|The Urbz: Sims in the City|
|NTSC Nintendo GameCube cover art|
|Developer(s)||Maxis (GCN, Xbox, PS2)|
Griptonite Games (GBA, DS)
|Ratings||ESRB: T, E (GBA & DS)|
ACB: M, G (DS)
PEGI: 12, 3 (DS)
|Release date(s)||NA November 9, 2004|
PAL November 12, 2004
JP January 13, 2005
KR December 7, 2004
(PlayStation 2 & Xbox Only)
The Urbz: Sims in the City is a video game for the Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox consoles, as well as the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS portable systems. It is the third game in The Sims series for video game consoles and is the second game not to be released on Windows or Mac OS X. The next release for consoles and handhelds was the console port of The Sims 2.
Unlike other games in the series, Sims live in the city of Urbzville, divided up into nine districts with each of them containing their own style and unique Sims. The main focus of the game is building "rep" with other Sims in order to gain fame, entry to VIP rooms and advance to new districts.
The Urbz is the first game in The Sims series to have weather. Weather was eventually featured in the PC/Mac games, appearing for the first time in The Sims 2: Seasons and The Sims Castaway Stories. Weather also appeared in successors to The Urbz', such as The Sims 2 for console, The Sims 2: Pets for console and The Sims 2 Castaway.
The objective of the console games is to go to each of the nine districts and build their reputation (called "Rep", in-game). Rep is a measure of how popular an Urb is; as an Urb gains more reputation, they gain access to larger apartments and different districts. In the end, the Urb will have the largest apartment and be able to visit any of the districts.
In addition to gaining rep, the player must also make sure that his or her Urb has its needs fulfilled, and to increase the Urb's skills by playing mini-games. The amount of money Sims can make at the various jobs in each of the districts is determined by what skills they've leveled up. As the player progresses through the game, they will get messages for rent, from Darius, the Sim with the highest rep in the city, and get programmed messages to their XAM. There are also other challenges like helping Sims (or Urbz) get money from people or taking pictures of Urbz.
- Weather: The Urbz features real time weather.
- 2 Player mode: Like the earlier games, players can play in 2 player mode, It requires 2 Urb Slots to play and 2 controllers.
- District Relationships: People from some districts like and dislike people from other districts.
The player will be given different tasks depending on the distirct they're in. The tasks are varied in nature, but most fall into a certain category:
- Needs – The first task that the player will have to perform and will continue performing throughout the game is fulfilling his or her character's needs. The needs are hunger, bladder, fun, hygiene, and energy. As time goes by, each of those needs starts to fall. They can be restored by performing specific tasks (e.g., eating to reduce hunger or sleeping to increase energy). If the player's Urb falls asleep in public on the floor, the policeman will fine them or even start a fight; the same applies when the Urb urinates on the floor.
- Adding Furniture – At each apartment, the player will be asked to spend a certain amount of money on furniture in order to unlock a different pet animal to live with them. The pet has needs like the Urbz and requires care (though cleaning up after them is annoying, placing them under the "follow me" option reduces that issue/allow them to roam and you'll clean up after them all day: try it and see).
- Build Reputation – In each district, the Urb will need to build up their reputation meter ("Rep"). First, the Urb needs enough Rep to get into the district's club. Then, by increasing the Urb's reputation further, the Urb can gain access to a new district.
- Master a Job – There's a different job to master in each district. Each job has three levels to complete, each of which requires a certain amount of skill to unlock. Upon completion of a goal in a job, the Urb may earn money to buy items and learn a new social interaction. The job consists of completing a mini-game that involves pushing buttons in a certain sequence or repeatedly pushing the same buttons.
- Make Friends – The player is required to establish friendships with the residents of each district. By interacting socially, one can increase the relationship between the player's Urbz and an NPC Urb. If the player builds a certain amount of rep, they may also have other Urbz to join their crew, allowing the player to switch between their Urb and its friends.
