Not two sides of the same coin.
All fairy tales start the same: “Once upon a time…”. After that, it’s anybody’s game. A gentle breeze can whisk you off to a land of wish-granting fairies and buttercup-clad pixies. A terrible storm can fling your desperate caravan into a pit of filthy dragons and hideous trolls. You just never know what you’ll get.
[image1]So it is with MySims Kingdom, one for the Wii and the other for the DS. One name, two vastly different experiences. On one hand, you have the Wii version – a legitimately cute, playable little creation that its makers can be proud of. On the other, you have the DS version – a Frankenstein’s monster kind of abomination, albeit one with pink ribbons tied around the neck with electrodes.
The goal of MySims Kingdom, like the previous MySims offering, is to rebuild and improve. In the Wii version you have to rebuild a kingdom that spans the entire world. There are more than ten islands in the world, and each offers about an hour of solid gameplay. The DS version focuses on only one little pocket of the larger kingdom from the Wii version, and it’s this inherent lack of variety that explains part of this version’s downfall, but it doesn’t explain it all.
MySims Kingdom is another title in the long line of all things cute that Nintendo likes to support. If this game is any bellwether, I would say they are spending all their cute bucks in Wii development and leaving the DS out in the harsh, ugly cold.
[image2]While the Wii version is set in an idyllic past, the DS version reads more like an alternate present, set in an old Twilight Zone episode. The cautionary tale vibe is strong. Your character inhabits a fairly insignificant patch of land in the wider kingdom home. This place is so insignificant that when a mysterious antagonist begins stealing all the things that made the town great, the Wandolier from the Wii version of the game cannot even be bothered to come and help shore things up. Instead, your character must save the day using a few gadgets borrowed from the local mad scientist.
Tit for tat, everything that makes the Wii version work is missing in the DS. Customizing is limited. The scientific gadget is very unpredictable compared to the magic wand. You work without a recipe to guide you, so every time you create something the outcome is random. You have no loyal companions to accompany you on your journey. And the menus are so confusing that they are virtually incomprehensible.
The only things this version has going for it are the mini-games you unlock as the story advances. You can play things like tennis target practice, but it’s torture to play long enough to gain these mini-diversions, and well, what’s the point?
All in all, MySims Kingdom for the DS is a lonely, unplayable, hollow shell of a game. Everyone who plays this game will quickly become disenchanted. It will be picked up only to be put back down. It should be avoided at all costs, as if it has a disfiguring, contagious wart. Let it takeyour first born if that means it would go away and leave you alone. The Wii version is superior in every way. From the options to customize your character to the variety of environments, the cute factor, the replay, and the controls, you will find a much more satisfying experience on the Wii. Just don’t bother with this one.