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The Sims 2: Apartment Pets review

Puppies, kittens, and Uncle Bill make your life a living hell


  • Puppies
  • Kittens
  • Some customization


  • Uninspired minigames
  • Not much to do
  • BILL!

Everything is better with puppies and kittens. Hell, puppies and kittens are better with more puppies and kittens. It’s a popular scientific theory. What Sims 2 Apartment Pets wants to do is challenge this school of thought. Are the little critters this boring in real life?

Since this is a Sims game, you’ll still be taking care of your Sim and their home, but the focus is on the animals. Within your apartment are birds, hamsters, and snakes, but it’ll only be the dogs and cats who require attention. The only place to go besides your apartment is a pet-grooming salon. Here, you design the shop and groom pets in the hope of becoming the most popular salon in town. What a dream!

This may sound like a lot of customization, but every gameplay element is embarrassingly shallow. Most of the game is spent playing a small handful of minigames. For the mandatory ones, you get a side view of the pet and are told where to spray or stroke it, and then you repeat. Regardless of whether you’re intoxicating your pet with perfume, drowning it with the shower head or furiously brushing it, each minigame is exactly the same. The optional “just for fun” minigames are unrewarding time wasters that you’ll play no more than once.

Even the usual customization has been simplified. You can buy new furniture for the apartment and salon but you aren’t allowed to choose its placement, only the style. Oh yeah, you can also buy clothes for your pets to make them look stupid.

Above: We believe the correct term is "doggles"

It’s a boring game, you get it, but the absolute crown of the whole experience is your shady “Uncle Bill.” He sends you emails with tidbits of info. Don’t worry about the rent, he says, “Me and the landlord have an arrangement." Hmm, sounds pretty fishy, Uncle Bill. Soon after that, you’ll meet a woman from an overcrowded pet shelter. She tells you Uncle Bill gave her the keys to your apartment (whoa, he did what?) and dropped a cat off at your place while you were away. WHAT THE HELL, UNCLE BILL!? YOU KNOW WHAT? TAKE YOUR ANIMALS AND THIS GAME AND SHOVE IT! WE’RE MOVING OUT!

Jul 28, 2008

More info

DescriptionNot even the presence of collectible doggles or hilariously sketchy NPCs can save this Sims title from being as boring as you expect it to be.
Franchise nameThe Sims
UK franchise nameThe Sims
US censor rating"Everyone"
UK censor rating"Rating Pending"
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)