Review by Vintus

Reviewed: 11/06/06

A pretty good addition to the growing number of Sims 2 expansions.

The past three sims expansions have taken place away from your precious virtual life simulators' homes, in neighborhoods that you had to go to before you could see the expansion in full effect. However, for the first time, the expansion comes to you, in your own neighborhood. Thus, pets will change a lot about your game, for better and maybe even for worse.

The expansion is about your sim taking home a little dog, big dog, or little cat via adoption over the phone, adopting a stray, or breeding, mainly. There's also some new build tools such as stackable octagonal rooms, a destruction tool which destroys or sells an object and everything on it, some new items, but that's it. Yes, for the first time in The Sims 2 history, there are no new hair styles or clothes. Shocking, no? However, an entire mini-sims game that benefit and sometimes annoy your sims (and you) as well as a whole new system of genetics more than makes up for this.

Also appearing are the womrat (basically a gerbil) and a bird (there's several types for you to choose from). You feed them, clean their cage, or they bite you or die and stink up the place. There's little warning as to when they will die, and they are expensive to replace, so these items may just be tossed out a few sim days after you buy them.

The main thing as I have said are the cats and dogs. There's a complicated and huge create-a-pet mode in which you can design coats to be thick or smooth for example and a large inventory of breeds. There's three types of dogs and cats. Big dogs, small dogs, and normal cats, which only have one side. Colors and coat types and markings carry over to the pet's puppies, which is really cool. Dogs and cats serve as great social and fun objects for your sims as well, as well as some fun and social for yourself. ;)

You can get money from pets as well. You can give your pets jobs, leveling up via learning tricks, and at the highest rank they earn more than teenager and elder sims can. You can also breed puppies or kittens and then teach them tricks to make their value go up so you can sell them to another sim whether or not you have the Open For Business expansion.

Graphics 9/10: The graphics of the dogs and cats are amazing. You can tell what type of coat a dog has by just looking at it. The way they move is incredibly realistic, too.

Sound 8/10: There's not much new sound to speak of, except for a redo of the first theme with a guitar and two new popular songs in the Pop radio section. They are done well in my opinion, but it could have been a bit better.

Gameplay 9/10: See above.

Controls 6/10: The controls are easy to pick up if you have a general idea of what you're doing. You'll have a little trouble, but that's fine. Create-a-pet is genuinely confusing even after you create a few pets.

Replay-ability 6/10: Will pets keep you coming back for more? Yes, but again, it could be better. Once you bring pets home, it's the same exact thing as the other ones, only you don't have anywhere new to take your sims. So that lowers replay-ability.

All in all, a good game, and a good addition to the growing number of sims expansions. I'll give it an 8/10.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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