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The Sims Online
Platform: Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows XP
List Price: $29.99
Availability: This product is not available from any Amazon merchant. Please check for New and Used availability below.
Edition: CD-ROM
ESRB Rating: Teen
1 used & new from: $99.95
1 Used from $99.95
Customers who bought this also bought:
1. The Sims Online
2. Rollercoaster Tycoon 3
3. The Sims 2
Editorial Reviews: Review

"It's about nothing." --George Costanza, Seinfeld

Rarely has a game had so much hype: the cover of a national newsweekly, articles in every newspaper from L.A. to New York, comments that The Sims Online--or TSO for short--will save PC games from console-game encroachment. The Sims earned such attention because the concept was brilliant. The Sims was less a game and more a fun software toy, with no way to win. The Sims Online follows the same formula. Unlike other online games, TSO was specifically designed to not have traditional rewards such as gold, power, or magic items. There are no levels to attain, or princesses to rescue. Instead, players take joy in little victories--maybe your Sim cooperates with others, and all four of you manage to bake a pizza without burning it and then sell it. Or maybe you throw a party, and all the cool kids show up and have a good time. The core reward for playing the game is nothing... nothing more or less than the joy of playing.

Unlike the original Sims, where you created a number of Sims and controlled them all as a god, in TSO you create and control only one Sim at a time. This is a significant change, as you can't direct one Sim to perform a time-consuming task and then switch to another Sim until the task is complete. Instead, if you want your Sim to do anything in the game, you have to watch him do it in tedious real time (the fast-forward button, so vital in the original Sims, is gone). For example: when your Sim is sleeping, you have to sit and watch him sleep for the five minutes it takes him to refresh. This real-time aspect is excruciating. The game designers probably thought that a group of ten people, while watching their Sims work out in an exercise room together, would alleviate the boredom of watching Sims pump virtual iron by striking up a conversation (the chat aspect gets a lot of comment from TSO designer Will Wright). The problem is that unlike a chat room, where a topic or passion is already shared by everyone in the room, the only thing a player has in common with other folks in TSO is that everyone is watching their Sims power up. Such basic commonality doesn't spark quality conversation. The best you can hope for is some idiot inevitably commenting "nice grunt" or making some other silly sexual innuendo (often with *%$^@*# fake words generated by the much-needed obscenity filter).

If you're willing to put in the time, there's still the issue of paying month-by-month to access your Sim. For this reason, word of mouth, which caused The Sims to rocket from obscurity to the Best-Selling PC Game of All Time, is working against TSO. Casual game players loudly criticize the idea of paying for both a game and a game service, despite the fact that many of these same players are comfortable shelling out hundreds of dollars for cable, magazines, TiVo, and other monthly subscription-based entertainment services. The overall trend toward pay-per-month-of-play service is generally accepted by the hardcore gamers who play dynamic online adventure games like EverQuest, where gamers can see their monthly tribute at work in the form of fancy new spells and labyrinths. But TSO is a quietly suburban diversion for mostly casual gamers, filled with objects that are mundane by design. In TSO, you putter, you work out, you chat with others in the real world via your avatars. To put it another way: you live a slightly zanier version of everyday life, and frankly, that costs a lot already.

TSO still has the core elements that made the first game a classic: obsession with the minutiae of daily life, amusing content from the game designers, and the mind-bending thing that happens when you've been playing too long--that the real world starts to look exactly like The Sims. (Couch shopping caused that surreal "Is it Sims, or is it real?" experience for a friend.) TSO may still prove to be the Goliath the media predicted it would be thanks to the nature of ever-changing online games. Ironically, the monthly fees that bother so many new TSO players will pay for the improvements those same players crave. For example, EA plans to release new functionality that will allow players to design clothes and objects (a big hit with players of the original Sims).