- Use a Powersocial – As one makes friends, the Urb will earn powersocials. Powersocials are unlockable actions that Urbz can use when socializing with other Urbz. Each one is unique to a certain district. As the game progresses, it becomes necessary to use powersocials on certain bully characters. They can be obtained from going inside an area of the district unlocked by rep at 12:00 for a party from Darius.
- Tag an Object – After becoming friends with the Sim Urb, Rolanda Skye, the player is required to tag certain objects, which includes spraying graffiti on walls. There is a graffiti tag for each district.
- Helping Urbz – Some Urbz want the player to help them with some jobs such as taking pictures of Urbz, mugging other Urbz for money, tagging other Urbz faces or as previously mentioned tagging certain objects.
- Villains – In every district, there is a villain which will come, and take money off the player and other Urbz. The only way to be rid of them is to use the Powersocial given for that area. There are 3 different villains, (one, Urangoo McBain, is shown on the front cover with tattoos, one, Harry Snivel, is the person who asks for the player's rent, and the last one, Kiki Blunt, is seen when the player first creates their Urb) but they must be defeated in every area. By defeating them all the player gets Darius' Penthouse, a money-making machine and a pet monkey.
The handheld versions are played as an adventure game and require the player to complete missions to advance.
The goal of both the Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance versions of The Urbz is to complete the five main missions. Both versions also include optional rep missions, but only the Nintendo DS version has the special Splicer Isle based mission.
Unlike in most games of The Sims franchise, Urbz have only five basic needs: hunger, hygiene, energy, bladder, and fun. While the social need does not exist in the game and does not change the mood of Urbz, reputation degrades over time, and can be increased by socializing.
- Hunger: – Satisfied by eating cooked or purchased food.
- Hygiene: – Satisfied by taking a shower or washing hands.
- Energy: – Satisfied by sleeping on a bed, couch, or bench.
- Bladder: – Satisfied by using a toilet (or peeing on the ground).
- Fun: – Satisfied by using various objects like the television, trampoline, dance floor, etc., etc.
Development for The Urbz started in early 2000s, when The Sims was considered a success. However, due to staff issues, development of The Urbz was delayed sometime around Makin' Magic was released.
The Urbz was also intended to be the first The Sims game released for consoles, but Edge of Reality released the console port of The Sims earlier. The Urbz was the second The Sims title not to be released on Windows or Mac OS X.
Ports to the PlayStation Portable, Dreamcast and PC were planned, but the development of these ports was cancelled due to various reasons. Development for the Dreamcast was canceled due to the ill-fated discontinuation of the console in spring 2001.
The PlayStation Portable port was slated to release in 2005 but got canceled due to poor sales. According to some images found on a beta website in 2008, the game would've had a similar gameplay resolution to The Sims 2: Pets and The Sims 2: Castaway. Eventually, The Urbz was one of the original launch titles for the Nintendo DS.
Differences between The Urbz and other titles
The Urbz is different in several ways from The Sims and other console games games that came before it. Some of the changes between other titles The Urbz were later incorporated into later games, including games in the main The Sims series.
The Urbz is the first The Sims game to feature Sims living in a big city. Cities (often SimCity specifically) are referenced in other games, but the games themselves take place in mainly suburban areas; Bridgeport, in The Sims 3: Late Night, is considered the first "urban" world in the main The Sims series. It is also the first game in the series where time passes on all lots; this feature would not re-appear within the series until The Sims 3.
The Urbz is the only game where the subtitle ("Sims in the City") is trademarked; all other expansion, stuff, game, or compilation pack titles and subtitles are not trademarked. It is also the only game released in a prior game era after the beginning of a new era; as despite releasing after The Sims 2 on PC, The Urbz is still based on the original The Sims.
Appearances or references in other games
- In The Sims 2 (console) when a Sim uses a metal detector, they might find a copy of The Urbz. They will then throw it away in disgust.
- In The Sims 2 (console), there is a painting of a woman with purple hair who looks a lot like Jayde from The Urbz.
