A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Sims have the ability to do all of the things they could do in the original Sims 2. That means they can insult friends, be late for work, and even have affairs. Players now have the option of assuming the role of a witch capable of casting spells that make other sims do such things as throw up, split with their beaus, and start fires. As apartment dwellers, they'll occasionally have to bang on walls when neighbors party too loudly and may even be sent to collections if they become delinquent in paying rent. However, a new reputation meter provides a motive for players to keep their sims on best behavior.
Violence & Scariness
Sims occasionally get into fights with one another (we're told early on that their emotions run deeper than ever before), but the violence, which includes actions such as throwing cups of water at other sims, is relatively tame. All Sims eventually pass away of natural causes.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sims can share hot tub baths together and become romantically involved to the point of producing children. Kissing is shown and you can lure other sims into bed, but actions of intimate and explicit nature are tastefully blurred out.
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The Sims speak in gibberish and never use real words. However, it's easy to interpret what they mean to say, and sometimes it's obviously meant to be profane.
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Products & Purchases
As in all Sims games, materialism plays a major role. Players spend much of their time shopping for new items to outfit their homes. There are no recognizable brands, but the unavoidable message here is that consumerism is good and wealth is desirable.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Home bar equipment and espresso machines are available for purchase.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this expansion to the popular life simulator The Sims 2 looks and feels very much like the original game, save that avatars now live in multi-unit dwellings. However, it also has a supernatural twist in that players can now morph their sims into witches and warlocks. Should players go this fantastical route, they'll have the option of selecting between two moral disciplines: The Ways of the Light and the Path of Darkness. The former provides access to helpful spells (healing fellow sims, patching up bad relationships), while the latter allows players to perform evil magic, causing other sims to become ill, start fires, and get into fights with one another. In short, you can be a meaner, nastier sim than ever before. That said, the game rewards civil behavior through a new Reputation Meter. Polite, respectful sims will find it easier to succeed in their careers and social life, while evildoers will inspire dislike and mistrust in their fellow sims.
Is It Any Good?
If this element of fantasy is not to your liking, you can simply choose not to associate with any witches and instead focus on new features more in keeping with the series' realer-than-real vibe. Like the reputation meter, which bobs up and down based on how much respect you show other sims. It can have a marked impact on how both new and old acquaintances react to you. And, depending on your sim's affluence, butlers are now available -- a godsend for players who can't stand cleaning up after themselves.
Of course, apartment living also comes with some disadvantages. Improvements to your pad are limited to the decorative variety -- no structural changes allowed. And if your roommate is short on cash come the first of the month? You'll have to pony up to make up the difference, or face an angry landlord willing to take you to collections. This broad range of new features and content, both helpful and hindering, helps make Apartment Life one of the strongest expansions to any Sims game to date.
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Our Editors Recommend
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