The Sims Superstar Review


The Sims Superstar is the latest expansion for The Sims, the top selling game franchise of all time.  While new careers for your sims have been introduced in previous expansions, this is the first time you'll be able to take an active role in your sim's career (unless you count vegetable farming in The Sims Unleashed).  The new career path that's at the center of the game is entertainment, and you'll have the chance to take your sim from the depths of obscurity to the pinnacle of superstardom.

Screenshots
The Studio Town dream factory.

Your first step towards stardom is to sign-up with an agent.  This is done by answering an ad in the new daily tabloid of sim entertainment, The Studio Insider.  This paper will also let you know who's hot and who's not, which is important to know when you are building your network of celebrity friends.  Picking an agent is like starting any other career; just answer "yes" when prompted and you're an entertainer.  A word of caution, though, becoming an entertainer will wipe out your current career.

Pursuing a career as an entertainer works differently than other jobs in The Sims.  Instead of a daily carpool to whisk your sim off to work, you can call for a trolley to take you to Studio Town at any time.  Studio Town is a special community area away from your neighborhood that is akin to Downtown or Vacation Island.  It's where anyone who is anyone goes to sing or be filmed, and to rub elbows with the other sim elite.  As an entertainer you must sing for your supper, literally.  Interacting with special star objects in Studio Town earns your sim cash and helps him or her build her star power.  As with other objects your sim's mood has a large effect on performance, and an unhappy sim's act will be sub-par at best.  Bad performances will go unpaid, and even worse, could hurt your fame score.

Unlike other careers, you are not awarded promotions once you meet the requirements for the next level in your career.  As an entertainer this is replaced by a fame score which is rated from zero to five stars.  As your fame grows, you'll be awarded additional stars, a half star at a time.  Some star levels have additional requirements such as a minimum score in a certain skill area or two, but as your fame rises the real challenge will be to meet the famous friends requirement.  In Studio Town it's not always what you know, but who you know.  To reach the higher levels of fame your social circle of friends will need to meet minimum requirements for total star power.  For example, if you need three stars worth of famous friends, you can meet the requirement with three one star friends or a single three star friend.  If you think the answer is to hobnob with the top superstars in the game right off the bat, then you'll be in for a rude surprise.  Until you can generate some star power of your own you'll be just one of the little people and not worth the star's time.

As you advance in fame you'll gain access to more star objects.  At the beginning you'll have your choice between the open mic and the karaoke bar, but as your fame grows you'll be able to earn more money by single jingles, appearing in music videos, or starring in your very own movie.  Although the fame objects are geared towards either music, film, or fashion, you won't be restricted to one of those tracks.  Sims are thoroughly modern superstars who can cross boundaries between different types of media.