The latest expansion pack for The Sims 2
series introduces the concept of apartment living. Now your sims can move into an apartment building where roommates, landlords, and neighbors introduce all kinds of variety and possibility to daily life. This expansion also brings with it the introduction of magic. Your sims can learn magic spells, meet witches and warlocks, and even have their very own pet familiars. Though it may not sound like much, this pack offers quite a bit of entertaining content for the world of The Sims 2
The introduction of apartments to the Sims 2
universe may not seem like a big deal, but it is an entirely new way of living. Now you will be surrounded by neighbors which can impact your life positively while also adding some new issues to deal with. When you first move a Sim into an apartment building you get to pick your desired apartment, after which all the other apartments get rented out and the neighbors start moving in. Socially having your neighbors in such close proximity is a great benefit, but it also brings with it some unforunate side effects. The walls in apartments are not sound proof, and everyone lives different schedules. If you share a wall with a noisy neighbor, be prepared for some sleepless nights.
The only real drawback to apartment living, much like real life, is that you are limited in your options when it comes to designing your apartment. You are unable to make any structural changes, though you are free to put whatever you want into the space your given. Also, if you like to throw a lot of late night parties and have cranky neighbors, you might find yourself getting complaints made against you. This can result in an increase in rent if you're too unruly a neighbor.
Of course, just like in real life, living in an apartment is not free. Every week rent is due and can be paid at the community mailbox. Rent can vary greatly depending on the size of your apartment, but should you skip out on paying for too long don't expect a visit from the repot man. After a few days of leniency the landlord will show up and evict your sim out onto the street.
Though financially living in an apartment provides lower bills, rent can still be an obstacle for cash strapped sims. To help with the weekly rent you can choose to move in a roommate. Roommates are non-controllable sims who will share the apartment with you. They are normal sims with normal routines, however they have the addition of a satisfaction meter. The lower this meter, the less likely they are to contribute to the rent and the more uncomfortable your living situation will be. Of course should your roommate be too much of a burden or just too impossible to live with, you always have the option of kicking them to the curb.
To keep the apartments in tip top shape, each apartment building comes with a Landlord. This sim will show up during the day and take care of any maintenance that needs to be done inside and outside the building. You can also phone the landlord up if something breaks and they'll come over to repair it which saves paying for a repairman. In addition, each week the landlord will throw a building party giving you a chance to socialize with those neighbors that your schedule perhaps does not allow you time to meet otherwise.
Perhaps the most interesting addition to this expansion is the inclusion of magic. Now your sims can learn to become witches and warlocks. Doing so grants them the ability to learn and cast magical spells which bring another entire area of fun to the game. Much like werewolves and vampires from the other expansions, witches and warlocks will now show up in community lots where you can befriend them and eventually ask them to impart their mystical knowledge to you.
Once your sim has been introduced to the mystical arts they will receive a cauldron and spell book with which to begin their magical activities. Magic works much like a job or hobby in that it has ten levels of experience to build up. Experience is gained in a particular alignment of magic allowing your sim the use of good or evil spells. Sims build up their magical skill through study and casting.
There are three sets of spells within Apartment Life
and which ones your sims has access to will be dependant upon their magical alignment. Fortunately alignment is not set in stone and can be changed through a little work and study. Your sim will always be able to cast from the Neutral spell list, but then there are both Good and Evils spells which will be available to specifically aligned sims. The spells range from purely entertaining to providing social or meter specific benefits. Neutral Spells
- Aqua Deletus - Eliminates puddles.
- Cleanius Corpus - Fully maximizes the caster's hygiene bar.
- Folium Deletus - Eliminates all piles of leaves.
- Corpus Athleticus - Changes the target's body type to Fit.
- Corpus Fleshicus - Changes the target's body type to Fat.
- Magivestigium - Teleports the caster around the current lot.
- Creatum Nutrimens - Immediately conjures a serving platter of food.
- Expello Simae - Ejects a Sim from the lot.
- Appello Cattus Amicus - Summons a feline familiar for the caster.
- Purgomagus - Eliminates all current temporary magical effects, such as Expello Simae.
- Appello Simae - Summons a selectable Sim to the caster's location.
- Magus Mutatio - Grants the target the powers of magic.
- Tempus Interruptus - Initiates a time freeze for all non-magical Sims and pets.
- Benemoodus Simae - Improves all the target's need bars aside from environment.
- Creatum Insecto Volucris - Summons butterflies or fireflies.
- Exflammo - Extinguishes fires.
- Remedis Simae - Cures the target of illness.
