The Sims 4 review

The Sims 4 coverThe Sims 4 was originally announced on May 6, 2013, and was released in North America on September 2, 2014 for Microsoft Windows. A Mac compatible version of the game was made available for digital download on February 17, 2015. The Sims 4 is the first PC game to top all-format charts in two years. The game has received mixed reviews since its release, with the majority of criticism directed towards its lack of content.

Review by Teoalida

When I initially wrote this review, I wrote based on other people reviews, because did not had the change to get the game for free download and make it working. I am NOT going to pay even $1 for such bad game, I wanted to get it for free, play few hours to review it, then delete, because I cannot play it anyway, I have grown up, becoming an adult and a busy businessman so I no longer have time for gaming. I am sorry for all kids who wasted $60 for this piece of shit.

I played it in 2015 when EA offered the game for free play for 48 hours starting from the moment you download it, and improved the review.

The Sims 4 is the WORST game of Sims series, or second worst after the original The Sims game launched in 2000 (it being the first Sims game, is understandable why it was a bad game, but for a 2014 game is simply unacceptable to be so bad).

Electronic Arts made a huge step backwards in October 2014. Lots of features available in The Sims 2 and 3 base games do not exist in The Sims 4 base game.

  • The Sims 4 worlds are small, up to 20 lots, compared with 70-100 lots in The Sims 3. All lots are fixed on screen, a cartoon-style 2D map like in The Sims 1. You cannot rotate camera around the neighborhood. You cannot move houses from one lot to another.
  • The open concept from The Sims 3 is gone. You live in a neighborhood with max 5 playable houses on a background full of houses that you cannot touch. travelling between neighborhoods is possible but bring the loading screen like in The Sims 2.
  • The pools do not exist in base game. Do you notice that 90% of the houses I built in The Sims 2 and 3 have pools? I can’t live in a house without a pool. The pool feature was introduced in a patch launched one month later, but… all worlds launched for The Sims 3 are compatible with base game, so this does mean that possible new worlds that will be provided for The Sims 4 will feature only houses without pool? Horrible!
  • The owned cars or garages do not exist in base game and is unlikely to have them added by any expansion. With such small worlds and limited build mode you have nothing to do with a car. Cars that take sim to work, famous in previous 3 games, also do not exist, the sim simply go in front of house and disappear.
  • Toddler life stage is also removed. Not a big deal in my opinion.
  • Some useful services like firefighters and gardener do not exist in The Sims 4.
  • Workplaces and school are not existent in The Sims 4 as we know them in The Sims 3. It returns to The Sims 1 / 2 style, the sim goes in front of house and disappears, there is not even a car or school bus to take the sim to work, you do not see where it is going.
  • The Sims 4 graphics are not significantly improved compared with The Sims 3, or even worse, the grass and water were well textured in The Sims 3 while in The Sims 4 looks plain.
  • Create a Style from The Sims 3 was also removed. You can no longer apply custom colors to objects, you need to choose from a predefined list of colors as you did in The Sims 2.
  • The Sims 4 do not have a pre-made story.

The Sims 4 build mode was redesigned to allow easier construction of houses, but it prevents you from exploring architecture creativity:

  • You can buy pre-furnished rooms and arrange them to form a floorplan, doors are automatically added between rooms but sometimes in wrong place.
  • You can drag walls to resize the rooms without having to remove items hanged on wall. If the wall you move overlaps with furniture placed in the room, the furniture is automatically removed, but you can undo.
  • The Sims 4 houses can have 4 floors above ground and 2 basement floor (under ground).
  • Each floor can have 3 heights, short, medium, tall, 12, 16, 20 stair steps, 4 steps per horizontal square meaning 9 inch tread. Floor heights are approximately 9, 12, 15 feet, meaning that staircases have 9 inch riser, making them at 45-degree, steeper than in previous games and unrealistic, violating architectural codes from real life. For comparison in The Sims 1 / 2 / 3 the floors had a height of 16 steps with an apparent height of 10 feet, giving a riser of 7.5 inch. Most pre-build houses have medium wall height, making oversized ceiling height in my opinion. Tall walls are required to add cornices under roof, an useless feature in my opinion. You can change wall height anytime, but lowering the height will make tall windows to disappear.
  • The foundation is added automatically when you build the first floor, and you can anytime adjust basement height from 0 to 9 steps, stair length is adjusted automatically.
  • You cannot make houses raised on foundation and garage without foundation on same lot. You cannot have semi-basements integrated in foundation on sloped land, as it was possible in The Sims 2 and 3.

Other facts:

  • The Sims 4 support all 16:9 resolutions up to 2560×1440 (QHD). Good, considering that The Sims 3 lacked FULL HD (1920×1080) support and was running at maximum of 1600… 1600×900 and 1600×1200 (update: figured later that you can edit GraphicRules.sgr to set up custom resolutions, FULL HD and 4K works fine).
  • The life simulation was slightly improved over The Sims 3. This is the only good thing that survived from all The Sims series.

Lot prices in Newcrest

  • 15×20 – $1500
  • 20×30 – $2000
  • 20×40 – $2500
  • 30×30 – $2500
  • 30×40 – $3000
  • 40×50 – $8500

Willow Creek and Oasis Spring have lot prices varying between lots of same size.

The Sims 4 expansion packs (from Wikipedia)

EP01 Get to Work
PC: NA: March 31, 2015; EU: April 2, 2015.
Console: WW: March 20, 2018.

The first expansion pack adds three new playable, active careers: Doctor, Detective and Scientist. Get to Work also gives the opportunity to build your own retail store and start your own retail business. The expansion pack also adds a new neighborhood called Magnolia Promenade, and planet Sixam, an alien home world, as well as playable alien Sims. It also adds two new skills (Baking and Photography), new objects and clothing.

EP02 Get Together
PC: NA: December 8, 2015; EU: December 10, 2015.
Console: WW: September 11, 2018.

