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on December 16, 2011
I was expecting to have nice guides, and these are a great disappointment. I had an idea that these would not be exactly like the "real" guides, but I had no idea they would look and feel so cheap. For the price and content, I am giving these 2 stars. I hope you have good eyes, because the print is extremely small. The pages are gray, and the print is only a shade or two darker, adding to the difficulty to read them. Don't expect to see any good pictures, they too are small and just slightly different shades of gray.
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on December 16, 2011
Having purchased Prima's Strategy Guides since the early 1990's, including all the Sims Guides, I pre-ordered this set looking forward to checking out all the options, modules, and activities. I was surprised to see that in this "set" Prima abandoned their usual format. These books are not only the usual paperback, but actual paperbacks, as in the dime store novel size, with pages of newsprint. The print and photos are so small that you need a magnifying device to see and read "the fine print". As with other normal-sized strategy guides there are photos of scenes, events, and places, not to mention the individual "stuff", but printed on newsprint in variuos black and gray tones, they appear a little more than smudges, and very difficult at best to visualize what is being illustrated.

I may be generous giving this two stars, because the material is there (I Think), however the product overall appeared to be Prima cheaply "pirating" their own regular guides, quoting the indicidual collected prices as a great value, and shrinking it all down into a 7x4X4 inch boxed set. Time to get out my magnifying glass, or perhaps just look at the actual game, and the Sims 3 website.
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on December 17, 2011
I, like the others, was expecting something similar to the usual Prima Guides. Was I ever wrong.

And while they are clearly shoved full of information, I need a magnifying glass to read any of the text. It really doesn't even deserve the 1 star I am giving it.

To say I am disappointed is an understatement.
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on December 18, 2011
Wow! Can the print be any smaller and the pictures any darker? The box trumpets that it's an "Over $100 value." Hhmm....is it possible to buy $100 worth of Prima Sims 3 guides in black and white? I think it would have been nice to have legible maps and an index. The money saved by printing in black and white on newspaper weight paper could have been reinvested in making indices. Badly done, Prima!
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on December 18, 2011
I thought when ordering this would be a great for the baragin, but I was highly disappointed at Prima for producing something of this poor quality. The print is in newspaper print and extremely small, you need a magnifier glass to even attempt to read. Was looking forward to these guides to learn about the game prior to installing. I guess I will have to just wing it.
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on December 20, 2011
As the other reviews have stated, the print is small and difficult to read without a decent amount of lighting, and the photos are gray. There are also a small amount of typos. However, I'm giving it a three because the guides are compact and ready to read whenever you need to quickly look something up. Yes, there is internet for that, but if you are in an area that does not provide internet, you have these guides at your side. I don't see how this book set is worth the $30.00 it is originally priced at, so paying about $18.00 on Amazon made me feel a little better about buying it. I bought the box set for the Sims 2 also, which included University, Nightlife, Open for Business, Pets, Seasons, Bon Voyage, and the original game guide and I was satisfied with them. However, EA made Free Time and Apartment Life before calling it quits on the Sims 2, so these guides did not come with the set at the time that I bought it. The Sims 3 is already working on more expansions, and the new guides will not be included in this set until a later date (I assume), so if you want the full collection, you'll have to pay separately. Also, maybe I'm just picky, but the binding of the books in this Sims 3 set (where the title of each box is) is not color coordinated like the stock image. The Sims 2 box set is colored to match the color of the boxes of the games. This doesn't affect the quality, but again, I guess I'm just picky about certain things.
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on January 16, 2012
I ordered this set when it was on backorder. I waited over a month to receive it and was surprised at the quality. I knew they would be small versions of the larger guides, but they're so small it's difficult to read. It's all grayscale so really light print is almost invisible. I think it's really hard for people who are new to the Sims 3 and trying to catch up, because you really can't find the guides. EA and Prima should have limited, long term production of the full-sized guides so that new Simmers can still find a copy. As for this set, it's slightly better than nothing.
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on October 11, 2013
This box set contains a series of paperback-sized books that are nothing more than the original (magazine-sized) editions converted to black and white and shrunk down to a smaller size. Unfortunately, no one appears to have bothered to check to see if the type was legible when converted from whatever colors it had in its original size.

They are hard to read, sometimes impossible when the call-out box is nearly the same shade of grey as the text, and frustratingly difficult to get through.

Prima is a great company with an outstanding tradition of putting out incredible game guides. I'm dismayed by the hack-job done to reduce the size of these books, just to make them a collection.

Recommendation: Do not buy this. Find used copies (or new if you can) of the original versions.
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on March 6, 2013
The print in these books is so small you must have a magnifying glass to read it.

The information in the books is great. The Sims 3 Encyclopedia has tons of fantastic information that is easy to access. This book alone makes needing the Magnifying glass worth it for me.
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on December 20, 2011
This is a new product, so there were no reviews when I first pre-ordered it. (It was also delayed several times.) Like everyone else, I was expecting something like the other Prima guides--perhaps a boxed set of the compact-size guides (such as the Late Night guide)--in color and printed on good quality paper.

These books are very small--smaller than the compact guides. They also don't have a spiral binding that allows you to read it easily without the book trying to force itself closed.

As others have mentioned, the print is tiny, tiny, tiny, and is black on newsprint pages. It seems very cheap and flimsy, and the print is also not very dark (at least in my copies).

I can't tell if the information is the same as in the other guides as I'm not comparing them page by page or anything, but overall, I think the info is given in the same way with similar types of information.

As far as I know, they never published a separate guide for Generations, which is the main reason I wanted this set as I already have all the other Prima guides.
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