- Beautificus Locus - Changes the weather to clear.
- Compello Acceptus - Makes the target happy.
- Appello Servantus - Summons a ghost to clean the lot.
- Benemoodus Populus - Improves all need bars aside from environment for all Sims on the lot.
- Mactoamicus - Forces the target and another Sim of your choosing to hug.
- Expello Mortis - Ejects the Grim Reaper from the lot.
- Spiritus Poultria - Makes the target act like a big fat chicken for a few minutes.
- Mellifera Attackum - Summons bees to attack the target and chase him around the lot.
- Inflammo - Ignites the targeted area of the ground.
- Heavus Ho - Induces the target to vomit immediately.
- Corruptus Locus - Changes the weather to an intense thunderstorm.
- Compello Discrepo - Induces anger for the target.
- Servantus Attackum - Summons a ghost to assault the target.
- Tabula Rasa - An extremely potent spell that wipes the target's memories and resets all this relationships to zero/zero.
- Extractum Amourus - Forces the target to fall out of love with the caster.
- Vivificus Zombiae - Resurrects selected Sim as a zombie.
Becoming a witch or warlock also grants your sim the ability to summon a feline familiar. The familiar is largely like a regular cat though it doesn't have to use the litterbox, is unable to get a job, and doesn't age. A familiar's personality also tends to identify with your sim's magical alignment, so an evil warlock will probably have a rather nasty familiar running around annoying people and vice versa for a magically good sim.
Outfits and Travel
Of course no witch or warlock would be seen going anywhere without their witch outfit and faithful broom, and the sims are no exception. Witches and warlocks now gain a unique set of clothing that varies based on their alignment. Good witches/warlocks wear white and have a bluish aura about them while evil witches/warlocks wear black, have green skin and a green aura. Then of course they all have access to a broom that they can zoom around on. Certainly beats walking.
There are of course a variety of other changes thrown into this expansion pack. While not as large as magic and the apartments, they still provide some nice additions to the world of the sims.
There is now a butler available for hire from the services menu. This butler will stay on your property from 9am to 8pm and provides the services of a maid, gardener, and repairman all in one. Not to mention that he's more than a one shot service like the maid. While the butler is around, should something need attention, he will attend to it. On top of all of that he'll also handle any guests that arrive at your house, cook meals for your sims, and should there be something he can't do, he'll call the appropriate person up himself. Fridge need stocking, he'll make the call, roaches need terminating, he's already on the phone. Of course all of this doesn't come cheap, but for an established household, he is well worth the money.
Social Reputation Meter
There is now a new meter buried in the personality screen that shows your social reputation amongst strangers. You raise this through positive interactions with new sims and lower it through negative interactions. While not a huge change, it does provide a little boost to new sims you interact with.
No, not the kind you can create from the phone menu. Now random sims will be a part of an entirely new structure of social groups. Befriending a sim who is part of a social group will provide benefits to you. Meet a member who is part of a entertainment social group and maybe he'll help you get your next promotion. Meet someone who is a member of a furniture store social group and perhaps he'll provide you a discount on future furniture purchases.
Increased Starting Funds
No longer are sims capped at 20,000 simoleans per household when starting out. Now it is dependant upon a formula.
- $20,000 for the first adult/elder
- $5,000 for every additional adult/elder
- $3,000 for every teenager
- $2,000 for every child
- $1,000 for every toddler
- Nothing for babies.
New Study Topics
Five new abilities are available for study from a bookshelf now.
- Fire Prevention - Lessens the amount of time it takes to extinguish a fire.
- Physiology - Decreases the chance your Sim gets ill, and increases the rate they get fit when exercising.
- Couples Counseling - Slows relationship decay with the Sim's partner if extreme problems arise.
- Anger Management - Decreases the Sim's desire to go into Furious Mode with another Sim, and decreases the time a Sim stays Furious if the mode triggered.
- Lifelong Happiness - Decreases the aspiration decay, allowing you to maintain platinum or gold status longer.
A few other minor additions provide some nice benefits as well.
- Phone Silence Mode - Tired of the phone ringing all the time. You can now turn the ringer off based on two different settings. One allows urgent calls to get through while the other prevents all calls.
- Walk to work - Now you can do more than walk to other lots, you can also walk to work. Miss the carpool and don't own a car of your own, just walk to work. Very helpful since apartment living sims can't own cars.
- Spiral staircase - Yep, it's about time. Now the sims can use spiral staircases which are incredible space savers. As convenient as elevators minus the mechanical break downs.