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Supplier: EA
Price: $28.99Reviewed: Oct 9, 2008

The Sims Apartment Life
Author: cantstraferight -- Posted: 2008-10-09
Whether you love them or hate them the Sims games have been one of the most popular series of games on the PC in the last few years. So much so that its been a long time since I saw a list of the best selling PC games in the past week that didn\'t have a Sims game somewhere in the top ten. Personally I like The Sims games because I was a fan of the Sim games thought the 90s. Games like Sim Tower, Sim City and Sim Earth I always found to be fun and I felt like The Sims was natural progression of these games I grew up with. But after buying nearly every expansion for the original Sims and being disappointed with a few of them, I\'ve been hesitant to buy any of the expansions for the sequel. Now with The Sims 3 now on the horizon I\'ve been feeling the urge to have another go at The Sims 2, so when I got the chance to to Review The Sims 2 Apartment life I jumped at the chance to play The Sims 2.

In order to experience the apartment side of expansion I created a single sim I named Ted and sent him off to live in an apartment. Once you have installed apartment life you will find that there is a new kind of lot, the apartment lot. Each apartment lot will have between one and four apartments that can be rented by your sims. Empty apartments become occupied non playable sims so the lot is all ways full but non playable sims will get kicked out if you want to add a new family to the lot. If you move two or more player controlled families into the same lot you will still only be able to play as one of them at a time but you will see the other family and be able to interact with them through the family your controlling. Having the other families on the lot actuality can be a big benefit to as it means there\'s always other sims around for your sims to stat relationships with (romantic, just friends or even sworn enemies) and because they live there you can guarantee you will see them again without having to phone them and ask them to come round. Sometimes becoming good friends with your neighbours can mean getting a reward and when you anger them they wont hesitate to tell you what you could have had from them.

Paying the rent can get a bit too much if you only have one working sim so you might consider getting a room-mate so you can split the bill. There are a few ways to get one, like putting an add in the paper or looking on-line for one. When it comes to choosing a room-mate you get to see their personality stats so you can try to choose one that either compliments your sims or one that will cause conflict. When Ted\'s room-mate first moved in I made her a bedroom and paid for all the furniture in it but she never went in it and always chose to sleep on the couch, so I made her room into a study for Ted. Later I discovered that she preferred the couch because it was more comfortable than the cheap be I had bought her and occasionally when Ted was at work she would sleep in his bed. You don\'t have control over the room-mate sim but you can view their mood and aspirations so you can try to keep them happy so in turn they are nicer to your sim. At one point I noticed Ted\'s room-mate aspirations included seeing one of their neighbours as a ghost, unfortunately he was still alive at the time. So in one of my more sadistic moments I made her aspiration possible and it made her quite happy when she saw his ghost.

After living in his apartment for a some time Ted eventually had to say good bye to it and his room-mate when he got married to the woman that lived in the apartment 2 floors down. Once she and her daughter became part of the family there was no longer room for all of them to live in small the apartment, so after looking at other apartments and being disappointed by their size I decided it was time for Ted to buy a house.

Overall the apartment part of the expansion add something extra for you to do and it can make creating relationships much easier for you but the apartments are only really suited to small families and if your the kind of person that normally makes families with 4 or more members you may struggle to find big apartments that don't cost too much.

When I first heard that apartment life contained witches and spells I had horrible flashbacks of the Making Magic expansion for the original Sims, which I considered to be the very worst of The Sims expansions and it most probably made me reluctant to buy the expansion packs for the sequel.

At one point when I was playing Ted's 1st wife died because I forgot to feed her for a few days. Rather than just accept her death I decided to devote the rest of Teds life to bringing her back and witchcraft looked like the best way to do it. So I sent him off to the community lots in the hopes of finding a witch that would teach him the ways of light or dark magic. the first witch he came across was the evil witch of the neighbourhood so I made Ted become her friend (even though she summoned cockroaches just to make him cry). After hours of talking on the phone and inviting her round for dinner, they eventually became good enough friends that Ted could ask to become a warlock. Once he was a warlock Ted gained access to a spell book and cauldron, when he wasn't at work he would be learning all he could from the spell book and making supply's in the cauldron for casting spells. At first the spells he had access to were not very useful but as he learnt "the way of darkness" he gained more useful spells and abilities until he got access to the most powerful black magic spell in the game and it was what he had been looking for. I didn't want to jump head first into this so the first attempt was made on a neighbour that Ted had "made a ghost". All I can say was I was glad I didn't try it on Ted's wife first (ever seen Pet Semetery?, they don't come back right)

Overall the witchcraft part of the expansion is a nice extra and it can be fun seeing where it goes. It can feel a little week at times so you shouldn't buy the expansion just for it but its a nice extra.

There are a lot of little updates and improvements included with apartment life, some of which have been included in past expansions and some are completely new. If you've never installed any of the expansions there are a lot of new things that mean that even if don't want to have your Sims don't live in an apartment and you have no interest in the magic side of the game you will still find new things that your Sims and do and new things to fill their house with.

Apartment life also adds the ability to see ceilings if the camera is at the correct angle. While this may not be an amazing feature those that use the sims to make machinima may or those that like to take pictures of the sims may find it useful.

If your a die hard fan of The Sims franchise chances are you have all ready bought Apartment Life along with all the other expansions. If your a fan of the series but only like to pick up the better expansion packs I would recommend picking it up as along with University it is probably one of the better expansion packs. If you hate The Sims and everything its stands for Apartment Life doesn't have anything that will change your mind.
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