Millennial Life Simulator
If GTA V Online and the Sims franchise had a baby, it would be this game. Foxie Ventures’ Virtual Sim Story: Dream Life is an open world game that shows the occupational struggles of a young adult. This mobile game shows you opportunities are all about who you know, and it’ll take multiple small jobs to afford what you want in life. This is another simulation that will have you imagining your real life to-do list in terms rewarding achievements.
Clearbell Island, which is definitely a fictional Hollywood, is where your character is dumped and encouraged to figure life out themself. The object of this simulation is to work hard to earn the life you want. The game description says you play as a teenager, but minors can’t just buy houses, so it’s more like after high school through your twenties. As an adult who has never worked at a fast food joint or one those cool mall jobs, I get to live the life I never had through this game.
As you begin Virtual Sim Story, you can only choose your gender, skin tone, and eye color. You earn every other cosmetic through gameplay, so all the cool and unique clothes and hairstyles require in-game currency (dollars or gems) which can be earned or purchased. All the avatar items I wanted were anywhere from 1,000-3,000 in currency for clothes and over 500 in currency for hairstyles. However, you earn experience for personalizing your character which can be the part of certain quest activities.
Like in real life, your character accesses everything from their phone. There you’ll find quest activities in a to-do list form. The sky-blue location indicator marks each activity and shows the distance to the person, item, or location. Unfortunately, you have to walk everywhere until you and can afford a car and a house with a garage. You’ll need about 6000 in-game dollars to achieve this goal. Until then, learning the map and using fast travel through the bus stops in the city are your best bets.
Always Something To Do
You can do whatever you want after playing the tutorial quests. There are three types of quests in Virtual Sim Story: career, daily and general. Career quests involve any activity dealing with odd jobs around the island. This usually means working shifts at one or more restaurants or running around luring and catching animals. Daily quests are pretty simple and usually ask you to take a few pictures, feed and play with your pets. General quests include the long-term goals of your dream life, such as buying new personalization features, upgrading your house and buying a car. Some quests are limited to certain levels and cannot be repeated once done. Once you’re done, you can choose to do whatever you want, which I use to play with my pets and make some extra cash.
Like GTA online, you’re in an online multiplayer server and can interact with other players. In fact, you get more XP for working a job with other real people. If you’re looking for interaction, the server gets busy at night but not so much in the day. You’ll see other players walking around with their pets and can even chat with them if they respond. However, the servers experience large lag ticks when more of the population is online at the same time. The random CPUs in the game are just there for looks and have little to no dialogue unless they are part of a quest.
The quests help you afford your character’s dream life. You’ll earn 100-500 dollars or more, coffee beans for energy, XP, and sometimes gems, (depending on the difficulty of the activities within the quests). Quests are very essential since working shifts and playing with your pets pays 30-80 dollars per shift or play which also varies with your level and your pet’s level.
Almost Doesn’t Feel Like A Mobile Game
I easily played this Virtual Sim Story for hours on end. What really surprised me was that there wasn’t one single ad. You can progress faster with in-app purchases, but you really don’t need them. You only need them if you want the glitz and glam without earning them. There are some premium, cooler-looking items that are only purchasable with gems which you can buy more of.
Completing the tasks aren’t just a simple tap after tap. All the play and work activities require a bit of strategy and skill. Preparing food requires the same skills as the arcade games Storm Stopper and Whack-A-Mole had a mashup. Even catching animals is a bit challenging. You have to feed them berries while also keeping your distance so as to not scare them.
On top of that, the controls are very responsive and similar to other open world, sandbox mobile games. The default joystick is moveable making it easier to multitask. Besides the occasional minor lag, which makes the character glide instead of walk, the game runs almost as smoothly as a computer or console game.
Is it Hardcore?
I'd say so!
This game has taken me by surprise! It runs pretty smoothly, and the activities are actually challenging. The only thing keeping it from being perfect is not being able to interact with the whole environment and CPUs.