Codex Gamicus

The Sims 2: Apartment Life is the eighth and final[1] expansion pack in the The Sims 2 video game series.

A flyer included in later copies of The Sims 2: FreeTime expansion pack and The Sims 2: Kitchen & Bath Interior Design Stuff Pack announced Apartment Life, which brings magic back to the franchise and new features like Sims' relationships with neighbors inhabiting the same apartment building, interacting with an NPC landlord, a new reputation system, and new activities for publicly accessible lots.[2]

Pre-release began on August 27, 2008, via the EA store.[3]



This expansion adds a new pre-made neighborhood, Belladonna Cove. It features many apartments, and San Francisco's Painted Ladies townhouses. Other buildings in this neighborhood include a trailer park, libraries, coffee shops and grocery stores in addition to several parks.[4] Several of these lots showcase major gameplay elements not available in previous expansions or the core game. There is also a new icon, when there is a family living in an apartment building, there will be a green apartment icon over the house.

New interactions[]

This expansion adds multiple social interactions, including "High Five", "Earthy Hug", "Fake Out", "Kiss Kiss Darling", and "Tough Handshake". Children have new special interactions to use with their peers, as do toddlers. Parents and teenagers can now also play "Peek a Boo" with toddlers. Sims of all ages (except toddlers) can participate in the "Classic Dance" or "Jump Rope".

Witches and Warlocks[]

This expansion gives Sims the opportunity to become Witches (female) or Warlocks (male), similar to The Sims: Makin Magic. While playing as a magical being, Sims may choose to be Infallibly Good, Good, Nice, Neutral, Mean, Evil or Atrociously Evil, each of which has a unique costume. A sim may become a witch or warlock by building a strong relationship with an NPC magic user until the option to request the transformation becomes available.

Witches/Warlocks may use various magical objects, including brooms and cauldrons. Spells may be cast by using specific ingredients (i.e. Mystic Dust, Dragon Scales, Eye of Newt, Vipers Essence, Crystallized Moonbeams and the Essence of Light). These ingredients may be obtained in any of three ways: produced in a cauldron, purchased from a Witch/Warlock NPC, or purchased at the secret Witch/Warlock lots.[4]

A character's alignment depends entirely on the alignment of the spells that they cast. A good spell will move the witch or warlock towards the "Infallibly Good" end while an evil spell will push the caster towards the "Atrociously Evil" side. Spell availability is determined by the caster's magic skill level and alignment. Even the most skilled Infallibly Good Witch will be unable to cast any but the single simplest Evil spell. The most potent powers of good and evil (such as Throne creation, zombification and revivification) are reserved exclusively for witches and warlocks on the extreme ends of the good or evil alignments. A sim's initial alignment depends on the alignment of the witch or warlock who initiated them into the magical mysteries.

Witches/Warlocks can use certain spells and magic according to what order of magic they use. Evil magic users can light fires, cause sickness, and even bring zombies to life. Good magic users are able to create happiness, put out fires, and bring the dead back to life. Good and Evil magic users can each build a "Throne of Light" and "Throne of Darkness" respectively.

All Witches/Warlocks can create potions and cast "neutral" spells that allow them to teleport, freeze time, and use a spell or potion that turns them back into humans. If the "Pets" expansion is also installed, Witches and Warlocks can summon spectral cat familiars.

New objects and tools[]

Apartment Life adds a number of playground objects, including a jungle gym, playground slide, merry-go-round, and monkey bars. New furniture items include a Murphy bed, open mic stand, break dancing mat, trash chute, apartment mailboxes, vibrating bed, vending machines, witch-themed furnishings, in addition to new TV sets and a large fish tank.

Build mode adds new types of objects and tools, such as spiral stairs, a new elevator (this expansion pack also includes all of the elevators from Open for Business if it is not installed), built-in wardrobes, visible ceilings, ducts, vents, and heating and cooling windows as well as the usual assortment of new wall, floor, garage door, and door styles.[4] New modes of transport available are helicopters for purchase and Witch brooms.

While the Sims are living in an apartment, they will only be able to change the floors and wallpaper within the apartment, as well as place miscellaneous Build Mode objects like marble columns. Also new with Apartment Life is the ceiling. A new 45 degree angle view in build mode will make it possible to view the Sims' ceiling which can be covered in the floor tile of the player's choice.

New NPCs[]

New NPCs include butlers, landlords, roommates and NPC neighbors. When players move playable Sims into an apartment, NPC characters will move into the other apartments if the player doesn't move other Sims into them.

Reputation meter[]

There is now a new meter called the reputation meter, which shows how high the reputation of a Sim is, the more friendly the Sim is with others, the higher it goes. As the meter increases, the player gains rewards which help him with his occupation, aspiration, and living.

Life skills[]

Sims can learn new life skills, they include Fire Prevention which makes them calmer in a fire, Anger Management which means they won't stay angry at another sim for very long, Lifelong Happiness, Physiology which means body skills increase faster (due to a bug in the game all skills increase faster), and Couple Counseling which means if a friend's relationship is on the rocks the interaction 'counsel' will be available and your sim can repair the relationships.[5]

Cross expansions[]

Players with both The Sims 2: Pets expansion pack and Apartment Life will be able to have witch's spectral cats, and with the Pets expansion pack, the player can have pets in the apartment. If the player doesn't have Pets, 'Lap dogs' will be available for purchase in buy mode without the Pets expansion pack.

Heating and cooling will actually make a difference to a Sim's temperature gauge if Apartment Life is played with the The Sims 2: Seasons expansion pack installed.[4]


This expansion pack offers Sims the chance to live in apartments in low or high rent districts, and allows for four user controlled families to be within an apartment building. The player also has the option to look for roommates whom he can choose, but not control. When he reviews potential roommates he is given a basic personality to help him decide which roommate would best suit. Though roommates can't be controlled, the player can view a scale that tells him how satisfied they are.

New music[]

The following songs have been converted into Simlish (Sim speak) for the Apartment Life soundtrack.[6]

  • “Everything” - Performed by A Cursive Memory
  • “This Is a Test” - Performed by Shock of Pleasure
  • “Brainless” - Performed by Sunny Day Sets Fire
  • “Good Day” - Performed by Tally Hall
  • “Come My Sunshine” - Performed by The Comas
  • “Divebomb” - Performed by The Whip
  • Not A Love Song” - Performed by Uh Huh Her
  • “On & On” - Performed by Vanilla Sky
  • “Can't Believe My Eyes” - Performed by Wainwright
  • Hot n Cold” - Performed by Katy Perry
  • Sweet About Me” - Performed by Gabriella Cilmi
  • Mozdulj Már (Mondulo Mar)” - Performed by Lola
  • All Around Me“ - Performed by Flyleaf (Downloadable Only)
  • “Battle Royale“ - Performed by Does it Offend You, Yeah?


The game was first announced in flyers inside The Sims 2: FreeTime and The Sims 2: Kitchen & Bath Interior Design Stuff.


The game generally received positive reviews. It achieved a 75% average at Metacritic, and an 81% average at GameRankings.

Review scores
Publication Score
Game Chronicles


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