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The Sims 2 Base Game & Expansion Packs
The much awaited sequel to The Sims game was The Sims 2. Released in 2004, this computer game lets players create simulated people who basically go about living their lives. You have to make sure their needs are met (they have to eat, use the restroom, bathe, sleep, etc.), let them earn enough money to buy stuff they need to survive, and cultivate their relationships. The Sims was very popular, but limited in game play because it wasn’t generational. Your Sims could have kids, but the kids never grew up (unless you used magic, but then they simply transformed into random people). And, unless you purposely killed off a Sim, they would never die.
The huge appeal about The Sims 2, besides graphics that blew The Sims out of the water, is that the Sims have set life spans and can add generations to their family trees. There are different life stages: baby, toddler, kid, teen, adult, and elder. Your Sims can now die natural deaths, in addition to being killed from unnatural causes (like drowning, starving, etc.). Sims pass on their DNA, personalities, and even inheritances to their children.
The Sims 2 Base Game
You have to have the base game before you can play any of the expansion packs. The base game provides you with the tools to play your Sims. You can choose to play three existing neighborhoods, or create your own. One of the neighborhoods, Pleasantview, is the neighborhood from the original Sims game, but in the next generation.
Your Sims have different personalities and life aspirations. They can be really clean, or big slobs. Maybe one Sim is very nice, but the other is grumpy. You can make your Sims lazy, super active, or somewhere in between. You know how happy your Sims are by checking their aspiration levels: if it is red, they are miserably depressed; green means they are okay; gold is great; and, platinum means they are so happy. Their wants and fears are guided by their life aspirations:
- Romance: Your Sim loves romance.
- Family: This Sim wants a solid, loving family life.
- Knowledge: Learn, learn, learn—this Sim’s desire to learn more will outweigh everything else.
- Popularity: Do the other Sims like me? This Sim wants to be famous with lots of friends.
- Fortune: Show this Sim the money!
Oh yeah, and watch out for the aliens.
Sims 2 University Expansion Pack
This pack expands your base game, adding a new life phase: young adult. When your Sim is a teen, you can choose to send her to University where she can study for four years to earn a degree. Your Sim can also flunk out or get kicked out early, sending her back home. Sims with university degrees have more job options with higher paying careers. They also earn additional want slots.
The University neighborhoods are sub-neighborhoods where young adults can live. You can choose to have them live in dorms with other Sims, or in private housing on their own or with roommates.
Sims 2 Nightlife Expansion Pack
Do your Sims want to go out and party? This expansion pack adds the downtown sub-neighborhood to your game, with clubs, restaurants, bowling allies, and clothing boutiques. The game also adds cars to the game, so your Sims no longer have to rely on public transportation to get around. Nightlife offers more social interactions for you Sims as you can now send them out on dates or on group outings. Need help finding a date for your Sim? No problem! Just call the matchmaker, and she will set you up (just make sure you pay her enough). This pack also introduces vampires to the game.
Sims 2 Open for Business Expansion Pack
Now your Sims can run their own businesses. This expansion pack introduces a shopping sub-neighborhood. You can run home businesses or buy lots. Sell goods you make yourself, or learn to buy things at a discount to turn around and sell for a profit. You can hire employees, earn talent badges, and make a lot of money with this game. This game introduces new objects, styles, and the added bonus of personal inventories for each Sim. Now, you can place items into your Sims inventories, so they can take things with them wherever they go (this is especially helpful when you move Sims to new houses).
Sims 2 Pets Expansion Pack
Your Sims have families, college degrees, cars, social lives, and businesses…now they need pets! You can adopt full grown cats and dogs, or you can get kittens and puppies. Your pets have lifespans too, so you will want to enjoy the time you have with them. You can train your pets to do certain things (like not sleep on Sims beds or to use the litter box), and also teach them tricks. Talented pets can have jobs, adding funds to your Sim family’s account.
Along with the games comes other, smaller pets like a parrot and guinea pigs. You can even have your pets mate, as long as they like each other, to produce babies. Werewolves are also introduced into the game.
Sims 2 Seasons Expansion Pack
That’s right, the four seasons have now come to your Sim’s world. Honestly, this is one of the coolest expansion packs because it adds so much to your gameplay. The fours seasons bring different weather conditions, so now you have to dress your Sim appropriately. Too much sun can leave your Sim with heatstroke, and staying out in the snow too long can turn your Sim into an icicle.
The game also brings gardening to your Sims—with fresh fruits and vegetables that you can sell or prepare for your Sims to eat. A new creature is also introduced: the Plant Sim.
Sims 2 Bon Voyage Expansion Pack
Wow, your Sims are really working hard, don’t they need a vacation? Bon Voyage lets your Sims pick up the phone to call their travel agent. They can book a mountain, beach, or far East getaway. That’s right, you can whisk your Sims out of their everyday lives to new vacation destinations. They can camp, stay in hotels, or even buy their own vacation homes.
Your Sims can meet new people on vacation, learn new skills, and buy jewelry. One of the coolest things about this expansion is the introduction of beaches, with actual crashing waves. Your Sims can sunbathe, build sandcastles, and even swim in the ocean. Bigfoot is also introduced into the game.
Sims 2 Free Time Expansion Pack
This is the newest, and possibly last, of the expansion packs. I don’t even have it yet, but it focuses on the things your Sims can do during their free time. You can cultivate your Sims’ hobbies, and introduce them to new social interactions. Your Sims can build cars, take ballet classes, and play group games.
How do you play Sims?