The Sims 2: Pets Preview
PC | PS2 | GC | Wii
The Sims 2: Pets box art
System: PC, PS2, GC, PSP, DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: Maxis 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: EA 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Oct 2006 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
Preview by Patrick 3.5 - 3.9 = Good
The Sims franchise is going to the dogs...and cats...and hamsters...
by Patrick Evans

The game that lets you play with a virtual dollhouse is now adding little dogs and cats to the mix. Electronic Arts announced the Sims 2: Pets on every imaginable current-gen platform (except Xbox) and PC, bringing the experience of telling your dog to quiet down from real life into the virtual world.

The Sims 2: Pets screenshot

Pets come in all shapes and sizes in real life, and the same will be go for the Sims. Players can choose from dogs, cats, birds, and other animals as well, defining their physical appearance as well as their personalities. If that new dog of yours is too lazy and lethargic, a quick alteration to its personality can turn him into an inferno of energy and excitement. Players will also be able to design their pet with unique features and marking on their fur, skin, or feathers. Like many of the expansion sets on PC, or sequels on platform, Pets won’t drastically change the format of the game. Instead, they will simply add another aspect to your Sim’s life that must be accounted for when playing.

The interaction between player and pet will be extensive. Players will have to make sure to take care of the pet’s basic needs, which encompass just about all of the human Sim’s needs and add a couple specific ones as well. Take, for instance, my future cat Furball. When bringing him into my already established Sim home with Dave and Kim Awesome, I’ll have to make sure to accommodate Furball’s need to scratch by providing him with a scratching pole. Otherwise, he will likely use Dave’s thousand-dollar recliner to fulfill his urge for feline destruction. These are things that cannot be solved by simply altering the pet’s personality, so like everything else in the Sims, planning and careful attention are vital to a pet’s healthy life.

The Sims 2: Pets screenshot

There will also be plenty of chances for pet-Sim interaction as well. Sims can train their pets to do interesting tricks and stunts, and even to do work outside of the house. The tricks that are possible are pretty cartoon-ish, but the dogs are especially funny and full of character. Training is much easier when your pet’s needs are being met fully, so the dichotomy of caring for a pet and then working him in training is in full effect, not unlike the Sims and their statistical improvements.

Each platform will have features that are unique from the others. The PC, which is merely an expansion pack to the core Sims 2 game, will allow for a ton of customization. Pets on the PC will have their own lifecycles, with varying personalities and mood sets for each phase. That means, of course, that Fido will eventually die and the family may have to replace him. Genetics will also play a great part in determining pet breeds as well. Players will be able to mix typical breeds to create their own unique breed. Perhaps you and your friends would love a new Labradoodle in your Sim homes? After making your unique pet for your home, be sure to train him in one of three career tracks to help him pull his own weight in the house. Like another Sim roommate, your pet can advance five career levels in Show Business, Security, or Service, and earn more than enough money to buy that fancy dog house he’s been eyeing.

The Sims 2: Pets screenshot

Console owners have just as much to look forward too in the PS2, Gamecube, and PSP releases. The Central Town Park offers players an excellent place to meet other Sims and their pets and fills the basic social need of both owner and pet at the same time. At the Town Center, vendors offer everything you pet needs, from furniture and foot to clothing and accessories. How you spend your money affects what merchandise is offered as well. Vendors that you frequent more often will grow in size and carry a greater selection over time. On the Nintendo DS, players will be able to own and operate their own pet store, earning Simoleans by selling pets and accompanying accessories.

The expansion packs that have come out for the Sims 2 before now have focused on expanding the number of activities available to your Sim, and this is certainly true of Pets as well. More importantly than that, the newest expansion hopes to completely transform the overall Sims experience in the same way that real pets do for us in real life. While it’s a little too early to tell at this point, we are certainly looking forward to try out all the new possibilities Maxis is promising. The Sims 2: Pets will be storming the digital scene on October 17 for most platforms, including PC, and shortly thereafter in November on PSP.

The Sims 2: Pets screenshot


  • Sims Have New Friends - Pets! Sims can share their lives with their new pets and add more fun to the Sims experience. From dogs, cats, caged animals and more, your Sims share new friends to experience life’s precious moments. With so many different animals to choose from, there’s no telling what unpredictable experiences could occur!
  • Create-A-Pet: Choose from dozens of dog and cat breeds or customize features for a one-of-a-kind pet. You can even modify your pet’s body shape by choosing from specific colors and unique markings. Don’t like the way they act? Change their personality – from smart and sweet to silly and sloppy – anyone can create their ideal animal friend in The Sims 2 Pets.
  • “Sit, Spike, Sit”: Your Sims can encourage and discipline pets, training them to shake, roll over, play dead, and more. Unruly pets might dig in the yard, claw the sofa, or topple the trash. Thankfully, a little training can go a long way.
  • Classic Sims Open-Ended Gameplay: Create and control digital characters over a lifetime, setting their goals in life from popularity and romance, to fortune and family– their stories are in your hands.
  • Share unique Pet unlocks: Use special codes to share unlockable pet accessories, fur types or markings with other The Sims 2 Pets players.
  • Stroll the Central Town Park: Take your Sims and their pet for a romp at any of the nearby park areas, or head to the Central Town Park which is a favorite of pet owners. While there, watch your pet play well with others while your Sim can meet others and socialize with fellow animal lovers.
  • Shop ‘til you drop: Visit the adjoining Town Center, a great gathering spot for Sims that evolves over time. Once you’ve seen the latest styles and decided on a purchase, deck your pet out in the latest clothing and accessories around. From geek to chic and cool to casual, your Sim can customize their pet’s look with one stop in the Town Center. It’s sure to be the coolest pet in town!

    By Patrick Evans
    CCC Staff Writer

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