Using the 3DS camera, players can create Sims based on snapshots of their faces -- or anyone's face nearby. Oddly, the feature will only import a close approximation of the source's facial features, leaving aspects such as skin tone, hair and even gender to be manually selected. Though the process is a bit tedious, on the plus side, I now know what I'd look like if I were a rail-thin blond ... girl.
The game also incorporates StreetPass, allowing you to easily and automatically trade Sims with other 3DS players you happen to pass by -- as rare as that may be. In theory, though, it's a great feature for The Sims: Your virtual world is slowly populated with real-life friends, neighbors and strangers.
Not all the system-unique offerings augment the experience. For example, the "Karma Powers" feel like a gimmick that most developers learned to abandon shortly into the original DS's life cycle. The so-called powers let players unleash a variety of effects, both good and bad, on their Sims by blowing into the system's microphone or shaking the 3DS. Considering these effects must first be selected through an in-game menu, the gestures seem like an unnecessary second step to playing god.
While EA has put some effort into tailoring The Sims 3 for 3DS, it's ultimately a fairly pedestrian port. At its core, the game is still about guiding your same old Sim through a variety of careers, climbing the social ladder and building relationships. Or, you place some furniture in front of the bathroom and watch Sim Andrewina die a slow, torturous death. In 3D. If that's what you're into.