am soooo behind on all my work lately and I wish I had a respectable excuse,
but I don’t. The reason I’m getting nothing serious accomplished recently
is I’m totally addicted to The Sims 2. What a great game! If you ever played
The Sims or The Sims Online, you know how much fun they can be, but also
how limiting in some ways. Well, EA Games has listened to our suggestions
and come up with a version of The Sims that has it all. And the graphics
and sounds are wonderful!
So, I’d like to take you on a little tour. Here’s some of the stuff you
can do in this game, along with a few tips I’ve come up with so far.
When you first run the game, the initial screen is the main menu where you
choose a neighborhood to move into or create a new neighborhood of your own.
One of the neighborhoods already created for you is called Pleasantview and
if you choose that, you see the neighborhood and the homes that have already
been created by Maxis (EA Games’ Sims Team). Maxis already made you some
families, so you can choose a house that is already occupied or run the tutorial
to get a feel for how things work in this new version. If a house is occupied,
it has a green spinning diamond above it, as shown below.
Clicking on that house shows you a description of the family and each of
its members. You can enter this house and play with this family or you can
create a new family and move them into an empty house or build them a new
I created a couple named the TechTrax family. Here they are:
The TechTrax Family
You can also create children, but I prefer to let my sims make their own.
In this version of the game, sims age and actually get pregnant, so Linda
and Vic can become parents and even grandparents, before they eventually
die. The whole life cycle, from infancy through death, is represented in
When you create your sim, you choose all of their default outfits … everyday
wear, bathing suits, formal attire, sleepwear, underwear, and workout togs.
Here are some I chose for Linda:
The Sims 2 also includes another program called the BodyShop, where you
can create custom clothing, hair styles, etc. It’s a little more difficult
to use than the Sims 2 itself, but lots of fun once you get the hang of it.
The clothing styles I show above are all custom creations, but the ones included
in the game are also pretty good, and you can join the Sims 2 Exchange when
you install the game and download custom sims, objects, and houses, and also
upload your own to share with other members. If you are already a member
of the Exchange, log in and type in keyword “buntah” to see some
homes and sims I’ve uploaded to share (and please sign my Exchange guestbook).
There are also many other websites where you can upload/download this stuff
and share with other players. My favorite is the The Sims Resource. I like it so much, I paid to become a
member so I have access to everything they have, as well as their fastest
When you create your new family members, you define their personalities
and assign them an Aspiration type (romance, knowledge, popularity, etc.).
Their personalities control their needs and their aspirations can be
fulfilled to win you great extra objects (like a beautiful “romantic” hot
tub). As you can see below, I made Vic a Pisces with the Romance Aspiration,
which means the game will show you his “wants” based on his romantic tendencies.
Each time he gets what he wants, he gets points which add up to great
You can also determine your sim’s body type … yes, in this version not all
sims have perfect bodies. When I created Linda, I decided to edit her type
to make her plumper (and more realistic LOL). Here’s her before and after
Once you’ve created your sims, you are ready to move them into a house,
or build one of your own. This time, I decided to buy one of Maxis pre-made
houses and just redesign it to my liking. Here’s the house I started with:
And here’s what I turned it into:
Notice I added some topography (hills and a stream), trees, shrubs, flowers,
walkways connected to stairways, fences with gates, and a swimming pool.
