The Sims Unleashed

Common Sense Media says

Complex game is purrfect for animal lovers.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

If you mistreat your pets, animal control will take them away from you.


Death does not discriminate; little doggies must face the Grim Reaper too.


While players can breed dogs and cats, UNLEASHED doesn't add any new sexual elements to the game.

Not applicable

While players can buy treats and toys for their pets, game play focuses on pet activities.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that if your kids are begging for a pet, this game might help demonstrate some of the major responsibilities they'd be taking on. Sim pets need food, but they also need love and training (and they misbehave by hissing or urinating on the floor). However, note that the game is too hard to control for most young tweens -- they might get frustrated.

Parents say

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Kids say

What's it about?

Add a new level of reality to your Sims life with this well-designed -- but complex -- expansion pack that lets you get pets from the adoption center or take in strays from the streets. With THE SIMS UNLEASHED you'll also be able to head to the new Old Town, where animals, including cats, dogs, iguanas, turtles, birds, fish, and pet goodies can be purchased (only cats and dogs become family members). You get a lot from having a pet: Letting your human Sims stare at an aquarium full of fish adds to their fun level. Cats will protect your home from mice and gophers, dogs chase skunks, and both cats and dogs are social animals, replacing the need for complicated virtual human interaction with simple warm and fuzzy animal relationships.

But as in real life, pets demand responsibility from their owners. Players must housebreak dogs to make sure they don't make a mess of the house, and you've got to clean your cat's virtual litter box. With the pets comes a whole new class of stuff to buy, such as cages, fish bowls, litter boxes, and scratching posts. And pets are not the only additions to come with Unleashed -- gardening plays a big part now, and there are new career paths, a new phone book, and new places to live.

Is it any good?


The downside is this already hard-to-control game just got harder to manage. Fast-moving animals are next to impossible to click on without pausing the game. Raising newborn kittens is extremely difficult (animal control arrives too quickly to take them away), and teaching your pets new skills takes a major time investment. Other game possibilities -- such as having your departed pets revived or setting up your own adoption center -- are much too complicated for the casual player.

Note: You need The Sims or The Sims Deluxe Edition before installing this expansion pack. Read Common Sense Media's reviews of other Sims products to learn the full range of pros and cons with this series.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the responsibility of caring for pets. If you already have a pet, do you find your Sims pet harder or easier to care for? If you don't have a pet, does this game make you want one more or less?

Game details

Platforms:Windows, Mac
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Electronic Arts
Release date:July 9, 2003
ESRB rating:T for (Mac, Windows)

This review of The Sims Unleashed was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 11 years old February 5, 2012

teaches you how to take care of pets a few nudity themes and you can make people fight but its a good game

Kid, 11 years old June 6, 2009

I laughed

It is good!!!
Teen, 16 years old Written bypepsicola147 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

A Must-Play for Every Sim Fan!

If you have played the other Sim games, this is pretty much the same. Sure, you can kill your sims, but why would you do that? That's wrong. You can now own pets, you can feed them and take care of them (actually you have to), and best of all they can have puppies, or kittens! I think that Sims Unleashed teaches some responsibility, to show how hard it is to keep pets, and a whole family! Just beware that there are some bad uses for the game. Don't abuse a great game!


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