Bag yourself an early Christmas present from EA with The Sims Freeplay for iPhone and iPad.
If you're a casual PC gamer, you've probably spent more time than is healthy playing one iteration of The Sims or another. Since the original game's debut back in 2000, the franchise has sold over 150 million copies worldwide - and counting.
The latest addition to the series, The Sims Freeplay (you can download it here from the iTunes Store), has just been launched on iPad and iPhone. As its name implies, it can be downloaded and played completely free of charge.
Developed by the same team responsible for The Sims 3, the new game comes with a host of familar features, including extensive Sim customisation, the ability to buy, build, furnish and remodel homes, career/life goal progression and a variety of pets to adopt. This time around, you can also choose to play the game in real-time, instead of having sped-up day-and-night cycles.
We got some hands-on time with the game at today's EA launch event, and we can report that it delivers all the major elements that a Sims fan would expect. Despite the zero dollar asking price, it doesn't feel like a cut-down product (you can control up to 16 Sims at once, for example). Crucially, we didn't notice any intrusive advertising either.
The game does a good job of utilising the iPad 2's touch screen interface too: swivelling your fingers rotates the view and pinching zooms into the action.