Get Together is the second expansion pack for The Sims 4, which was announced on August 5, 2015 at Gamescom. The main new feature of this expansion pack is Clubs. The player can create and join Clubs with distinct interests, personalities, and styles where the player can set the rules, define their look, and customize their hangouts. Furthermore, there are brand new activities such as foosball, darts, Don’t Wake The Llama and arcade machine. There are also all new DJ & Dancing skills. This expansion pack features a new world of called Windenburg, with scenic neighborhoods and picturesque landmarks, including the sprawling hedge maze at the Von Haunt Estate, the alluring pools along the bluffs, and the mysterious ancient ruins. Other new features include: emotional texts, natural pool colours, new foods & drinks, barista & DJ NPCs, and new Closet WooHoo & Bush WooHoo.

EP03 City Living
PC: NA: November 1, 2016; EU: November 3, 2016.
Console: WW: November 14, 2017.

The third expansion pack features a new city called San Myshuno with four unique neighborhoods. City Living introduces new careers reflective of our time including the returning politician career and two new brand new fields never seen in the franchise: social media and critic. The expansion pack focuses on city life and reintroduces apartments into the city, ranging from fixer-uppers to penthouses. There are many new lots and activities for Sims to explore such the Spice Market, Karaoke Bar, Geek Con with video game competitions, the Spice Festival with curry eating contests and a Romance Festival for love-seeking Sims. Apartments will feature lot traits which can be assigned to any lot. The new lot traits are available via patch to players who do not purchase the expansion.

EP04 Cats & Dogs
PC: WW: November 10, 2017.
Console: WW: July 31, 2018.

The fourth expansion pack introduces creation of pets such as cats, dogs, and items catered to Sims’ furry friends (similar to The Sims 2: Pets, The Sims 3: Pets and The Sims: Unleashed). This also allows players to pursue a veterinary career and create their own veterinary practice.

EP05 Seasons
PC: WW: June 22, 2018.
Console: WW: November 13, 2018.

The fifth expansion pack introduces new weather and seasons systems similar to the systems found in The Sims 2: Seasons and The Sims 3: Seasons, which allow Sims to experience winter, spring, summer, and fall. The pack also introduces new outfits as well as a new career, the Botanist.

EP06 Get Famous
PC: WW: November 16, 2018.
Console: WW: February 12, 2019.

The sixth expansion pack allows sims to become famous (similar to The Sims: Superstar) through the addition of an acting active career or a social media influencer. A variety of expensive objects are added to create luxury mansions, in the brand new world of Del Sol Valley.

EP07 Island Living
PC: WW: June 21, 2019
Console: WW: July 16, 2019

The seventh expansion pack focuses on sims living in a tropical paradise world called Sulani (in a similar vein to that of The Sims 3: Island Paradise). Other features include the conservationist, diving, fishing and lifeguard careers, playable mermaids, boats and the island locals.

EP08 Discover University
PC: WW: November 15, 2019
Console: WW: December 17, 2019

The eighth expansion pack introduces your sims to the university (similar to The Sims 2: University and The Sims 3: University Life). There is a new world, Britechester, with has two universities, “University of Britechester” and “Foxbury Institute”. It also adds the possibility of riding a bike.

The Sims 4 game packs (from Wikipedia)

GP01 Outdoor Retreat
PC: WW: January 13, 2015.
Console: WW: December 4, 2018.

Adds a new world called Granite Falls. Within the new world Sims can vacation outdoors in a national park. This pack also adds a new skill (Herbalism); a new collectable (insects); and several new Sims traits, achievements, aspirations, outfits, objects, and game interactions related to outdoor activities.

GP02 Spa Day
PC: WW: July 14, 2015.
Console: WW: April 18, 2019.

Adds a new building type, the spa. This pack also includes a new skill (Wellness) as well as several new outfits, objects and game interactions related to the typical features in a spa like massages, meditation, mud baths, saunas and yoga.

GP03 Dine Out
PC: WW: June 7, 2016.
Console: WW: January 8, 2018.

Allows Sims to visit restaurants, as well as build and run their own restaurant. Those that own restaurants can experiment with new foods, employ staff and succeed in cooking. This pack also comes with a variety of items in Create a Sim.

GP04 Vampires
PC: WW: January 24, 2017.
Console: WW: November 14, 2017.

Allows Sims to become Vampires with different powers and weaknesses. A new residential world with five lots, Forgotten Hollow, is also introduced. The pack also comes with a new aspiration, new lot traits and numerous CAS and Build mode items that fit the darker Vampire theme.

GP05 Parenthood
PC: WW: May 30, 2017.
Console: WW: June 19, 2018.

Allows adult Sims to control and shape their child or teen’s life. New features like cursing, acne, school related projects, and many more. Toddlers, children, and teens can now be rebellious to their parents and other siblings. Parents can treat this new behavior by being strict, or they could be nurturing and hope that good things will come.

GP06 Jungle Adventure
PC: WW: February 27, 2018.
Console:WW: December 4, 2018.

Adds a new destination world called Selvadorada. New food, dance moves and music are added. Ancient artifacts and mysterious relics can be excavated and examined.

GP07 StrangerVille
PC: WW: February 26, 2019
Console: WW: May 14, 2019
Adds a new residential world named StrangerVille with a mystery to be solved. A new aspiration, build mode items, and CAS items were also included.

GP08 Realm of Magic
PC: WW: September 10, 2019
Console: WW: October 15, 2019

Adds two new worlds, Glimmerbrook and the Magical Realm. Adds Spellcasters and magical gameplay as well as Art Nouveau style build mode items and three different styles of Spellcaster CAS items.

The Sims 4 stuff packs (from Wikipedia)

SP01 Luxury Party Stuff
PC: WW: May 19, 2015.
Console: WW: December 5, 2017.

Includes several luxury party outfits and items, including buffet tables and a table-top cheese/chocolate/drinking fountain.

SP02 Perfect Patio Stuff
PC: WW: June 16, 2015.
Console: WW: November 17, 2017.

Includes patio furniture, including hot tubs, as well as new outfits.

SP03 Cool Kitchen Stuff
PC: WW: August 11, 2015.
Console:WW: December 5, 2017.

