While the flow of new Xbox games for Windows Phone has slowed this year, the number of free to play games in the Xbox lineup continues to grow. These titles rely on In-App Purchases (IAPs) for revenue. Users who enjoy a game and feel motivated to purchase content can do so, while other players can simply play without spending.
We’ll be profiling the In-App Purchases of each new free to play or IAP-heavy mobile Xbox title that comes along. We’ve already looked at the IAPs of Six-Guns from Gameloft; this week we explore the purchases in Electronic Arts’ The Sims FreePlay for Windows Phone 8. Read on to learn exactly what IAPs the game has in store and which offer the best values.
The Windows Phone version of The Sims FreePlay has two types of currencies: Simoleons and Life Points. Unlike many free to play games, players can earn both types of currency through regular gameplay – and I don’t mean by winning some daily lottery. Still, both currencies can be purchased from the in-game store as well.
To access the store, select the purple shopping cart icon at the bottom-right corner of the screen. The store is divided up into three sections. Annoyingly, you have to choose an item and head to the purchase screen in order to actually view its price (just as with the iOS version). Naturally we’ll list the prices right here for your convenience.
These are traditional Sims currency, represented by a green circle with a white shape inside. Simoleons are used to purchase houses, buildings, businesses, furniture, appliances, and several other items.
Your Sims earn Simoleons by performing a variety of actions:
- Gardening: A great source of both money and XP. A garden patch costs only 20 Simoleons, so you might as well install more than one.
- Baking: Another good source of money and XP.
- Jobs: Adult Sims can get a variety of jobs, all with different working hours and pay. Increase your Sim’s job level and he or she will earn more pay.
- Pets: Your dog or cat can find various quantities of money and on very rare occasions, life points.
- Ghost hunting: Buy one or more haunted decoration items and your Sims can take up ghost hunting as a hobby. Select the haunted item and choose to have the Sim look for ghosts. After your Sim finds the ghost, tap the red ghost icon and then tap the ghost three times before it escapes. You’ll earn money for the capture.
Multiple Sims can ghost hunt simultaneously, but you’ll need one haunted item per Sim. The Pro Skater’s Dream Pad includes a free skeleton in its rec room. Make sure you use it.
- Other hobbies: Oh yeah, some other hobbies pay money too.
- Daily bonus: Every day you’ll receive a different quantity of Simoleons in the mail.
- House and building revenue: All houses and many buildings produce money over time. Visit the town map to collect it.
- Driving: When a Sim drives a car, it produces musical notes. Follow the car around and hit those notes for small quantities of money. It’s not especially worthwhile though.
- Competitions: After building a Competition Center, your Sims who have hobbies can compete to earn prizes, including Simoleons and Life Points.
Note: quantities vary by player level.
- Handful of Cash – 5,500 Simoleons - $4.99 (1,100 Simoleons per dollar)
- Pile of Cash – 13,500 Simoleons - $7.99 (1,687 Simoleons per dollar)
- Piggy Bank of Cash – 19,000 Simoleons - $9.99 (1,900 Simoleons per dollar)
- Sack of Cash – 32,500 Simoleons - $14.99 (2,167 Simoleons per dollar)
- Trunk of Cash – 108,000 Simoleons - $19.99 (5,400 Simoleons per dollar)
- Bank of Cash – 430,000 Simoleons - $49.99 (8,600 Simoleons per dollar)
- Treasury of Cash – 1,080,000 Simoleons - $99.99 (10,800 Simoleons per dollar)
Most free to play games give better deals on larger quantities of currency. But Sims FreePlay provides unusually high values on the more expensive packs. Of course, that means the low priced packs aren’t too great a value; the $5 pack provides so few Simoleons as to be practically worthless.
Each subsequent houses and building you buy costs more than the one before it; eventually they get pretty expensive. If you find yourself unable to afford a building or other expensive item needed for a goal or Achievement, your choices are to wait and earn the Simoleons or just buy them from the store. Of the Simoleon packages, I find the $20 package most attractive.
Life Points are used to buy premium homes, vehicles, and many other items. Most importantly, Birthday cakes (needed to advance babies to toddlers and toddlers to preteens) and higher quality wedding rings cost Life Points. Goals can be skipped for five Life Points. Additionally, actions can be sped up at a rate of one Life Point per hour.
There are several ways to earn Life Points:
- Goals: Many goals pay in Life Points, though not all.
