A Review of the Sims 2: Seasons

The latest in a long line Sims 2 expansions has arrived, hitting the shelves in early March. The newest and widely anticipated Seasons expansion has given the game a realistic feel like never before, combining easily with it’s predecessors. The Sim world is now complete, combining weather and season appropriate activities.

A common concern about the game was that it wouldn’t be realistic, but that was disproved at first glance. The occasional bolt of lighting will catch a tree on fire, and during the winter, the snow will actually accumulate on the ground. Hailstorms are common and it can get really hot during the summer. This expansion is so realistic in fact, that your Sim can freeze to death if left unattended in the cold for long periods of time.

To prevent the untimely demise of your Sim, it would be best to take advantage of the expansive line of season appropriate clothing now available. A wide variety of coats, sweaters, and shorts can help keep your Sim at the right temperature. A word to the wise for the new player: The seasons can pass quickly and sometimes, if things are calm, without notice. Make sure you remember to have your Sim change clothes. If you don’t, your Sim may become too warm or too cold.

Being too hot can deadly for a Sim, just as they will start turning blue if left out in the cold for to long. When a Sim becomes overheated, his temperature will begin to rise, which is indicated on a small thermometer along side the other information at the bottom of the screen. If the thermometer turns completely red, the Sim will soon burst into flames, dying where they stand. Likewise, a frozen Sim will turn his temperature bar blue, and he will start looking blue as well. Either of the situations can be easily rectified if you want the Sim to survive. If not, then you may find the outcome amusing.

The new items that can help you save the life of a doomed Sim make the game much more interesting. A pool slide can cool off the hottest Sim, and the new hot chocolate maker will help warm up the Sim who spent a little too much time building snowmen. Other new items include roof sculptures, a country theme, (complete with roosters) a scarecrow, a juicer, and many other delightful surprises.

Aside from not having weather, one other thing rally irked me about this game, before the Seasons expansion. Food was constantly sitting on the counter, left to be cleaned up after it went bad. This irritating trend has ended though, with the ability to save leftovers. This is an excellent way to provide quick food for the busy Sim, and children are now allowed to eat without someone having to cook each meal. It is much easier to have a child eat leftovers than have them taken from you by the social worker.

Each season has new activities that correspond with the time of year. In the summer, Sim’s can enjoy catching lightning bugs, playing catch, having water balloon fights, and having barbecues with their friends. During the fall, Sim’s can rake leaves, then play in them or burn them, and everyone enjoys watching as the trees change color. Building snowmen and making snow angels are fun during the winter, and many Sim’s like to to have the occasional snowball fight. Ice skating can be fun for your Sim, but watch out for falling! Spring brings blooming of gardens and romance, and if you pay attention you will probably see some butterflies.

From early spring until late fall, your Sim will have some exciting new options to pass his free time. Fishing is a great way for the Sim to have some fun, and he just might earn a new talent badge. When a Sim catches a fish, it is placed into his inventory. From here it can be stocked into the refrigerator, mounted on the wall, sold, or given as a gift.

Gardening is another new option for the Sim wishing to provide his own food. With several plant options, the experienced gardener won’t need to buy groceries more than once or twice each year. If your Sim can afford the assistance of a gardener, it may be profitable for him to enlist a professional. The better quality plant, the more it can be sold for, or the tastier it will be when consumed. Fruit trees are also available. For the talented gardener, admission to the garden club will make their day. To do this, maintain a beautiful garden. Who knows, there may be a remarkable surprise in store for those who join!

Another surprise may be in store for the Sim who spends a lot of time gardening, and this one isn’t quite as nice. If your Sim spends considerable amounts of time in the garden, you could end up with a Plant Sim. This effect will turn your Sim into a cross between their normal appearance, and that of a plant. The positive side to this is that these require only sunlight, water, and love. This makes it extremely easy to bring in a good crop, because you don’t have to spend a lot of time maintain the well being of the Sim. Anytime you wish to change your Plant Sim back to themselves, all you need to do is call the garden club representative. She will sell a potion to your Sim that will allow him to regain his original appearance.

This expansion also has six new career paths that your Sim may wish to explore. These include the following: Education, Adventurer, Gamer, Law, Journalism, and Musician. These actually improve the game, giving the player new challenges in the professional lives of their Sims. After all, as everyone who plays the game knows, after awhile the same handful of professions can become boring.

I have barley scratched the surface of this expansion, and I recommend it highly to anyone who enjoys this game. The new degree of difficulty makes it impossible to go through the motions when playing, and conditions are constantly changing. The game requires more user participation than ever, so get out there and start playing!

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