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The Sims 3: University Life
Score: 95%
Publisher: EA Games
Developer: The Sims Studio
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Simulation


Work Hard!:

Shortly after you start up a game with The Sims 3: University Life installed, a mascot will drop off a package on your door step. In it you can take the university aptitude test and get "University Freebies." If you do well enough on the aptitude test, you can get a scholarship or partial scholarship. Any adult aged Sim can take the test, so you donít have to have a traditional college age Sim to experience university life. You donít even have to take the test to go; the test gets you scholarships to make it easier to pay for, but if your skills are high enough in a specific area, you might even be awarded degree credits after taking the aptitude test, so I highly recommend taking it before enrolling. Your degree options are Business, Technology, Science & Medicine, Fine Arts, Communications, and Physical Education. Obviously each degree is going to help you out in certain careers.

Youíll choose how many credits you want to take and 1 or 2 terms to start with. Just like in real life, the more credits you take a term, the quicker that you will get done, but the more time that it will take out of your daily life. The cost of university will go up with extra credits. You donít get to choose your classes; they are set based on the degree that you select. You do get to choose whether or not you go to each separate class though. Unlike kidís school where you can only choose to ditch the whole day or not, you can choose to skip any particular class at university that you donít like. Be warned though that this will hurt your overall performance at graduation! Each term at this university lasts for a week. Teen Sims can prepare to go to the university by doing well in school and learning skills.

Instead of your Career tab, you have your Academic Life tab. Here you can keep up with your class schedule and make sure that you are doing what you need to succeed. The better you do in school, the quicker you will advance in your career after you graduate.


Live Easy:

The university is like an entirely new city, much like a large university in real life. When you first arrive, you will have to choose where you want to live. The dorms and Greek houses are free, but if you want a house instead, you will have to pay the entire rent at the start of the term. There are three co-ed dorms, one sorority, one fraternity, and five houses to choose from. The houses range in rent from a bit over $300 for a one bedroom, one bath house to as high as $1864 for a four bedroom, two bath house. You can send more than one member of the household to the university, if you can afford it.

If you do send more than one, then everyone you send will have to live in the same place. This means that if you send a brother and sister or any other male/female combination, you will not be able to choose to live in the fraternity or sorority house as only males can choose the fraternity and only females can choose the sorority house (sorry guys!). From my playing, I can tell you that the Greek houses have higher end appliances, beds, etc. so that is a bonus, but they are also the ones to throw the parties, so those houses are a lot harder to keep clean. I hired a maid just to help!

The nice thing is that you can control bed ownership in the dorms, for everyone that lives there. This makes it much easier for you to get that private room if you want. You can also lock your bedroom door to keep others out. You can also attempt to get your dorm mates to help keep the place clean. If you find thereís someone there that you donít like, you can simply Dismiss Roommate and kick them out of the dorm. If only it were this easy in real life! One other thing to note is that if you are running low on cash, you do have to option of selling items from your living area. The money will go directly to your inventory. This means that you can make a small fortune emptying the place right before you go home, but if you send anyone else later, all of that stuff will still be gone! This does mean if you want to upgrade a house (or any other place) there to use over and over, you can do that without losing the items every time you leave university.


Play Hard:

University isnít all about studying. You are going to want to be social and have fun! There is a new Social Networking Skill that has been added to go along with the new Social Groups. There are three social groups: Nerds, Rebels, and Jocks. Social groups can help you in careers later because we all know that people hire their friends. You can tell the social group someone is in by the icon when you meet them. You can also get social influence by doing certain actions, like playing computer games or exercising, and socializing with members of that group.

You will also be invited to parties complete with bonfires, keg stands (filled with "juice"), and streakers. These will give you plenty of opportunities to socialize with people of all groups. Social groups do continue outside of the university, so I recommend making friends with as many groups as possible. You do not have to choose one social group; you can have influence in all three if you want! Even after leaving university, you should still try and keep your social groups up as best you can.


Finally?:

Really The Sims 3: University Life is like playing a Sims game within Sims 3. While you have Sims in the university, you will not be controlling the rest of the household, if there is anyone else in the household, but you can use your smart phone and call family and friends at home if you want. This will help keep those friendships intact even without being there. The university is the same no matter which town you are playing Sims 3 from. It must be in a cold location because it is covered in snow in the winter, which is really beautiful!

If you had a job before university, you will go back to that same job at the same level you were at before. Itís like you were at a long training class. Funny enough, you can send both parents to university and leave a child at home alone. When I tried this though, it didnít import the family correctly. It was like I was starting the game over and wanted me to either create Sims, choose household, or move in household, which was really interesting since it meant I could move anyone into the university houses. Since I had no way to get them employment, I went broke quickly. To get back out, I simply had someone drop out of the university. When they returned, it was the university household that returned to the original house with the child still home, but all they had was their household funds so it wasnít the best merge. So if you want to try this, make sure you have a household with a lot of money to spend saved and then you can have a professional student who just parties all the time. This glitch could also be used to merge households in amusing ways, if you do it right.

The Sims 3: University Life really adds a lot of new features to The Sims 3. Thereís a whole lot that I havenít even had a chance to try yet, like the new science and street art skills. If youíre looking for new features to add to your The Sims 3 game, I highly recommend the The Sims 3: University Life expansion!


-Cyn, GameVortex Communications
AKA Sara Earl
Minimum System Requirements:

XP SP2/Vista SP1/Windows 7, CPU: For XP 2.0 GHx P4 or equivalent/For Vista and 7 2.4 GHz P4 or equivalent, RAM: For XP 1 GB/For Vista and 7 1.5 GB RAM, 2.5 GB with 1 GB additional space for saves, Graphics: 128 MB Video Card with Pixel Shader 2.0 Support
  Test System:

Windows XP Service Pack 3, Processor: 2.4 GHx, Memory: 3 GB, Hard Drive: 15 GB free, Graphics: 128 MB nVIDIA Quadro NVS 140M, Sound: DirectX 9.0c

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