I also added a third floor to the house and changed the outside texture and
color to red brick and added different types of windows and outside lights
and even a gazebo with a hot tub in it! If designing and building in the
other versions were your passions, then this is the game for you! There are
so many new designing capabilities: including diagonal walls which can have
doors and windows in them, and your houses can now have foundations and decks,
along with customizable stairways, so split level homes are now a possibility,
and, as mentioned, you can now have more than two floors. The gazebo shows
how the foundations and external stairs look:
TIP: Like other versions of The Sims, your sim will need to get a
job to earn money to build and decorate (but even that is better in this
version). However, Maxis didn’t forget our need for “cheats” so we can play
the game the way we want. Since I prefer to design my sims’ homes before
I actually start playing, I need a lot of money at the beginning. As before,
your sim family starts with $20,000 simoleons, but Maxis gave us a cheat
to increase that quickly. Once you’ve made your family, move them into an
inexpensive property or house, then hold down your ctrl and shift key and
press C. This brings up the cheat box where you can type “motherlode” (without
the quotes) to instantly receive $50,000 simoleons. And you can just keep
hitting ctrl+shift+C and typing “motherlode” as many times as you want, whenever
you need more money. There are many cheats for the game and players are still
discovering them all. But, you can keep up to date on what’s been found by
OK … now my family is created and my house is designed externally. Now I
will pop Linda and Vic into the hot tub while I add interior walls, doors,
fireplaces, etc. and wallpaper and furnish my rooms. Here’s Linda and Vic
relaxing in the hot tub together. Notice Linda is talking about an engagement
ring (because her “aspirations” are also set to “romance”):
Once the rooms are all finished, it’s time to let Linda and Vic do their
stuff. Their Need Indicators show that they are hungry so Linda is making
them lunch (not that she really needs it, since she is already rather plump.
She needs to go to the store and buy a different bathing suit, since this
one is NOT a good choice for her body type. And, in this version, she can
… and Vic makes a fire while
Notice she made them simple sandwiches. That’s because that’s all she can
do. She has no cooking skill yet. So, she needs to study cooking:
And while she does that, Vic keeps himself busy, too.
Painting to get Creativity skill
Then working out for Body skill
Working out in this game also improves your body type. Since Linda has a
rather flabby physique, working out will help her. Also, because of her chubbiness,
when she dives in the pool, she does a belly flop:
The workout made Vic tired, so he takes a nap. Linda joins him, but (thank
you, Maxis, for adding this one) she’s just relaxing in bed with a good book:
When Vic wakes up, they cuddle in bed:
Soon that leads to kissing:
And more …
Once the fireworks have died down, both of them sleep and have very pleasant
dreams. Unlike the other versions, they don’t just lie there on there backs,
snoring like chainsaws. In this version, they move around and even spoon
These are just some of the features of The Sims 2 that are new and improved.
There are many more, but I recommend you just buy the game and play it
until you stumble upon them. I don’t want to spoil all your fun. But, I do
want to make a few more important points.
Though this version is indeed more stable than the previous versions, it
will still slow down if you make extremely large houses with many objects
in them, so keep that in mind.
It loads pretty fast, but again, the more it has to load, the slower it
does that, so keep that one in mind when you are downloading hundreds of
custom sims, objects, and houses.
As usual, the bathroom actions in this version are still blurred for privacy.
However, there are patches available to disable those annoying pixels. If
you are an adult and not easily offended, you can go to The Nude Sims Page
and download the patch. Search for it on Google and you will find it.
Remember that Maxis makes these games so they are suitable for children.
However, my experience tells me that many adults play this game and would
like more adult content. For that, visit the many sim fans sites for downloads
and tweaks that make this more possible.
If you are playing The Sims Online and haven’t bought this game yet because
you prefer the interaction with others, I suggest you get this game and join
the Exchange where you can blog with others and share your creations. This
game makes The Sims Online and the earlier versions of The Sims look like
Practice skills and see what new goodies are available (for example, using
the telescope brings aliens to visit). There are also ghosts in this version.
Be careful. If one scares you bad enough, you will die.
I give this one 10 thumbs up. Maxis kept putting off the release date and
making us crazy, but they did it for a good reason. This one is literally
bug free as far as my testing goes (of course, you must have a computer that
meets its requirements, so read the box carefully before you buy it.) If
only other software companies did the proper testing before they released
buggy programs, many of us would have a lot less computer problems. Congrats
to Maxis on a job well done!
*all screen captures in this article were created with my favorite print
screen program, FrontLook Screen Capture. See
my review of that here.
[Update! Sims fans can find more tips, tricks and cheats on Linda's site here:
Linda’s Computer Stop