- Town worth: Reaching town worth milestones pays in Life Points.
- Hobbies: Reaching milestones in a hobby will sometimes pay out in Life Points. After maxing out a hobby, players can choose to start over in the hobby and earn the same rewards again.
- Pets: On very rare occasions, pets can find Life Points for you.
- Competitions: Like Simoleons, Life Points can be won at the Competition Center. First prize is three Life Points. Your Sim will need to be maxed out in a hobby to win first prize.
Life Points packages:
Note: quantities vary by player level.
- Handful of LP – 6 Life Points - $4.99 (1.2 Life Points per dollar)
- Bucket of LP – 21 Life Points - $7.99 (2.6 Life Points per dollar)
- Box of LP – 62 Life Points - $9.99 (6.2 Life Points per dollar)
- Barrow of LP – 105 Life Points - $14.99 (7 Life Points per dollar)
- Carload of LP – 215 Life Points - $19.99 (10.75 Life Points per dollar)
- Truckload of LP – 645 Life Points - $46.99 (13.7 Life Points per dollar)
- Boatload of LP – 1560 Life Points - $99.99 (15.6 Life Points per dollar)
Whereas the sweet spot for Simoleon value is the $20 package, the $10 Life Point pack represents a fair value at a lower price. Not that you can’t blow through 62 Life Points quickly. It’s important to use them conservatively. Don’t speed up actions with Points unless you have a compelling reason, and only skip Goals whose requirements are extremely long term.
The Specials section of the store contains several unique items that can only be acquired vi IAP, plus a combo Simoleon/Life Point package:
- Swimsuit Bundle – $4.99
We have new and exclusive Mankinis and Swimsuits for your Sim's next pool party!
- Premium Home Pack – $4.99
Give your Sim's home the very finest in living with the Premium Home Pack. Bonus: 5 LP.
- Goldfish Aquarium – $0.99
The perfect gift for the Sim who has everything. Buy the Goldfish Aquarium today!
- Tropical Fish Bundle – $3.99
Be hypnotized by the beauty of Discus and Angel Fish in these two quality aquariums.
- Dress-up Chest – $1.99
Play dress-ups! Bumble Bee, Robot, Panda and Dinosaur costumes for your toddlers!
- Wedding Bundle – $4.99
Want to get married in style? You need a Wedding Dress and Groom Suit for your Sims!
- Currency Bundle – $15.99
Piggy Bank of Simoleons (19,000 Simoleons) and Box of Life Points (62 LP) Bundle. (2375 Simoleons and 7.75 Life Points per dollar) - Quantities vary by player level
The Premium Home Pack contains:
- 2-Star white toilet – Value: 700 Simoleons
- 2-Star shower – Value: 1,000 Simoleons
- 2-Star wall-mounted television – Value: 1,250 Simoleons
- 2-Star black stereo – Value: 1,600 Simoleons
- 2-Star white bed – Value: 1,600 Simoleons
- 2-Star white bedroom table – Value: 375 Simoleons
- 2-Star white refrigerator – Value: 1,300 Simoleons
- Grey oven – Value: 1,500 Simoleons
- 2-Star white living room chair – Value: 1,500 Simoleons
- 2-Star white couch – Value: 2,200 Simoleons
- 2-Star white coffee table – Value: 450 Simoleons
- 2-Star black bookcase – Value: 800 Simoleons
- 2-Star white dining room table – Value: 700 Simoleons
- 2-Star white dining room chair (4) – Value: 3,200 Simoleons
- Red square wall clock – Value: 175 Simoleons
- Various plants
- Gardening patch (10) – Value: 200 Simoleons
- 5 Life Points
Excluding the plants, that adds up to 18,550 Simoleons worth of items. None of it is exclusive to the pack, but it’s essentially a $10 Simoleon package worth of items plus the five Life Points all for five bucks. That’s a way better buy than a $5 Life Point package!
A curious aspect of the Specials section is all three items listed as 50-60 percent off Tropical Fish, Dress-up Chest, Wedding Bundle) seem to be showing up at regular price. Not much of a bargain, right?
As for the Currency Bundle, it’s a great booster early in the game. You’re essentially getting $10 packs of each currency for $16. The individual high value packages are still a better deal, but the bundle should do if you’re not looking to spend a lot.