Includes kitchen counters, cabinets and appliances, such as an Ice Cream Maker with over 30 different flavors.

SP04 Spooky Stuff
PC: WW: September 29, 2015.
Console: WW: October 2, 2018.

Includes Halloween-related costumes, items including spider webs and a pumpkin carving station, and a new spooky-themed party that Sims can throw.

SP05 Movie Hangout Stuff
PC: WW: January 12, 2016.
Console: WW: February 19, 2019.

Includes Bohemian-styled clothing, home theaters, and items such as the Popcorn Maker.

SP06 Romantic Garden Stuff
PC: WW: February 9, 2016.
Console: WW: February 6, 2018.

Includes garden objects, new outfits, and new gameplay modes.

SP07 Kids Room Stuff
PC: WW: June 28, 2016.
Console: WW: June 19, 2018.

Includes items for children’s rooms, including new beds, a puppetry, a new game, and new hair and clothes for children.

SP08 Backyard Stuff
PC: WW: July 19, 2016.
Console: WW: May 22, 2018.

Includes items for the backyard such as slip ‘n’ slide and bird feeders, and new hair and clothes.

SP09 Vintage Glamour Stuff
PC: WW: December 6, 2016.
Console: WW: November 14, 2017.

Includes vintage style items such as a vanity table, new Old Hollywood inspired clothes and hair and the ability to hire a butler.

SP10 Bowling Night Stuff
PC: WW: March 29, 2017.
Console: WW: March 12, 2019.

Includes items such as bowling lanes allowing players to build their own bowling hangout(s) for their Sims to visit. A new five level bowling skill, new themed clothing items, furniture, wallpapers and floorings are also included.

SP11 Fitness Stuff
PC: WW: June 20, 2017.
Console: WW: March 12, 2019.

Includes new items such as the rock climbing treadmill, workout videos and earbuds. Also included are more fitness apparel.

SP12 Toddler Stuff
PC: WW: August 24, 2017.
Console: WW: May 22, 2018.

Includes new playground equipments for toddlers to use.

SP13 Laundry Day Stuff
PC: WW: January 16, 2018.
Console: WW: August 14, 2018.

Includes new home technologies to help your Sim with domestic responsibilities and live an eco-friendly life. Marks of the return of laundry, washing machines and other laundry related items.

SP14 My First Pet Stuff
PC: WW: March 13, 2018.

Includes hamster, rat, pygmy hedgehog, or miniature bubalus as new pets. It is the first stuff pack to require another piece of Downloadable Content in order to use some of the content in it, in this case the Cats and Dogs pack.

SP15 Moschino Stuff
PC: WW: August 13, 2019
Console: WW: September 3, 2019

New clothing and décor from Moschino and Freelance Fashion Photographer career.

SP16 Tiny Living Stuff
PC: WW: January 21, 2020
Console: WW: February 4, 2020

Includes new home technologies to help your Sim with living a smaller lifestyle and reducing his/her carbon footprint., including carbon neutral tiles and Murphy beds.

The Sims 3 review

The Sims 3 coverThe Sims 3 was announced that it was in development for PlayStation 3 and Wii in November 2006, and later announced for OS X and Microsoft Windows. It was first released on June 2, 2009 simultaneously for OS X and Microsoft Windows – both versions on the same disc. Smartphone versions were also released on June 2, 2009. Console versions were released for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo DS in October 2010 and a month later for the Wii. The Windows Phone version was made available on the Windows Phone Store on October 15, 2010. A Nintendo 3DS version, released on March 27, 2011, was one of its launch titles.

Review by Teoalida

After playing all remaining expansions of The Sims 2 during 2012, I decided to try The Sims 3 in January 2013, so here is my review:

The Sims 3 have a lot of advantages and disadvantages compared with The Sims 2, depending by each person tastes, each one can be better than other one. Personally I think that The Sims 2 is still the best! If The Sims 2 made me to stop playing The Sims 1, this does not happen with The Sims 3.

The Sims 3 returned to The Sims 1 style with neighborhoods (worlds) with fixed lots, it put accent on life simulation and scrap the ability of placing lots anywhere like in The Sims 2 and design a city (sadly, this was my favorite feature of The Sims 2). Joined buildings from one lot to another, such as terraced houses, possible in The Sims 1 but also in The Sims 2 with LotAdjuster tool, are no longer possible in The Sims 3.

The Create-a-World tool offered as separate download is incomplete and hard to use, I only wanted to add more smaller lots in existing neighborhoods!

Fortunately, you can move or copy buildings from one lot to another, even copying small lots on bigger lots, also rotate them.

Time is synchronized in entire town, while you play one family, the computer control all other families. You do not save families, you save all town at once. The lack of control caused numerous complaints around forums (I am confused how the computer control other families, I need to play more to figure this out).

Pros

The Sims 3 graphics are better (however the graphics play only minor role in my rating of games), Sun takes a path on the sky and each object cast shadows that moves around day, instead of sticking on a single direction.

The main problem of The Sims 2, the sun direction saved by lot, was solved in The Sims 3. I can rotate houses within a lot and no longer need to rebuild the if I want to have another side facing to sun. The design flaw from The Sims 2 that whole wall under balconies is in shadow, was solved in The Sims 3, now each roof, balcony, object, etc, cast correct shadows on below walls.

The Sims 3 got massive improvements in decorative functionality (exactly the part which I am NOT interested). All furniture can now be rotated with 45-degrees (in The Sims 2 you could rotate them with a cheat, but some will become nonfunctional, for example you can’t have dining table with seating at 45 degrees), additionally you can hold ALT key and place items out of grid and rotate them freely.

Create a Style is a tool that allow you to customize colors and patterns of each item, you can even edit sofa’s color and make it looking like a brick wall, and edit brick wall and make it looking like fabric. You can easily cheat for example use a cheap paint but color it like an expensive marble wall cover.

Cons

– Cannot make diagonal pools.

– Ceilings are displayed, but cannot paint them.