TSO is fluid, and the game reviewed as it is at launch may be very different from TSO in a year, when the designers are able to respond to player requests. Even until that time, there are good things about this game. When your character is "greened up," dressed in disco finery and looking to hit it lucky with the dice, TSO can be a blast. But the tidal wave of hype may have done more harm than good for a game that has a simple, Seinfeldish heart. --Jennifer Buckendorff


  • Gameplay similar to The Sims
  • Wide variety of social interactions, including a deep menu of dance moves
  • Persistent online world lets you share the Sims experience with others


  • Lack of fast-forward feature is a drag
  • At launch, too few in-game money-making opportunities
  • At launch, game world seems empty--there's not enough to do
  • Players of The Sims, used to easy money through cheat codes, may balk at having to actually work for in-game cash

Product Details
  • CD-ROM (December 17, 2022)
  • ASIN: B000067FDV
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 Based on 213 reviews.
  • Sales Rank: 5203

Customer Reviews

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:

1It's a fast burning comet, Sep 14, 2023
Watch out for drama. You buy this game and at first it's really fun and exciting. Then you realize you are in a game where people are drama ridden without a life trying to find people to find people whom they can get to share their dysfunction with. Next it's the whole game thing... the people who made this have done what they want with it and now don't care. You ask yourself "why am I paying for this?" They hardly ever update and when they do it's full of bugs and frustrating. It usually takes you a day of going "wow cool they added jobs" then on day 2 you say "Okay this sucks... how boring?? when will they do something GREAT or fun" I think they should add games that you can go in and play with another person. For example Euchre with your avatar and another. Oh and on an after thought... if you have a rocky marriage don't get the game. I have seen people actually divorce because they grew to have an affair. Advice number NOT buy this game if your child is under age. There is sex, solicitors looking to gain your child's information. I was appauled when I went into a room of guys and they had gotten a girls yahoo addy and was watching her naked on cam. She was 14. It's just not kid safe. In other words...this is like a chat room with real people and should be viewed as having the same safety issues that keep me from allowing my children in chat rooms.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:

1From the Sims to The Sims Online - Two leaps backward for mankind, Aug 12, 2023
I was always a fan of the original Sims games as well as all the expansion packs. In fact, I was one of those people who used to think it was more fun to stay in on a Friday night and play the Sims than go out partying with my friends. I've also always loved MMO games. So I decided to take a spin on the Sims Online. I was severely disappointed.

The first thing that hit me was how unfriendly the game was to beginners. You'd start off in the middle of a huge city with just enough money to buy a small lot, some walls (unpainted), and maybe a bed and a toilet. You don't even get a floor and if the roof had cost money, you wouldn't get one of those either unless you wanted to go without either the bed or the toilet. Making money in the beginning was a slow and boring process. You could go to group money making houses and sit around for hours staring at your sim making preserves or carving gnomes out of wood. You'd make probably 400 simoleans an hour. Great flow of income. After maybe a week you could actually afford to put in a floor. Plain and simply put -- boring.

The game itself was nothing too spectacular. The engine is essentially just a large multiplayer version of the original Sims - guess EA hasn't gotten enough money to use the Sims 2 engine. And you don't even get very many object to play around with. After creating the Sims, the plethora of expansion packs, the Sims 2 and it's plethora of expansion packs, you would think that EA would have enough models and information to give you at least a few hundred thousand objects. Nope.

I found the game to be choppy and laggy at times - well, actually, all the time. Even when I was in my own house with nobody else around, still found lag. With a 3.5mbps connection to the internet and a 3500mHz processor, I don't think lag should be an issue.

To be honest, the Sims Online has taken away my confidence and my love of the entire Sims series. It was depressing to see EA take such a huge jump backwards when they created the Sims Online. All in all, I do not think the game is worth the money, or it's $10 a month price tag. It would be more worthwhile to purchase a rotten egg for $10 each month.

1 of 6 people found the following review helpful:

13/10- Still Not Good, Dec 2, 2022
Ok I played it during the summer and might I say its the worse expiernence ever. I do have to say this game "HAS POTENTAL" The game designers can make it work. They just need to get off their lazy ass and create something desent. Short and simple well wait another year to probally go back

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful:

4Sims Online is really fun..., Nov 25, 2022
I was pleasantly suprised when I played this game, normally I am more of a RPG guy, but this ame is crazy. A lot more creative than I was expecting. I loved it... getting it for the kids as an x-mas gift...

0 of 10 people found the following review helpful:

4Making Magic vanising items, Nov 11, 2022
Has anyone have the same problem as me? After installing Making Magic, my iguanas and love birds dissapeared. I have also lost the ability to go to the comunity lots. Please e-mail me if there is a solution


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