Time to start a faimly
Did you make any In-App Purchases, Sims players? Check back soon for our Sims FreePlay Achievement Guide, to be followed by our full review.
- The Sims FreePlay – Windows Phone 8 (1 GB of RAM) – 427 MB – Free – Store Link
Well that sounds alright. I never got to jump on the Sims 3 bandwagon. :)
Sounds like you be spending lots of real cash to progress this game
In my opinion you should level up for a while before you do any IAP's in this game. The higher your level the more Simoleons or LP you get for your money. For example, I am on level 20 and I get 8500 Simoleons for my $5 now. The $15 purchase gets you 47,500.
That is an interesting system, thanks for pointing that out, usually purchases are static not active.
This is an extremely important point for those who are considering IAPs. I was surprised Paul missed this.
But keep in mind that purchases cost more for houses and companies. I am on Level 20 and the snow ski area costs 100k but if purchased earlier it would have been much less.
I didn't get the in-game message about the quantities changing until I hit level 15, after the article had already gone live. So I had no way of knowing. I adjusted the article slightly to account for the changing quantities.
Thanks for the break down Paul, I haven't bought anything yet, the houses and businesses have a huge inflation rate, I complained and docked a star in my review for that, but it is very entertaining! Having kids and hunting ghosts are my favorite activities so far. Level 20, grinding away on growing beans lol
I have no idea what happened, but the other day i opened the game and jumped from $2000 to $100,000,000! It has almost ruined the game as i can now do as I please, and not learn responsibility and....wait, I have a real life...
Lucky! Rest of us have to work for it lol
This works the same way it did on their FB game. Until they shut it down for no good reason.
I spent money on that one...I'm not being fooled again by EA here.
Just a warning for those who think that EA won't do these things just because a game is popular ;)
To be fair, they did just release an expansion pack for iOS, so the game probably isn't going anywhere in the foreseeable future.
somebody help me please :(
i cant pass this goal :
"make two sims friends"
thank you so much before answering ...
Just select any sim and click on any other sim and then select "Be nice" multiple times. (about 5-6 times).
Eventually they will become friends.
Only takes me twice, once to be an acquaintance, another to be a friend, due it at one sim's house
Copy/paste gone wrong ... 'her dollar'?
Thanks man. Fixed!
When this app available in Indonesia?
$4.99 for 5,500 simoleans is a bit much particularly when you can make that much easily in 7 hours by placing 5 Sims on gardening duty for onions. Makes me a lot more money than going to work, but I'm still going in case my politicians start making serious bank after multiple promotions. The $20 price point sounds much more worth it for the LP or simoleans, but it's still pricey for a sporadic IAP. I'd rather take that $20 to the bar, or use it toward Xbox Music and Xbox Live Gold :)
I have bought 2 pro skater's dream pads and yet I don't receive the Xbox achievement. I'm getting frustrated by this
still not available on 512 ram :(
Does this game have cloud save
i couldnt find any cloud storage in options, but still its not clear whether the progress is saved online or not..!!
Lol, a game totally designed around selling these packs. 20 dollars for fake money, then another 20 to grind less, the sweet spot?! This is not gaming.
And people whine about full mobile games for 2.5 dollars...
Someone help me, wil i be able to continue from the same point will i reinstall this game..?
I'd like to know that as well. Please tell us if you find out.
Halo did. I always wondered why it needed to connect while loading. Now I know!
I remember seeing a pool appear after getting to Level 20 but no chance to build? Are pools available in the game?
I'm not 20 yet, but I believe pools have their own section of the home store, just like electronics, decorations, etc.
That's what I expected and in fact saw videos from the iOS version but I don't see it available on the build option. May be a glitch.
Hello I need help , my phone is downloading something for hours and I can do nothing so I need help , my phone is Lumia 520 please help
I hate that 1gb restriction... F*ck
I made an in app purchase for the $8 pack of simoleons. My bank account shows the charge went through on monday (I purchased it on Sunday). I've still not recieved this credit of simoleons yet. I have a Lumia 920. I reboot my phone every day and can't force close apps (windows phone remember). I can't find any EA lines to make a complaint to. Any Ideas?
You should go to Microsoft support via Xbox.com and initiate a chat or call. Ask for a refund and try the purchase again. Good luck!
I'm level 8 and my piggy bank one is 555,000 simonleans and the Box of life points is 100 LP, does this mean I get the 555,000 and the 100 LP from the currency bundle for $19
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