– Lack of properly-working driveway. The Sim go to street instead of going to the parked car, the car teleport to street, you can park cars anywhere in the lot, even on rooftop! Update: this is because The Sims 3 allow lots to be placed on any routable terrain without being directly connected to roads, and allow rotating lots which would be not possible if driveway was attached to street (cars can teleport in The Sims 2 too, if the driveway is blocked. If the driveway is correctly attached to street, the cars turn in reverse in realistic way).

– Non-realistic land prices, $2 per square. Largest lot in The Sims 3 (64×64) costs $8.192 while largest lot in The Sims 2 (60×50) costs $18.500. Typical houses on 30×30 lots cost $50.000 of which the land is only $1.800. In my opinion, land price shall be at least $10 per squares, so the starter families should start on small lot, then move to a bigger lot only when you can afford building a palace.

– Too big lots and odd-sized lots: I HATE lot sizes in The Sims 3, typical sizes are 20×30, 30×30, 30×40, 40×40, 60×60, but there are also numerous odd-sized lots that put me in doubt how big I should design my houses to be suitable for other players!

Smallest lot is Little Corsican Bistro in Sunset Valley, 16×18 squares, narrowest lot is Four Bridges Park in Riverview, 64×10 squares. I wished to have more small lots and even smaller such as 20×20 or even 10×20. Just look around my website, I have 30+ houses built in The Sims 2 and only 6 of them are bigger than 30×30.

Update: with The Sims 3 Late Night Expansion, or with patches released after the expansion, a World Editor appears in game and we can add additional lots small as 10×10, and with Add Any Lot Size tool we can create custom-sized lots!

The Sims 3 support same resolutions like The Sims 2, the maximum being 1600×1200. Shame, for a game to be launched in June 2009 without support for the FULL HD resolution of 1920×1080 that was adopted in 2008 by TV industry, which will become the standard resolution of high-end computers during following years. It also do not support 1680×1050 and 1920×1200 which are common since 2005. The highest widescreen resolutions supported by The Sims 3 are 1440×900 and 1600×900.

What is above is  written by me. What is below is copied from Wikipedia:

The Sims 3 expansion packs

World Adventures
Release date: NA: November 17, 2009; EU: November 19, 2009; AU: November 20, 2009.
Additions: New traits, items, clothing.
Features: quests, tomb exploration at three new destinations, photography, new build functions including the basement tool, nectar, fireworks, shops, vacation homes.
New vacation worlds: Champs Les Sims (France), Al Simhara (Egypt), Shang Simla (China)
Life State: Mummy.
New Careers: None.

Ambitions
Release date: NA: June 1, 2010; EU: June 3, 2010.
Additions: New careers, skills, traits, and items.
Features: control within work (professions and selected careers), laundry, tattoo system, skill-based self-employment.
New world: Twinbrook.
Life State: Simbot (Robot).
New Careers: Architectural Designer, Education, Firefighter, Ghost Hunter, Medical, Investigator, Stylist, Self-Employed.

Late Night
Release date: NA: October 26, 2010; EU: October 28, 2010.
Additions: New careers, skills, traits, clothes and accessories, furniture, and cars.
Features: bars, night clubs, penthouse suites, hot tubs, subway portholes, elevators, breast and muscle definition sliders, Group, Band, Butler, zodiac signs, new swimming pool design tools, height adjustment for wall objects, fountain tool.
New world: Bridgeport.
Life State: Vampire.
New Careers: Film, Band Member.

Generations
Release date: NA: May 31, 2011; EU: June 2, 2011.
Additions: New playground equipment, mid-life crisis, new interactions, new traits, and new profession.
Features: Pranks, body hair for males, new types of celebrations (i.e. birthday/teen/bachelor parties, weddings, slumber), memories, graduation ceremonies, prom, imaginative play, potions, spiral staircases, water slides, boarding schools, pillow fights, strollers, canes for elders.
Life State: Imaginary Friend.
New Careers: Daycare.

Pets
Release date: NA: October 18, 2011; EU: October 20, 2011.
Two editions: Regular and “Limited Edition”.
Additions: New pets, new animal and sim traits, Create-A-Pet, new lifetime wishes and rewards, new interactions, new items, new venues and community locations, new pet and sim skills.
Features: Controllable animals (cats, dogs, horses) and non-playable creatures (see NPC section), pet contests.
New world: Appaloosa Plains.
Life State: Unicorn.
New Careers: Equestrian.

Showtime
Release date: NA: March 6, 2012; EU: March 8, 2012
Three editions: Regular, “Limited Edition” and “Katy Perry Collector’s Edition”.
Additions: New stage performance careers (singer, acrobat, magician), new objects (pool table, golfing), new sim traits/lifetime wishes; Katy Perry only: downloadable stage venue, fruit-themed clothing, items, and stage props.
Features: Social features, stage decoration, singing, gigs, new ‘Achievement System’, Simport which allows importing and exporting of celebrity Sims.
New world: Starlight Shores.
Life State: Genie.
New Careers: Singer, Acrobat, Magician.

Supernatural
Release date: NA: September 4, 2012; EU: September 6, 2012.
Three editions: Regular, “Limited Edition” and “Origin Decor Edition”.
Additions: New items (alchemy station, rocking chair), new clothing options including wings, new traits.
Features: Supernatural life states including witches, werewolves, fairies, vampires, and zombies; creation of supernatural Sims directly in Create-A-Sim.
New world: Moonlight Falls.
Life State: Vampire, Witch, Werewolf, Zombie, Fairy.
New Careers: Fortune Teller

Seasons
Release date: NA: November 13, 2012; EU: November 15, 2012.
Two editions: Regular and “Limited Edition”.
Additions: New skills (soccer/snowboard), new traits, seasonal celebrations.
Features: Weather, seasons, new outerwear clothing category, new festivals & holidays, swimming in the ocean.
Life State: Alien.
New Careers: Test Subject (Aliens Only).

