The Sims 2 Apartment Life Review

The Sims head to the city to live it up in an apartment.

Review by Tracy Bosworth
Published 12th November 2008

The Sims 2 Apartment Life

  • Developer: EA Games
  • Publisher: EA Games
  • Release Date: 22nd August 2008

I used to get quite excited at the mere mention of a new expansion pack for The Sims 2 but I just can’t manage the enthusiasm anymore. Don’t get me wrong, The Sims 2 still remains one of my all time favourite games but its been four years now since it came out and despite the many expansion packs and add-ons, the game really is getting old.

Maybe it’s because EA have announced that the eagerly awaited, The Sims 3 will be released early next year? Still, Apartment Life promised to squeeze a little bit more game play from The Sims 2 whilst we anticipate the 3rd sequel to the game, but did it manage to do so?

Well the main concept of Apartment Life was to offer players a chance to migrate away from the old “family houses” to new apartment complexes featuring a number of homes all in one lot. The idea is that you move your Sim into the complex and then choose them an apartment from the many available in the building. Once you have chosen a home, other Sims will begin to occupy the other apartments and before you know it, the building will be alive with everything from doctors to bank robbers.

So what else is new? Well you now get to rent your home as opposed to buying it. This can work out great for Sim’s that are just starting out on their own. With a limited bank balance, paying a thousand simolions a week can seem kinder on the finances than splashing out $35k on a house when your Sim is bringing home pennies as a gas station clerk and if things do get tight, you can find a room mate to take a share of the rent.

Room mates advertise themselves in the newspaper, over the telephone line or on the computer or you can place your own advertisement to find one. When chosen, a room mate will move in and will pay half of the overall cost of renting the apartment each week. Although you can’t control the room mate, your own Sim can interact and build a relationship with the NPC in the same way as any other Sim in the game but of course, not all Sims are destined to be “BFF” (Best Friends Forever, for all you non-Sims addicts) and a nightmare can begin when the household just does not get on! For instance, a very tidy Sim may take offence to your Sim leaving food rotting away all over the house! If they get too irritated, they may start to “forget” to pay their share of the rent leaving you to cough up the whole amount. Thankfully, if things get too much you can kick the room mate out and find someone else to take their place.

Another positive to apartment living is the fact that any household repairs have to be carried out by your landlord. No more expensive repairman visits to fork out for and no more standing over the toilet for an hour trying to unblock it before the headmaster comes over for tea!

As your Sim’s are now living in close quarters with NPC’s, its easier to make friends without having to phone and invite people over. Fancy a coffee with Joe Bloggs upstairs? Go and knock on his door and he may just invite you in! Want to talk to the slim blonde downstairs? “Bump” into her on the stairs and strike up a conversation!

Your Sim’s are now blessed with reputations based on their behaviour in public so act right and you may just find yourself rising in the popularity stakes amongst your neighbours.

One thing I just don’t get about Apartment Life is the introduction of witches and warlocks! These mysterious characters can be found loitering around community lots, casting spells or generally just looking threatening. You can decide to befriend one of these oddballs and learn magical powers of your own (such as the path of darkness) but I just don’t see how this fits into Apartment Life. It seems like an odd addition to the game given the other content of the expansion pack. Perhaps the introduction of hoodies and gang members hanging around the “townie” settings would have been more appropriate and rather more amusing.

Aside from the obvious additions to the game, Apartment life also brings with it new social interactions such as different types of greetings (including ‘high five’ and ‘kiss kiss darling‘!) and the ability to fly to work on a broomstick as well as the usual addition of new objects and building tools.

All in all, if you’re a Sims fan, you’d probably like any expansion pack that extends the life of the game just a little bit as we wait for The Sims 3 to be released. Apartment Life is not the best expansion pack but it’s not the worst either and if all you want to do is add a few more months of game play to your game, then this does the job. If you’re looking for something that will completely change the game and refresh it completely, it’s not going to happen with Apartment Life.

Review Score: 7.2/10

Please note, this review was scored using our old system. For more information please see our review policy.

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