I’ve been playing around with The Sims for several hours now, and I’m still sticking with my original positive judgment of the game. I downloaded the free town, Riverview. While it’s a very pretty area, ultimately I think it is a bit inferior to Sunset Valley. The main town that ships with the game is more of a city or large town, where Riverview has a small town atmosphere. Riverview doesn’t have a spa, a military barracks, a science facility, or other buildings, which means less job variety for your Sims and less opportunities to have fun in town.
That’s definitely one thing I love about The Sims 3: Sims are encouraged to leave the house often. Even a Sim who works from home or is a stay-at-home parent wants to get out of the house from time to time. If they don’t, they get a “Stir Crazy” moodlet that decreases their mood until they make a trip out of the house, even if it’s just down the street to the park. Sims can go to the movies, see a sporting event or concert, get a massage from the spa, or eat at the bistro. Jogging in Sims 2 consisted of your Sim running off the lot and disappearing, returning later sweaty and exhausted. Now your Sim can jog anywhere on the map and you can follow him the entire way.
The main thing I want to talk about today, though, is the variety of ways that Sims can make money in The Sims 3. In TS2, there weren’t too many options for Sims who wanted to work from home. Open For Business provided a few interesting opportunities — toy making, flower arranging, or owning a home business — but otherwise it was limited. Gardening and writing were semi-lucrative, but I was never able to make a living off of either profession in TS2.
This is no longer the case in TS3. Having a full-time job at one of the city’s employers is certainly the best way to make simoleans, but there are many other ways as well. Sims can find part-time jobs at a few locations — the spa, the grocery store, the mausoleum, or the bookstore — which any Sim from teen to elder can hold. The hours for these jobs are typically in the evening, making them perfect for teen Sims who want an extra challenge.
If your Sim wants to work from home, he or she has a number of opportunities. Writing is much more robust than it once was: a sim can practice his skill; refine his skill; or write a novel from various genres such as sci-fi, drama, history, and many more. Payments are made in weekly royalties that can become very profitable. Sim Girl Unplugged’s lifetime wish is to earn 4,000 simoleans a week in royalties. Sims also earn simoleans as they write, receiving a few bucks periodically by “submitting chapters” — an automated process that the Sim does without you needing to tell him to.
Sims can also earn money by selling fruits and vegetables acquired from gardening to the grocery store, and Sims who fish can sell their catches at the store as well. Selling paintings is fairly lucrative, as a Sim with high painting skill can earn nearly 2k simoleans per painting. Musically-inclined Sims can take their guitars to the beach or the park and play for tips, sometimes earning thousands of simoleans for a full day’s worth of playing. Sims with the “computer whiz” trait can use computers to hack at night and earn money.
Finally, Sims will occasionally be offered “opportunities” at random to do activities that complement their skill sets. A Sim who has high writing skill might be contracted to write a biography of a local Sim, or a gardener will be asked to supply a nearby restaurant with fresh produce. These opportunities generally reward a sizable amount of cash and sometimes a boost to skills.
If your Sim is looking for a unique way of earning simoleans, consider using one of the expanded options provided for working at home or working part-time. No longer does your Sim have to put in a full eight hours at the office; The Sims 3 allows Sims to use their skills and traits to gain profit. Now if only writing was a lucrative job in the real world . . . nope, never gonna happen.