The Sims 2: Pets is the fourth expansion pack in The Sims 2 series of games, as well as a stand-alone game for several consoles. It is published by Electronic Arts. The Sims 2: Pets was officially announced on July 26, 2006 and released on October 18, 2006 in North America and via digital download, as well as on October 20, 2006 to the rest of the world, except for Australia/New Zealand, where it was released on October 26, 2006. Aspyr released a port of the game for Mac OS X on November 7, 2006.
It was released for the Wii on June 12, 2007. In Australia, one Australian dollar per game sold, from at least 50,000 copies of the game, was donated to the RSPCA. Unlike the other expansions, this game does not have a new neighborhood. Instead, new lots (with Sims living in them) are available for placement in the existing neighborhoods. The Sims 2: Pets has sold over 6 million copies.
Sims can own cats and dogs. The Sims 2: Pets features 75 pre-made breeds of dogs and thirty pre-made breeds of cats. Create-A-Pet is similar to "Create-a-Sim", where a user builds a human Sim characters. In Create-a-Pet, players may customize a cat or dog by choosing patterns and colors of coat, body shape, facial structure, and personality, which determines playfulness, neatness, loyalty, aggression, and intelligence.
Pets have motives like their Sim counterparts. Sims and pets are similar except for the absence of the "Environment" motive, which "Scratching" replaces in cats and "Chewing" in dogs. Sims may also train their pets to do various tricks.
Pets can follow one of three career paths: Security, Showbiz and Services. When pets get promoted, various pet-related "unlockables" are made available along with a code so players can share these items with others.
Pets have three life stages: Puppy/Kitten, Adult, and Elder. The length of a pet's elder hood is selected at random, however there is an aspiration reward object which will extend the pet's life by a few days with each use.
Pets are able to breed, and doing so will produce a litter. The number of puppies or kittens is dependent on the number of Sims and pets currently in the house. Players can play with up to eight Sims or six pets at one time, although one can only have a total of six Sims and/or pets in a household altogether.
Pets, unlike Sims, can not be directly controlled. A player can view the pets' action queue when it decides to take an autonomous action, but can not tell a pet to do something else. In addition, pet actions can not be canceled. Instead of direct control, a Sim must interact with a pet to increase the likelihood that it will perform or avoid various actions. It is up to a Sim to direct a pet's "learned behaviors" through either positive or negative reinforcement. For example, if a dog decides to pee outside, a Sim can opt to praise the behavior in order to increase the likelihood that the pet will repeat that action. A pet's ability to learn certain behaviors is influenced by its overall personality. This also applies to tricks, such as rolling over, sitting up, coming when called, etc., which pets do not perform autonomously.
Werewolves are a type of supernatural creature which the Sim can interact with or even be transformed into. Sims exist as Werewolves only during night hours. During these hours, the werewolf's energy will go up, but their hunger will decrease more quickly as well. A Werewolf can teach a pet faster than humans and can fight against burglars. They might occasionally howl at the moon, howl at player's command, or howl to summon wolves. When a werewolf howls every pet's bladder on the lot goes down halfway.
To become a werewolf, players must build up a relationship with any wolf with glowing eyes (the werewolf pack leader). The pack leader will eventually "nibble" the Sim it was interacting with, causing it to become a werewolf. Once a Sim has become a werewolf they may "savage" another Sim to turn them into a werewolf. Werewolves are not featured on the Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube or Wii versions.
The womrat is an update/replacement for the Guinea Pig available in The Sims 1 game. Its new cage prevents it from biting or escaping (unless it is played with). The biting Guinea Pig passed on illness in The Sims 1. The womrat cannot be sold back to any Sim pet store, and has to be set free instead. If kept in a Sim's bedroom, running on its wheel and squeaking will wake them.
There are many new songs that appear in the original Pop radio station from the base game in this game that have been converted in Simlish:
- "Don't Cha" by The Pussycat Dolls
- "Chemicals React" by Aly & AJ
- "I Play Chicken with the Train" by Cowboy Troy
- "Girl Next Door" by Saving Jane
- "Free Radicals" by The Flaming Lips
- "Boyhunter" by Skye Sweetnam
- "The Compromise" by The Format
- "Turn Out the Light" by The New Amsterdams
- "Black Shoes" by The Films
- "I Never Know" by Something for Rockets
Locales other than US English contain more songs:
- Danish: West End Girls - "Booglurbia"
- Dutch: Krezip - "Can't You be Mine"
- Finnish: Roni - "Never Coming Back"
- French: Kisha - "Sowieso"
- German: Kisha - "Sowieso", Krezip - "Can't You be Mine"
- Italian: Finley - "Run Away"
- Japanese: West End Girls - "Booglurbia"
- Korean: West End Girls - "Booglurbia"
- Norwegian: Lene Marlin - "What If"
- Russian: The Smokebreakers - "Baby Let's Dance"
- Spanish: La Oreja de Van Gogh - "Dulce Locura"
- Swedish: Lene Marlin - "What If", West End Girls - "Booglurbia"
- UK English: Finley - "Run Away", West End Girls - "Booglurbia"
These songs are not played in other locales (including US English), but they can be extracted from the game resources.
The Windows, Mac, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo GameCube, and Wii versions of The Sims 2: Pets received mainly mixed to positive reviews from critics, while the Game Boy Advance and DS versions of the game received mixed to negative reviews.
The Australian video game talk show Good Game's two reviewers gave the game a 6.5/10 and 8/10.
- EA Announces The Sims 2 Pets!. TheSims2.com (2006-07-27).
- Aspyr Media, Inc. Ships The Sims 2 Pets For PowerPC- And Intel-Based Macintosh. aspyr.com (2006-11-07).
- The Sims 2: Pets Release Information for Wii. GameFAQs.
- The Sims 2 Pets. RSPCA Australia.
- Newsmaker: Keeping up with the Simses.
- Good Game stories - Sims 2 Pets. Australian Broadcasting Corporation (2006-11-14).
- Official Sims 2: Pets Website (PC Version)
- Official Sims 2: Pets Website (Macintosh Version)
- Sims 2: Pets Reviews at Metacritic.com
- Pets Training Paper