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Publisher: Aspyr Media    Genre: Simulation    Expansion For: The Sims
Min OS X: 10.1    CPU: G3 @ 500 MHz    RAM: 192 MB    Hard Disk: 1300 MB    Graphics: 4 MB VRAM

The Sims: Makin' Magic
June 30, 2004 | Danny Gallagher

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The expansion packs for the wildly popular "Sims" series are an evolution in quality and fun. "Livin' Large" only featured new toys for your Sims to play with and an expanded selection of wacky wallpaper and floor tiles and not much else. "House Party" took the relatively simple idea of throwing a party to the next level with a wide array of audio equipment, theme party favors and the occasional celebrity cameo. "Hot Date" gave your Sims the chance to score...finally. "Unleashed" allowed them to own pets, so they could mess up the house and poop all over the place...finally. And "Superstar" gave them the chance to show off their talents and build a new and exciting career in entertainment without having "American Idol's" Simon Cowell rip them apart.

Now, the final installment to the first "Sims" series, "Makin' Magic," peaks the expansion pack series by adding a fun, creative chapter with more new objects, activities and spells than you can shake a magic wand at.

Let the Magic Begin
Your path begins when a mysterious stranger drops off a mysterious package on your mysterious doorstep. The box contains a wand, a cauldron and a handful of starter spells, kind of a "Magic for Dummies" kit to help your Sim get started. It'll take them awhile to learn how to cast spells and make magic, but it's worth the patience and the wait. There seems to be almost no limit to what your Sims can do. They can cook up sumptuous banquets with a flick of the wrist, create storms of cash or even turn your pets into acquaintances.

But like all life enhancing products in the Sims series, they can turn against you just as easily. The more experienced and skilled your Sims are at magic, the less likely they are to get themselves in a mountain of trouble.

There's also no limit on creativity put into this expansion. The spells and tricks are more advanced than your average "pull a rabbit out of a hat" schtick, but they can learn the simple tricks as well as ones that makes Harry Potter's magic look like a bad Siegfried & Roy knock-off.

And it's the only addition that actually interacts with all the previous expansion packs. Your Sim can make someone fall in love with them or turn their pets into temporary companions, which is a stroke of genius for a brand of simulation games already known for it's brilliance and originality.


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