University Life
Release date: NA: March 5, 2013; EU: March 7, 2013.
Two editions: Regular and “Limited Edition”.
Additions: New skills (Bowling, Science, Photography, Social Networking & Street Arts), new traits, social groups, college sub-neighborhood, a smart phone, a new university world you enter when you enroll, and weather.
New university world: Sims University.
Life State: PlantSim.
New Careers: Art Appraiser, Sports Agent, Video Game Developer.

Island Paradise
Release date: NA: June 25, 2013; EU: June 27, 2013.
Two editions: Regular and “Limited Edition”.
Additions & Features: Houseboats, resort management, island discovery, new modes of transportation on water (e.g. boating, water skiing, windsurfing).
New world: Isla Paradiso.
Life State: Mermaid.
New Careers: Lifeguard, Resort Manager, Scuba Diver.

Into the Future
Release date: NA: October 22, 2013; EU: October 24, 2013.
Two editions: Regular and “Limited Edition”.
Additions & Features: Traveling to the future.
New world: Oasis Landing.
Life State: Plumbot (Robot).
New Careers: Plumbot Dealer, Astronomer, Plumbot Trainer

The Sims 3 Stuff packs

Stuff Packs only include new items e.g. furniture, clothing, hairstyles. They do not add any new functionality to the game. Stuff Packs are compatible with both Windows and OS X as with the main game and expansion packs.

High-End Loft Stuff
Release date: NA: February 2, 2010; EU: February 4, 2010.
High-end furnishings, mainly technology such as televisions, video game consoles, and computers, as well as postmodern designs of bookshelves, tables, and chairs. Three items from The Sims and The Sims 2 were reintroduced to celebrate The Sims 10th Anniversary. Alternatively titled “Design and High-Tech Stuff”.

Fast Lane Stuff
Release date: NA: September 7, 2010; EU: September 9, 2010.
Four all‐new styles of fashions, furnishings, and vehicles: Racing, Intrigue, Rockabilly, and Classic Luxury.

Outdoor Living Stuff
Release date: NA: February 1, 2011; EU: February 3, 2011.
Clothing, furnishings, and items centered on patio activities in two new styles: “Garden Terrace” features elegant wrought-iron pieces, while “Sunset on the Veranda” embraces the warmth of outdoors.

Town Life Stuff
Release date: NA: July 26, 2011; EU: July 28, 2011.
New casual outfits, hairstyles, and items. Features newly redesigned venues such as a school, cafe, and grocery store; as well as new community lots including a gym, park, laundromat, and library.

Master Suite Stuff
Release date: NA: January 24, 2012; EU: January 26, 2012.
Luxurious bedroom and bathroom décor centered on romance and relaxation. New contemporary furnishings and intimate apparel themed for creating romantic master suites.

Katy Perry’s Sweet Treats
Release date: NA: June 5, 2012; EU: June 7, 2012.
New candy-themed décor, items, outfits, hairstyles, and community lots. Features a Simlish version of Katy Perry’s song “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)”. On July 15, 2013, a Community Manager for EA confirmed that this stuff pack has been retired and is no longer available on Origin. Therefore, EA will not produce any more physical or digital copies of Katy Perry’s Sweet Treats.

Diesel Stuff
Release date: NA: July 10, 2012; EU: July 12, 2012.
New clothing and décor from Diesel.

70s, 80s, & 90s Stuff
Release date: NA: January 22, 2013; EU: January 24, 2013.
Outfits, hairstyles and items modeled on that of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

Movie Stuff
Release date: NA: September 10, 2013; EU: September 12, 2013.
Clothing and décor inspired from iconic movie themes and settings.

The Sims 2 review

The Sims 2 coverAfter playing The Sims 1 around 2003-2005 and never enjoying it like other games such as racing and strategy, I got The Sims 2 in 2005, and it became instantly my favorite game.

The Sims 2 was launched on September 14, 2004. A port to Mac OS X was released on June 17, 2005. Eight expansion packs and nine stuff packs were subsequently released.

The Sims 2 has turned The Sims series into 3D graphics engine. Sims have life goals, wants and fears, the fulfillment of which can produce both positive or negative outcomes.

A lot of things have been improved compared with original The Sims. Most importantly, The Sims 2 introduced ability to edit neighborhoods. You can place lots anywhere, move, rotate, copy them, transpose them from one neighborhood to another, even with families living on them (not recommended to move families from one neighborhood to another).

Due to above reason, size of lots in The Sims 2 is a multiply of 10 of the size shown in neighborhood view. Base game allow you to place lots from 3×2 to 5×5, while Nightlife and newer expansion packs add more sizes including 3×1, 2×2 and 6×5. With third-party tools such as Mootilda Lot Adjuster you can obtain any lot size from 1×1, 1×5 to 6×5 even in base game. More details: lot sizes and prices.

The Sims 2 base game comes with 3 pre-made neighborhoods, with all expansion installed will be 6 pre-made neighborhoods, plus 8 pre-made sub-neighborhoods which can be linked to each neighborhood and visited (3 university campuses, 1 downtown, 1 shopping district, 3 vacation destinations). Total 14 pre-made neighborhoods with 350 lots. Additional 5 hidden neighborhoods do exist in game files and are used to generate NPC, they cannot be played. More details: The Sims 2 neighborhoods.

Players can make custom neighborhoods using .sc4 terrains, base game provide 12 terrain templates and with expansion packs makes a total of 24. Players can make custom terrain templates with another game: SimCity 4.

The Sims 2 houses can be built more compact and realistic than The Sims 1 houses where only 1 Sim can sit in any square, I always had traffic jams between kitchen and dining, to eat 4 people was necessary a 2×2 table. In The Sims 2 a 1×1 table can sustain 4 chairs.

The Sims 2 introduced weekdays, with children going to school from Monday to Friday while adult jobs work hours and work days vary from job to job.

The Sims 2 architectural features were improved greatly. Under default settings the houses can have up to 5 floors. This can be foundation + 3 floors + roof or terrace. You can eliminate the foundation, or built a semi-underground basement floor inside foundation. There is a TRICK that allow building 6 levels: put a dormer on the highest level, but this will not allow anymore stepped roofs taller than one floor.

