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It’s been a slow month, so here’s a review for a game I missed last year: Sims 3: Pets. I was really disappointed in The Sims: Unleashed and pleasantly surprised with Sims 2: Pets. How does their Sims 3 counterpart stack up?

Sims 3: Pets

Long story short, I like it. I’m a dog lover to start (that’s my dog Maggie, recreated in-game, above) with so that helps, but the expansion in general is fun. Dogs are fun to have, can guard the house (I had one hold off a burglar until the police came and got him), and can hunt for you. Cats can also hunt, will protect your house from vermin, and are much more hands-off, maintenance wise, then a dog. Horses are the biggest change, being pets, professions, and vehicles, all rolled in one, big package.

The Sims 3: Pets

I made Bobo Ryder here (he was going to be Hobo Ryder but that brought too many possibilities to minds, none of them good) to try out the horses and it became clear quickly that I didn’t know anything about horses. My horse, Giddyup, was a nice, grey/blue color and then I went all “12-year-old girl” on him with a pink star on his eye and a pink heart on his flank. I think he hated me because of that – in fact I think that’s what he’s glaring at me for. I didn’t know what to feed horses, so I bought a water trough and a salt lick, which lasted my horse almost a week (apparently by ‘horse,’ they meant ‘camel’). Eventually he wanted a haystack, to which I replied, what haystack? It wasn’t under pet supplies, but rather outdoor things. That fits, and yet at the same time it doesn’t. Bobo (the owner, remember?) wasn’t a very good rider, regardless of his name, and had a few early learning issues.

The Sims 3: PetsSo close, and yet so far.

The animals are fairly self-sufficient if you give them the resources they need – food ,water, toys, attention – but for the first time in the series you can now control the pets directly. It doesn’t add allot to the game, and it makes them just into just another Sim and they lose their fascination to me. You have to spend time training them but that’s half the fun. The biggest complaint I have is that the expansion seems to have almost doubled the load time into the neighborhoods from the main menu, likely due to generating/maintaining the large compliment of wild animals.

Looking past the load time issue, this is the best  “Sims-plus-pets” pack yet. It’s still not enough to draw me back into the game for any length of time it still won’t sell to people who aren’t already playing by now. If you are already playing though, there’s no reason not to have this pack – unless you’re a grumpy animal hater.

Alphasim out.

ProsCons
Fun pets; Horses are a nice touch; Pets add some new gameplay experiencesLoad times are a bear; More hectic gameplay with pets in the mix
Rating
75%
Graphics
Sound
Control
Replayability

 

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