Well, it probably had to happen sooner or later. After releasing an amazing core game and two back-to-back, flat out great expansion packs, Maxis finally stumbled. Open for Business isn’t a complete fizzle - it’s still packed to the gills with that patented Sims humor, it offers some interesting challenges, and if you’re a Sims addict with $34.99 lying around it’s (mostly) worth it - but it isn’t what it should have been either.
On the one hand, there’s a lot of room for creativity in what kinds of businesses you can open - want to combine a froo-froo art gallery with a bowling alley? Hey, go for it. Practically anything that a sim can own, you can sell, and there’s also some fun to be had in developing new products. In particular, you can build robots, and the top line model can actually be added to your family as an autonomous being - one with its own freaky ins and outs. Plus, dealing with employees includes some quirks that aren’t exactly covered in business school (apparently, sexual harassment doesn’t exactly exist in SimsWorld). And, once you get a decent business up and running, managing it effectively, keeping the shelves stocked and the customers happy, has a certain satisfying rhythm to it.