Roofs can be built automatically or manually, allow you to make a mix of hipped and gabled roofs. Base game roof pitch is always 45 degrees to allow attic usage, which cause very tall roofs in case of squarish single-storey houses (reason for which personally I choose to build houses L-shaped, U-shaped, etc, to make roof not too tall). Nightlife and newer expansion packs add a cheat roofslopeangle 15-75 (degrees).

A cheat was introduced by University and Open for Business expansion packs: press Ctrl+Shift+C when you are in Neighborhood (NOT in a lot), type sethighestallowedlevel 16 (or any number up to 255), then open any lot and you can built more levels. If the height limit was reached, just put a dormer to unlock the limit. Do not try to build more than 16 floors, the game will crash.

Swimming pools in The Sims base game can have only 4 sides, Nightlife or newer expansion packs allow you to build non-rectangular pools such as L-shaped or with diagonal sides.

The Sims 2 introduced aging and genetics (aging can be disabled using cheat aging -off):

Babies cannot be created via Create a Sim, they can be made by doing WooHoo in bed (Sims definition of sex). After 72 hours of pregnancy, a baby is born. Babies can be also adopted if a Sim call adoption service, they never call you like in The Sims 1. Babies do appear in Sims list, but cannot be selected or controlled directly, but only by another sim, teen or older.

Toddler last 4 days, they can be controlled and move around house but depends by other sims, teen or older, to be feed up, change diapers, put them in and out their cribs, climbing stairs, etc.

Child last 8 days, they go to school from 9 AM to 3 PM and can be taken away by social worker in case of falling grades or low hunger motive, as they cannot prepare food, but only have a snack.

Teen last 15 days, but can be aged earlier if they go to university. Teenagers continue to go to school, but from 9 AM to 1 PM, and can be taken away by social worker in case of falling grades but not in case of hunger. Teenagers can also have a part-time job, drive cars, cook food and other adult abilities, except getting married and WooHoo.

Young adult is an optional life stage that happens if a Teen sim is sent to college, otherwise they turn into adult. Young adult last the full duration of college, which under normal circumstances is 8 semesters of 72 hours each.

Adult last 29 years. Adults can have a full-time job, same abilities like teens, plus ability to marry and WooHoo (having sex).

Elder is the final life stage, when adults age to elder they will be 54 days old regardless of how much they actually lived. Elder last 10 days + a random number from 1 of 10, plus a number of days based on their aspiration at the moment they aged, +10, +7, +3, 0, -2 days. Elder female Sims cannot get pregnant, but Elder male Sims can still impregnate adult female Sims. Adults who have jobs when they become elders can keep those jobs, or they can retire and receive a pension, which is per week half of weekly salary of the job he or she retired from, and the Sim will receive one-seventh of that each day. A retired Sim can have a part-time job like teenagers, in parallel with pension.

Some critics by me

  • Starter families gets $20.000 regardless of number of Sims. Is this correct?
  • Land prices are too cheap. A starter family can afford even the largest lot (5×6 which is $18,500). In my opinion, starter families should buy only small housing lots and move to large housing lots only when they get enough rich to build palaces. I am not against large lots, but look at the houses made by me, showing the potential of small lots. $100,000+ houses on 2×2 lots that cost only $1,600. Also even the cheapest, basic furniture for a fully furnished house is approximately the value of empty house. In real life, no house is cheaper than its furniture.
  • Another thing that I do not like is that the sun in neighborhood view is in opposite direction of the sun in lot view. The sun direction is defined based on the original lot orientation when it was placed, rotating lots will make neighborhood view to have shadows in multiple directions. I personally build playable houses with various lot orientations to have most beautiful facade and pool on sunny side, while buildings designed purely for neighborhood decoration to have most beautiful facade on the dark side in lot to be sunny side in neighborhood.

The Sims 2 expansion packs

University
Release date: Windows: NA: March 1, 2005, EU: March 2, 2005, Mac OS X: ?.
Add ability to go to college, Young Adult age group, Influence system.
New sub-neighborhoods: La Fiesta Tech, Sim State University, Académie Le Tour
New careers: Natural Scientist, Paranormal, Show Business, Artist

Nightlife
Release date: NA: September 13, 2005, EU: September 13, 2005, Mac OS X: ?.
Add ability to own cars, and sub-neighborhood Downtown.

Open for Business
Release date: Windows: NA: March 2, 2006, EU: March 2, 2006, Mac OS X: September 4, 2006.
Add ability to set up home businesses.
New pre-made neighborhood: Bluewater Village.

Pets
Release date: Windows: NA: October 17, 2006, EU: October 20, 2006, Mac OS X: November 6, 2006.
Sims can now own pets.
New careers for pets: Security, Showbiz, Service.

Seasons
Release date: Windows: NA: March 1, 2007, EU: March 2, 2007, Mac OS X: June 11, 2007.
Add seasons and weather, fishing and gardening.
New pre-made neighborhood: Riverblossom Hills.
New careers: Education, Gamer, Journalism, Law, Music.

Bon Voyage
Release date: Windows: NA: September 4, 2007, EU: September 7, 2007, Mac OS X: December 17, 2007.
Allow sims to go in vacation.
3 pre-made sub-neighborhoods: Twikkii Island, Three Lakes, Takemizu Village.

FreeTime
Release date: Windows: NA: February 26, 2008, EU: February 22, 2008.
Add ability to keep hobbies, lifetime aspiration system, new talent badges.
New pre-made neighborhood: Desiderata Valley.
New careers: Oceanography, Intelligence, Entertainment, Dance, Architecture

Apartment Life
Release date: Windows: NA: August 27, 2008, EU: August 29, 2008.
Allow you to build apartments and put up to 4 families on same lot.
Add witchcraft system.
New pre-made neighborhood: Belladonna Cove.
Characters: Witches, Warlocks.

