Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Life Stories was designed to be laptop-friendly, and it shows: I had no problem controlling the game entirely by keyboard, sans mouse, thanks to numerous shortcut keys. [Apr 2006, p.49]
  2. Takes the best stuff from Sims 2 and its add-ons, adds a story mode and makes the whole experience a bit lighter on the hardware. What is there not to like? [Mar 2007]
  3. Visually and audibly, The Sims Life Stories has exactly the same presence of The Sims 2 series.
  4. If "The Sims 2" is like a doll's house, this is like a soap opera. [Apr 2007, p.83]
  5. Those who have laptops and not a lot of time to invest into virtual lifestyles should definitely check this out - with easy to use controls, a more causal gameplay style in the sense that it doesn't take all day to refresh your Sims and teach them new skills, and two stories to play through, The Sims Life Stories is an interesting experiment that ticks the right boxes for the right kind of people.
  6. Life Stories is aimed at people who grew tired of The Sims but don’t have the necessary computer hardware to upgrade to the full version of The Sims 2. If you’re in this group, The Sims: Life Stories serves as a nice middle-step, but you’ll be better off upgrading to the full-on Sims 2.
  7. Life Stories is very successful in widening the Sims audience even further. Just remember that experienced Sims players should look elsewhere, as they will romp through the challenges with ease and sorely miss the depth of customisation options and add-on packs of The Sims 2.
  8. Potential players don't need to fear it sucking away hours of their lives (although it still might), but they can look forward to an excellent game with some very amusing stories to tell.
  9. Those who have played before may find the limits of this game rather restrictive.
  10. 73
    While Life Stories does indeed give that performance boost and makes the game playable on low-end machines, what it loses in the process is just too much.
  11. 72
    Its enjoyably lightweight game play combined with a tirade of sickeningly clichéd narrative twists, fit snugly together to demonstrate another indication in the development of The Sims as a whole - and one which EA, love them or hate them, have moulded and managed with an admirable level of expertise.
  12. Snobbery be damned, Life Stories is a thoroughly enjoyable crossover between an established series and the world of casual games.
  13. A bit too watered down from the other Sims games.
  14. It looks spectacularly awful. [Apr 2007, p.71]
  15. If you can live with the fact that there are no expansions aside from a minor collection of downloadable extras, and that, unless you’re somehow immune to the boredom which strikes after playing any instalment of The Sims for more than a week, it probably won’t last you very long, then Life Stories might make for a decent introduction to one of the most over-exposed series of all time.
  16. Soapily melodramatic, inconspicuous consumption. [Apr 2007, p.100]
  17. 60
    Just consider it The Sims for Sims newbies. It so completely caters to its intended audience that it’s an enjoyable, if slightly too easy experience.
  18. Had Life Stories...been a little more mature in its scripting, I might have even recommended this. As it is, your mum would find it patronising. [June 2007, p.86]
  19. The net result is a product that can't be faulted on its accessibility, but has less subtlety than ever with which to hide the inherently, and sometimes unrelentingly, mechanical process that caring for your sims represents. [Mar 2007, p.85]
  20. 50
    Casuals and newcomers to the franchise alike would do best trying the core entries in the series instead, while long-time fans, curious to see what this ‘story thing’ is all about, should stick to their own imaginations.
  21. While Life Stories is a perfect introduction to the full Sims experience, veteran players will likely find the linear aspect of the plotlines too limiting.

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