- The Sims 2 for console borrows many resources from The Urbz, such as animations, objects and sounds.
Cancelled franchise plans and sequel
The Urbz was also intended to start a spin-off subseries for The Sims franchise, so it could give Electronic Arts more profit. There would even be merchandising, including product placements and even figurines that were originally sold when the game came out.
The half-developed sequel got cancelled due to poor sales, which only sold 2.4 million out of 5.0 to warrant a sequel. As such, all future sequels and franchise plans for the subseries were scrapped.
The Urbz 2
The Urbz 2 started development in the summer of 2004, about a few months after The Urbz was originally revealed by Electronic Arts. It would've introduced new features, such as online play, multistory housing, and children, and would've seen a release on the PlayStation 2, GameCube, and Xbox consoles in 2005.
The plot for The Urbz 2 took place directly after the first game, after the player's Urb got famous in Urbzville. After that, the famed Urb moves to SimCity (With the city itself actually making an appearance physically) and they suddenly find themselves without money or fame. Luckily, the player's Urb is offered a place to stay, and they need to get enough money and rep to make themselves famous again.
This game also would've featured a plot, involving Daddy Bigbucks trying to buy out the city while Jayde (who would've made her actual appearance as a character) would've worked as the main Urb's sidekick. It also would've featured characters from the handheld games for the Game Boy Advance such as Dusty Hogg and Nora Zeal-Ott. Characters from the first game (including The Black Eyed Peas, which would've lent some of their musical scores to the game) would've made an appearance there as well.
Also, several locations old and new would've made an appearance in the game which would've had multiple stories, subway entrances, clothing/furniture stores and workable jobs just like the original game.
Due to poor sales of the video game, it got cancelled around December 2004 and the project was turned into what would later be The Sims 2 for consoles. As the game had to be closer to the Windows counterpart, several features like the XAM, workable jobs and furniture/clothing stores were all removed.
Online play was also removed due to declining usage of The Sims Online and The Sims: Bustin Out's Online Weekend and certain technological problems with the new engine for sixth generation consoles. Even though it was scrapped from The Urbz 2 project, it was originally considered for inclusion in The Sims 2 for consoles during development, but was later cancelled.
Although, an in-house LAN test was done and worked perfectly, which explains several features relating to server data in the PlayStation 2's code.
Other features like children and multistory housing were removed due to technical limitations, even though references to them can be found in the files.
Even though The Urbz 2 was completely cancelled, a lot of things were retooled for console platforms. Characters like Candi Cupp, Felicity Usher, and Betty Buttercup were originally characters from The Urbz 2 before they were redesigned. Also, locations like 8 Rockpile Rd, Jugen House and HMS Amore were originally from the project even though very few things changed in the locations like the removal of multiple stories (Jugen House originally had 5 floors) and subway entrances.
As an "apology" to developers and other staff for wanting another The Urbz game, a few references like a portrait and an EyeToy filter of Jayde were added in.
Through the files of The Sims 2 for consoles, tons of leftovers from The Urbz can be found, ranging from textures, XAM ringtones, and even some NPC thumbnails.
- The feature that the player could have other Urbz join his/her crew and allows the player to control other Urbz is similar to a Genie's Enscornel interaction temporary having control of a Sim in The Sims 3: Showtime.
- The Urbz Official Website (Shut Down 12-1-11)
- The Urbz: Sims in the City on GameFaqs
- Official Urbz Website on wayback machine need flash to see more of it.]
|This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at The Urbz: Sims in the City. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with The Sims Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license.|
|"The Sims" Chronology|
The Sims Bustin' Out on consoles
December 15, 2003
|The Sims series consoles||Followed by|
The Sims 2 on consoles
October 24, 2005
The Sims Bustin' Out on handhelds
December 2, 2003
|The Sims series handhelds||Followed by|
The Sims 2 on Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS
October 24, 2005
The Sims 2 on PlayStation Portable
December 7, 2005