The Sims 2 stuff packs

Holiday Party Pack
Release date: Windows: NA: November 17, 2005
Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year themed stuff, plus new NPCs: Santa Claus, Father Time, and Baby New Year

Family Fun Stuff
Release date: Windows: NA: April 13, 2006, Mac OS X: April 30, 2007
Family-oriented Fairy tale, outer space and nautical themed items mainly for children’s bedrooms

Glamour Life Stuff
Release date: Windows: NA: August 31, 2006, Mac OS X: June 1, 2007
Luxury, couture and glamour themed objects, floors and walls

Happy Holiday Stuff
Release date: Windows: NA: November 7, 2006, Mac OS X: September 4, 2007
All items from Holiday Party Pack plus added Asian and European holiday themed stuff

Celebration! Stuff
Release date: Windows: NA: April 3, 2007.
Wedding themed hairstyles, fashions and accessories, furniture, and other party enhancers

H&M Fashion Stuff
Release date: Windows: NA: June 5, 2007
Fashion collections from H&M and H&M branded build objects

Teen Style Stuff
Release date: Windows: NA: November 5, 2007
Goth, Thrasher and Socialite themed stuff for teenagers’ bedrooms, teenage haircuts and new teenage clothes

Kitchen & Bath Interior Design Stuff
Release date: Windows: NA: April 15, 2008
Kitchen and bathroom objects, floors, walls and clothing items

IKEA Home Stuff
Released on Windows: NA: June 24, 2008
Fashionable furniture, floors and walls from the styles of IKEA

Mansion & Garden Stuff
Released on: Windows: NA: November 17, 2008
Items featuring three new decorative themes (Moroccan, Art Deco and Second Empire)

The Sims 2 custom content requirements

You can package lots in game and give them to friends or post them online to be downloaded and installed on other computers if they contains all expansion packs that were installed on the computer where the house was built, regardless they contains items from them or not, they also require stuff packs if they contains items from them. An exception is for University expansion pack, which is technically a stuff pack, and Mansion and Garden stuff pack, which is technically an expansion pack.

The Sims 1 review

The Sims 1 coverThe Sims 1 was launched on January 31, 2000. It is a crappy game by modern standards, but it is innovative, being the first game of The Sims series, and if it didn’t existed, probably the better games The Sims 2 and 3 may have never appeared.

The Sims 1 have only 2 life stages: child and adult. Sometimes you get a phone call asking if you want to adopt a baby. There is also possible to make babies, putting two sims in the love bed introduced by an expansion pack and click “play” on them, you get a baby crib, the baby require feeding about every 6 hours and after 72 hours they will turn into a child. But children never turn into adults (unless you have Makin’ Magic and use charm Age of Instant), and adults never die by aging (but there are many ways in which they can die: starvation, burning, drowning, shocking, etc).

Babies in The Sims are objects, not Sims. If you move out a family having a baby, the baby is not taken to new lot. When babies turn into children, head and clothes are randomly selected as in The Sims 1 there is no genetics.

Children if neglected will be taken by social worker, or if miss school bus and falling grades, they will leave forever to military school.

The Sims 1 do not have weekdays, adults go to job every day and children go to school every day.

The Sims 1 have 10 career tracks with 10 position each, expansion packs add more careers making a total of 21 careers. Salary and hours vary from job to job, career been inverse proportional, the ones with lowest entry level salary have highest top level salary. More details here: The Sims 1 career tracks.

The Sims 1 is limited in terms of architectural features. Houses can only have 2 floors. You cannot have foundations, basements or stairs if the ground is hilly, like in The Sims 2 and newer games. Any area enclosed by walls gets automatically a hipped roof, gabled roof is impossible. You cannot change roof other than color and one of 4 pitch options (you can however, make single story houses with terrace at second story).

The Sims expansion packs

The Sims had 7 expansion packs, each adding new items in game in buy mode, build mode, careers and Create a Sim, and some important features listed below:

The Sims: Livin’ Large, released on August 31, 2000

Allow player to switch 5 neighborhoods, all featuring the 10 lots from Sim Lane, but can carry distinct houses and sims. Original neighborhood is called 1, the 2 have 3 houses of which one is occupied by a family.

The Sims: House Party, released on April 2, 2001

Introduce ability to throw parties at your home. Allow player to switch additional 3 neighborhoods, making a total of 8.

The Sims: Hot Date, released on November 12, 2001

Introduce ability for Sims to leave their home and travel to new destinations. Introduced “Downtown” destination with 10 community lots.

The Sims: Vacation, released on March 28, 2002

Introduced “Vacation Island” destination, you can stay in vacation for long time and save game here.

The Sims: Unleashed, released on November 7, 2002

Introduced gardening and pets in the game. Dogs and cats are controllable like Sims. Expand the default neighborhood of 10 lots on Sim Lane with “Old Town” with additional 31 lots, with ability to rezone them as residential or community.

The Sims: Superstar, released on May 13, 2003

Allows Sims to become entertainment figures and includes representations of several famous personalities. Introduced a new destination called “Studio Town,” which functions as a workplace for celebrity Sims where regular visits may be required to maintain their fame and career, players can follow their Sims to work. Allows non-celebrity Sims to visit Studio Town for leisure.

The Sims: Makin’ Magic, released on October 29, 2003

Introduces magic to the game and allows Sims to cast spells, forge charms, and buy alchemical ingredients. Introduced “Magic Town” with 9 lots, which house vendors of magical ingredients and items and a number of magic-related mini-games. Introduces baking and nectar-making. 3 lots in Magic Town are residential, which contain new aesthetic accents such as new grass textures, background sound effects, and a higher chance of growing magical items, marking the first time that Sims may live outside of the main neighborhood.

The Sims free download

The Sims 2 coverIn 2014 EA Games offered The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection for free download via Origin for a limited time of one week. Only people who grabbed the free download at right time can re-download the game at any time. Sadly, I missed the moment.

Some people uploaded Ultimate Collection on various file hosting services, where anyone can download for FREE: https://mega.nz/#F!tT5GkB5Y!8tEL-uoB7_aJG8Il9CREyQ

However, the Ultimate Collection, although contains the full game including all expansions and stuff packs, it do not contains expansion packs individually so they cannot be played with AnyGameStarter, used by me to create basegame-compatible content.

