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Game Reviewed: MySims Agents
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: The Sims Studio
Platform: Wii (Also on DS)
ESRB Rating: E
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MySims Agents is a bit of a departure from the previous MySims games. Usually, Sims games have you building or designing. This game has you sleuthing (think “Dragnet meets Disney Channel”). In MySims Agents, you start off as a freelance private eye for your local neighborhood. You and your partner, Buddy, are trying to make it to the big leagues as special agents. For starters, your office is a table in a local pizza shop. That all changes when you stand up to Morcubus, the nefarious leader of Morcucorp. A real Special Agent takes notice, and decides to hire you as the lead agent for your city. Morcubus is up to something, and he wants you to get to the bottom of it.
The bulk of MySims Agents is attempting to solve various mysteries and crimes just as any detective would. One resource you can tap into is other characters in the area. You can also follow footprints and other trace evidence, such as radiation. You can even collect spare parts and other items useful for your investigation. Your character has a nifty casebook that keeps all of your conclusions and questions in one place. This makes it easy to remember what you have found and what you are trying to do when you discover new evidence or follow a rabbit trail. Eventually, you will earn your own headquarters building. From here, you can hire new agents to complete dispatch missions, decorate levels of the building with items that will boost your teams’ abilities, and even take your jet to far away places. You also get a few additional gadgets along the way that will help you solve your cases.
There are a few mini-games that are a part of finding out whodunit. You can hack computers with a mini-game where you follow a path with the Wii Remote. You can discover what the chemical makeup of a substance is with a molecule mini-game. You can also do some lock picking with a puzzle mini-game. As you complete cases and dispatch missions, you can unlock new outfits for your character, hire new agents and obtain new items for your headquarters.
What Parents Need to Know
“Violence” in the game is limited to Saturday morning cartoon slapstick type things, or as the ESRB rating aptly says, “comic mischief.”
There is no foul language in the game. The abbreviation OMG (which typically means “Oh my God”) is used, but is used unabbreviated as “ohmigosh” by characters in the game.
No inappropriate sexual content.
MySims Agents has several small (though significant) references to occult and new age practices. For example, one of the characters you complete dispatch missions for is a self proclaimed witch. In one set of missions in an old mansion, you must recover a gem that helps you see into the future. One of the items you can place in your headquarters, a recurring item in the MySims series, is a séance circle. When characters use the circle, they go into a trance and start swaying around. As more characters join in, a blueish light appears in the middle of the circle. Another similar item is the “Evil Tome,” which is essentially a large book on a black, evil-looking podium. When a character reads the book, they act as they do when they use the séance circle. There is also a voodoo doll item available that is just for looks. The aforementioned items are not essential to completing the game and can be completely avoided. One of the key items in the game is the “nightmare crown,” which is a piece of technology that supposedly has the power to take someone to the nightmare realm, an alternate dimension that lives up to its namesake (that you also never see in person).
The beach level of the game has a tattoo parlor, although you discover later that it is a temporary tattoo parlor.
MySims Agents has a lot of positive things going for it. To win the game, you have to use your head to solve all kinds of puzzles. You have to take everyone’s point of view, even if one of the people you must listen to is a known bad guy. If the evidence points towards your friends, you still have to consider them as a suspect. Your character seeks the truth and will stand up for what is right. The main part of the game is a lot of fun to play for both kids and adults.
On the negative side, however, I am left scratching my head at the inclusion of some of the occult elements in the game. If instead of the “Evil Tome” one of the items that could be acquired was a Bible, many people would complain that the game was trying to push religious beliefs on small children. Put a séance circle, however, in the game and it gets labeled as harmless fun. Parents, you are the ones that have to decide if it is harmless fun for your children or not, but if you choose not, then you will probably want to pass on MySims Agents.