Other annoyances come as a result of the removal of the meters that indicate your standard needs, such as hunger, fun, bladder, and so forth. The game informs you when such needs are getting crucial, but these indications often come at inconvenient times and are no substitute for having the information available at will. Your sim might get hungry when he's in bed, for example, so you might have to sacrifice sleep for food, when it would have been even better to avoid the choice entirely. This tweak, along with many others, undermines the freedom that has made the series so popular by forcing you to perform very specific actions rather than allowing you to play as you wish.
Digging further reveals other flaws. Socializing has always been an important aspect of the Sims experience, and visitors are constantly ringing your bell or luring you into conversation. Hearing your digital acquaintances chat in the series' signature Simlish language will tickle your fancy, though conversation options aren't as rich as you might like. Nonetheless, the exaggerated animations instill social interactions with classic Sims charm. Yet, you might spend countless in-game days chatting it up with your neighbors, only to discover that your relationship meters have barely moved. It's unclear if the meters' reluctance to move is a design choice or a bug, though there are certainly some obvious bugs to be found. (For example, you may not be able to repair a radio, even though you should be.) In any case, you need to put a lot of time and effort into relationships to reap the rewards. It's unfortunate that while you can develop a romance and ultimately enjoy multi-sim households, you cannot have children. There are no youngsters in The Sims 3, nor is there aging. Thus, other wonderful elements of the series, such as genetics, have also been excised.
The building and buying aspects have fortunately not been removed, though they were streamlined in sensible ways. You can't get too carried away with decking out your lot; there is no terraforming, for example. But there are still lots of goodies to buy for your place (sofas, ovens, showers, and so on), as well as ways to customize and add to your abode (wallpaper, carpet, flower beds, and what have you). The interface works well enough in all modes of play. You order your sim and place objects using the touch screen; the top screen stays focused on your sim while in live mode, and it allows you to scroll around in other modes. The touch screen is cluttered, so you may not always select the object or sim you want to interact with on the first tap. The top-down view can also make certain activities, like applying your new paint scheme, a bit of a chore. But overall, Sims enthusiasts and newcomers alike will take to the interface relatively quickly.
The 3D aspect of The Sims 3 doesn't benefit the game nor does it detract from it. Aside from a few tiny touches, such as the way litter blows around when you use karma points to activate a windstorm, the visual design doesn't take advantage of this aspect of the 3DS. The game suffers from some slowdown, but overall, it retains the series' unique visual identity. It's a shame that other aspects of the series' identity have been lost in translation. Though pursuing your sim's dreams and interacting with neighbors provides some entertainment, the predominance of tedious chores and the restriction of choices make this virtual life much less exciting to live.