The Sims Online Free Trial Becomes Permanent Free Play

The free trial of the Sims Online game is currently undergoing a revision. Very soon, according to EA, the free trial will become permanent free play. Great news for those of us who can’t afford the $9.99 a month for full play, but what has brought about this change?

Well, put simply, EA stuffed up. The Sims Online was released to the public four years ago, and has earned itself a relatively small user-base. The immensely popular game Second Life was released at the same time, and has gone from strength to strength. Now, Second Life is a very good game and plays to different strengths to the Sims Online, but the Sims comes from a franchise that boasts the two highest selling games of all time. It shouldn’t have been too hard for EA to come up with a game, then, that at least landed in the top 10% of online games. And initially, they did.

At the beginning of January 2003, the Sims Online claimed over 100,000 active subscriptions, making it top of the list for online games. Sales soared, and EA projected 40,000 subscribers by the end of the year. And then they gave up. Luc Barthelet, the Senior Vice President of Electronic Arts, seemingly turned his back on the game, and bugs and instabilities were left unresolved. Cheats sprang up which allowed players to get large amounts of Simoleons (the Sims Online currency), effectively destroying the in-game economy and rendering many of the objectives of the game (such as employment) useless. Before the cheats came out Simoleons could be sold on eBay for real money, which is one of the attractions to many new players, who want to believe that their actions within the game have some sort of effect in the real world.

So Second Life grew, and the Sims Online – an online version of the most popular games of all time – sank into obscurity. A few faithful users stuck with it, but most players left it well alone, instead finding newer games with more interesting and innovative features. That, however, is about to change. Luc Barthelet announced in March 2007 that he is re-involving himself in the game. The forums have been consulted for the first time in years, and the Sims Online world is in for a shake-up.

One of the first moves that EA are making is to created new cities for players to explore. They are also changing the logo, and have promised to close the loopholes that allow for the money cheats. Registration will be greatly simplified, and the free trial will become, soon, permanent free play. Of course there will be limitations: only one choice of city for non-payers; only one avatar; less starting money. Nonetheless, this is a real show of commitment by EA, and will no doubt draw in many new players. New players, paying or not, will breathe life back into the game, and that’s got to be a good thing for EA, whose image was looking a bit tarnished by its failure.

So why now? Well, the Sims 3 is due to be released in (possibly) 2008, which might have something to do with it. Nobody wants a dead goose on display when they’re trying to build hype for their new product, and it’s going to take a while for the Sims Online to get back on track. This is a very promising (re-) start, though, and a very exciting time to get into the world of the Sims Online. New features such as AvatarBook, which works much like Facebook, will help to provoke interest, and could pull in a very large audience indeed. Few people who have played the Sims games haven’t wondered what it would be like to play with other people, but most have been put off by bad reviews or friends’ advice. Now that’s all set to change, and the community can only get stronger and stronger. The question, then, is not why EA are making these changes now, but why they didn’t make them before. Now we can only play and wait, and hope this time EA gets it right.

How To Play Bakugan With Double Strike Bakugan

When season 3 of the Bakugan series was introduced, there were not only new sets of Core Bakugan and Super Assaults that were released. There was also what we call the Double Strike Bakugan. These are a special kind of Bakugan, created in a way that they can execute a secondary attack when played in a brawl. There are only a few of them, and only two of them have been released so far.

The Double Strike Bakugan is not as popular as the Bakugan Battle Gear or the Bakugan Mobile Assault. This maybe because there are only so very few of them. The battle gears and the mobile assaults have also been widely promoted throughout the community while the Double Strike Bakugan was not. It also has a different set of rules to follow when in play. The rules for the battle gears and mobile assaults are solid and applicable to every battle gear and mobile assault (respectively). But this is not so with the Double Strike Bakugan.

Let us take the two released Double Strike Bakugan, Sky and Gaia Dragonoid Bakugan and Dartaak Bakugan, as examples in explaining how their rules are different from the other Bakugan. Basically, they have a secondary attack that can be triggered by the player, either automatically or manually. When rolled onto a Gate card, the Double Strike Bakugan pops into two pieces, and the game ends up having more action and excitement!

When using the Sky and Gaia Dragonoid in a brawl, roll it onto the Gate cards and see where the opened halves of the Bakugan land. If both pieces land on the same Gate card, the player will decide which piece stays and which other will be moved to the other Gate card on the field. Battle will ensue when there is an opponent on the Gate card. If there opponents on both the cards, the player will pick which battle will start first.

If both pieces of the Sky and Gaia Dragonoid open and land on the same Gate card, and there are no other cards on the field, the player will have to choose which piece will stay in play and which one will be moved to the used pile. Another case wherein one piece will be move to the used pile is when that piece does not land on any card. If it lands elsewhere on the field, then it is moved to the used pile.

The Dartaak Bakugan is similarly used like the Sky and Gaia Dragonoid. It also opens up into two pieces when rolled onto a Gate card. When it lands on the card, only the G-Power of the piece that stays will be used for the battle. If it lands on the opponent’s Gate card, however, the G-Powers of both pieces will be added up and a battle will ensue.

There are other Double Strike Bakugan that haven’t been shown yet, and the rules of how to play them are also not certain. Only the Sky and Gaia Dragonoid and the Dartaak have specific instruction as of now. Their rules are specifically pointed out separately to emphasize how they follow a different gameplay from the other Bakugan. We will know more when more Double Strike Bakugan will be released.

Play Majhong for Fun Absolutely Free or for Real Money!

Mahjong is a popular game that is fun to play, but when brought to the computer screen and online, it can be above and beyond anything imaginable.

In case you’ve never played a Mahjong game online in your life, they are solitary puzzle games whereby players are presented with a board of tiles. The aim is to successfully match two identical tiles in order for them to clear the screen – ideally, your goal is to clear the entire board. In some cases the tiles don’t need to be the same, such as two red bamboo shoots, but might be paired by theme, such as two out of the four seasons (say Summer and Winter) or two different kinds of flower’s. The rules of Mahjong state that only tiles with at least one side free can be used to pair with another one, therefore just because you can see many tiles on the board – viewed from a top-down perspective – doesn’t mean all will be accessible to you. Typically, the tiles on the edge of the pile or at the top of the pile can be clicked to make a match. All 144 tiles of Dragons, Winds, Bamboo and other characters fill the screen with charm and elegance. The highly captivating beauty of Mahjong has been captured with high quality graphics and relaxing sound effects, all of which add greatly to its enjoyment.

You can play the game for fun absolutely free or for real money, which adds to the competitive side of the game. I love both games but if I had to choose I would play the tournaments as they allow you to play and compete against other players. The tournaments are social, engaging – and you get to enjoy the thrill and excitement of live tournament game play! It’s great fun getting to know the other players and seeing how you rank against other Mahjong World players. As if that wasn’t enough, you can win cash, prizes, rewards and a free £3 bonus just to try it out. What’s not to like?!

Mahjong is a feel good game that is fun, exciting and can be played by people of any age. It’s a game of skill and when playing online, it can bring a whole new level of fun to the table. If you want a fun, relaxing and feel good game, than look no further than Mahjong – you won’t find anything more therapeutic. Why not try it for yourself and see!