You may have been aware of BitTorrent filesharing network, where you can download games for free. But The Sims game is split on multiple torrents due to having numerous expansion packs, which require entering serial numbers which may take a while to find them and install all expansion packs, whole job taking about 3 hours.

I found one torrent which automatically install all expansion packs, you are no longer needed to install expansions one by one and enter serial numbers:

https://thepiratebay.org/torrent/6781386/Sims_2_-_All_In_One_-__all_expansions_and_updates_and_languages

If ThePirateBay is down, use www.teoalida.com/thesims/files/Sims-2-All-in-One.torrent

How to download torrents (if you are not familiar)

You need to install a torrent client, such as uTorrent or Vuze. Then go in the above link to ThePirateBay website, click Get this torrent, it will open with the torrent software you installed and start downloading. When the download is complete, open Sims 2 AIO Installer.exe and the whole game including all expansion packs will install in about 15 minutes. After this you can install AnyGameStarter if you want to play base game only or specific expansion packs. If you want to play via AnyGameStarter you need also to add cracked EXE files for the expansion packs you are playing, you can download The Sims 2 Crack Pack. The base game should not be cracked because it prevents Build mode from working, you need to play with disk in drive or in Daemon Tools.

You can browse ThePirateBay website for other games, software or music for free download.

You can find serial numbers by searching “The Sims key” on Yahoo Answers.

Is legal to download from torrents?

Simply using torrents is not a crime. But free downloading games and software that are usually sold for money, stealing serial codes or using cracked exe files, is a crime. However as long you are using them only at home, non-commercial use, is no problem.

For example: discotheques are regularly inspected if they own (paid for) the music they are playing, internet cafes are regularly inspected if they own (paid for) games offered for playing, but if you are downloading music and games from torrents just to play at home without making money from it, there is unlikely for a law enforcement authority to ever inspect you.

Your place of living also matter. Authorities in Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America tolerate piracy more than in North America or Western Europe.

The Sims squares to Square Meters or Feet conversion

You came there probably wondering how many squares to use in game to replicate the size of a real house…

Based on furniture size, one square (unit) in all The Sims games seems to be 3 feet (0.91 meters), or 9 square foot.

But this is not important, you can consider each game square to be 1 square meter (= 10.7 square foot).

However, if you want to replicate real houses, you should NOT pay attention to size! You should adjust the house size to make it suitable for your Sims family size.

In Europe a 3-bedroom house for a family of 4 is in average 100 square meters, but in The Sims you need about 150 squares for a family of 4. You need extra space for things that in real life do you not need, for example chess table. For a double bed you need a room of at least 4×4 squares, but in real life bedrooms can be smaller than 3.6 x 3.6 m. A two-car garage is 6×6 meters in real life but in The Sims 2 you need 10×8 squares.

The corridors in real life are 90 cm – 1.2 m wide depending by each country’s building code, but in The Sims you should make them 2 square wide to prevent Sims getting stuck if 2 Sims walk in opposite directions.

Actually corridors just make Sims to waste time going from one task to another. For maximum playability you should reduce the number of rooms to minimum possible and avoid hallways. A house is playable even if have only 2 rooms, one for noisy things (TV, stereo, computer, piano, etc) and one for beds, example: The Cube of Glass or you may want to find a compromise between realism and playability, for example Tiny House IV.

Look at the real-life buildings designed by me in The Sims… how I adjust the size to game.

For example Palace of the Parliament, a 12-story, 86 meters tall, 270×240 meters building, designed in game as 6-story 48×42 squares  The building size is reduced but is still realistic because the length / width / height proportions are kept.

Or, Home Alone house which was 21 meters long I designed it slightly smaller, 20 squares long, and removed few rooms because real house have too many rooms for game needs.

In case of average houses you need to design them in game bigger than the size resulted from direct conversion of meters / feet to squares.

The Sims 2 Expansion Packs review

Original plan was to install and play each expansion one by one, in order, but since 2008 I rarely had time to play games, so after 3 years, in November 2011 I decided to jump to Apartment Life, then in mid-2012 I downloaded all expansions and stuff packs to do an one-day test for each one, I do not have time to play more.

EP1 University (played since 2008): useless expansion, the single good thing is that it is adding the cheat sethighestallowedlevel that allow you to build up to 16 floors. University do not change the format of game saves. Lots saved with University expansion pack, can be open and played with base game only or with any other expansions but without University, any University object is deleted rather than crashing the game. University lots in base game will have crazy prices, even negative prices, like $-987,123,456.00, opening lots and saving them again will fix the price.

EP2 Nightlife (played since 2009): I love that it added cars and disco/party features.

EP3 Open For Business (played June 2012): was this really necessary? It add elevators and modern windows, but these were re-added by Apartment Life. Open for Business and University are the ONLY expansion packs that add the cheat sethighestallowedlevel.

EP4 Pets (played June 2012): good expansion for animal lovers like me! Otherwise, having pets in family is annoying.

EP5 Seasons (played February 2012): I think that weather in The Sims 2 was necessary, as well as the gardening, too bad that they did not made the weather properly.

EP6 Bon Voyage (played July 2012): useless expansion, I do not enjoy sending sims in vacation.

EP7 Free Time (played July 2012): useless expansion.

EP8 Apartment Life (played since November 2011): definitely the best expansion! Not only that it allows up to 4 families on same lot, but it includes elevators, spiral stairs, ceilings (helpful for making beautiful indoor photos) and advanced decoration features!

Additional info: All expansions since Nightlife onward add more lot sizes, from 3×1 and 2×2 to 6×5, remove the restriction of making non-rectangular pools, and add the cheat to change roof slope angle. These are must-have features that shall be included since base game.

Stuff Packs: In July 2012 I also tested all stuff packs. Mansion and Garden is the best, but none of them is really useful, so all my houses that I designed in The Sims 2 do not require stuff packs. Stuff packs do not improve the game, these just add more Buy mode items as well as more floors and walls covers.