The Sims 2 Nightlife review

Sorry, we can't come out. Our Sim is washing her hair...

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The date's going well. Both of us want to get a photo taken, so we cram into the booth - at which point the option to have Whoopee, the Sims colloquialism for making the beast with two backs, comes up.

Sex in a photo booth? It's got to be worth a try. Sadly, my date thinks this a little too forward, and kicks me out. Whereupon another crush, who's passing by, notices I'm with someone else, storms over and slaps me silly.

With The Sims 2 Nightlife (or Sims Slutting About, as it should probably be called), it's business as usual.

Mainly, Nightlife provides a 'downtown' region, full of places designed for social gallivanting. From highbrow galleries to down-and-dirty clubs, there's something for every Sim's needs.

Satisfy your partner's desires and/or put out, and the date's rating rises. With a time limit that extends depending on how well the date's going, this is a minigame with boosted Sim happiness as a payoff.

The most meaningful addition is the psychology of lust. Sims now have turn-ons, different characters being attracted more strongly to different traits. There's also the addition of Fury, an extended bad mood usually triggered by infidelity, which makes any interaction with that Sim liable to go badly wrong.

There are the usual object additions (your own cars at last!) and a new life-ambition: Pleasure Sims, chasing any butterfly-joys in the world, while turning away from anything that sounds a bit too much like hard work. Like games journalists.

The big drawback, and the one that keeps Nightlife from receiving a stronger recommendation, is down to The Sims 2 technology.

The loading time it takes to move between lots is unacceptably long. It didn't really harm University much, because there was less need to move around. You can live a full student existence in your flat, and many do. But this game is really about going out.

While the nuisance of slow loading times does accurately simulate that 'Oh - I can't be bothered to get the bus into town' feeling that can keep us at home, it's not much fun.

Until Sims technology changes in a fundamental way, it's going to leave all too many home on a Saturday night.

More info

US censor rating""
UK censor rating"12+"
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)