspect is pretty fun but grows stale, and the one where you unearth mines in the ground has some wonky control issues. None of them stand out, really, but I am interested in seeing how the gem-themed one featured on the back of the box turns out.
Graphically, MySims Agents is pretty good, full of colors, all of them bright and playful. I particularly liked seeing my town during sunset with a wash of reds and oranges. That said, some of the furniture/clothing is just the same item with a different skin.
The biggest problem MySims Agents has going for it is that it’s a lie. You do no real detective work or anything close to what I imagine a secret agent might do, and truth be told after I changed my character into more casual clothes (instead of a suit) I completely forgot who he was supposed to be all along. It’s the bare bones of a good game, and could have been so much more. I understand that it is targeted at a younger demographic, but when the credits started to roll after 6 hours I thought someone from EA was going to jump out of my closet and yell, “Gotcha!”
The little coverage found for MySims Agents DS should have been my first clue that this game was a bit of a failure. It is tedious through and through, and I only hope this here review will help others steer clear.