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Publisher: Aspyr Media    Genre: Simulation    Expansion For: The Sims 2
Min OS X: Any Version

The Sims 2: Pets
January 30, 2007 | Alex McLarty

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The Sims 2, released nearly three years ago, still continues to top game charts and attract attention with whatever addition is created for The Sim universe. The Sims franchise has been so successful in fact that it has spawned a large number of add-on packs to give you, and your Sims, something new to play with.

Pets introduces a whole range of animals to destroy your Simís carefully running home, but out of the four types of animals (cats, dogs, birds and womrats) only cats and dogs are truly interactive. These two animals have their own breed, color, personality and needs. Although you canít actually control your pets directly, you influence their moods in a similar way as if another Sim visited your home. If your pet is hungry you must provide him with a bowl of grub, if he needs a chew on something itís your brand new sofa if you forgot to buy him a dog toy.

Bat Ears
Something Maxis have always been good at with The Sims franchise is the level of customization you can have with your character. With a little bit of time you can create a stunning replica of yourself or be the strangest green skinned alien invader around. Customizing pets is no different. Starting with over 70 Breeds of dog from German Shepherd to Japanese Akita, you can either dive right in or fully sculpt your dog to whatever you see fit. My dog, Dexter, was an average looking German Shepherd until I stretched his ears. And so was born Dexter the Bat Eared dog!

Muddling with basic features such as ear size, nose size and so forth are the very beginning of the modifications you can make. Pets lets you change everything on your chosen animal, like fur size, shape and color, so you can create a shaggy dog or a velvety soft kitten. Changing your petís attributes isnít just limited to their outward appearance, their personalities are adjustable too. In much the same way you choose your Simís personality via star signs and a points-based system, dog and cat personalities are modified in a similar way. If Aristotle was to play The Sims 2: Pets heíd be a happy man. Pets get the option of an excess or a deficiency of personality, or somewhere in between. So making a Genius kitten or a Doofus dog is well within your reach. All these options combine to create a pet with an attitude and personality that directly effect his autonomous actions. Be careful though, the options you choose are passed on to your petís litter - so if you make a messy pup, expect six messy puppies!

Pet Sounds
Living with your pet seems to be a far cry away from designing them. They rip up furniture. They bark. They howl. They pee on the floor. They sleep in your bed. Unlike children in The Sims, these critters do what they want! You have no control when your Sim is in bed and your pooch decides to leave the house (yes, they can open doors!) and lick dirty puddles, go skunk hunting, or bark at passers by. Of course, by the time your Sim gets up in the morning itís too late to tell your pet off. You can even (if your Sim is particularly evil) praise your pets for barking at people, being aggressive, or going skunk hunting. I would advise that if you want a house in one piece, do the normal thing, scold them when they chew your furniture!

Aside from the destruction your pets will inflict on your house, they do bring it to life. Dogs bark at other dogs passing by, they sniff around the house, chew on their squeaky toy and munch thankfully when you dish out a bowl of grub. They keep themselves and your Sim happy.

Pets move in a fairly life like way around the house or outside. Apparently Maxis gave Pets freedom to roam, not restricted to the tiled map that your Sims are on. So you can expect to see your cuddly kitten trampling over the sofa and hopping down past a plant. All in all, it gives the critters another dimension of movement, allowing them to display their buoyant characters in a way your Sims cannot.


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