For anyone who thought the concept of The Sims was really stupid (such as myself), I recommend checking out The Sims - Bustin' Out for Gameboy Advance. They've actually added gameplay elements to the life simulation.
Buying new stuff is no longer the primary goal of the game. Instead, you actually have various mini-quests to complete, and concrete levels to obtain. When you complete all the goals for a particular level, you graduate to a new residence, have new dialogue to share with the various NPCs and can unlock new jobs, which come in the form of minigames that range from fishing to mowing the lawn (a lot more fun that it sounds) to slinging sodas at the local biker malt shop. They even found a way to make a fun minigame out of auctions.
The controls are smooth, the music is excellent and the overall game is fun. The only real complaint I have is that some sumbitch keeps breaking in and stealing my refrigerator. (I found a burglar alarm for sale once but couldn't afford it at the time.)
A friend of mine who's played the PC version of The Sims extensively says the GBA version is different, but she really enjoys it. For those that never liked The Sims, I'd suggest giving this game a try. (I usually describe it as The Sims in the form of an actual game.) It would also make a good outlet for Sims addicts who can't get enough of the game but don't want to lug a laptop all over the place.
I understand what you're saying and I respect that. I've been in a fair share of matchmade games where I've been trounced and it wasn't fun. But about half the time I do get in some really competitive matches where everyone was on the same skill level....