I tried to like The Sims 2 Apartment Pets for Nintendo DS and played it for awhile hoping it would get better, but it didn’t. The game has you controlling your Sim that you can customize some at the beginning of the game and a little more while you play as they take care of pets at their uncle’s apartment. You will take care of animals, such as, dogs, cats, a hamster, snake, bird, rabbit, and guinea pig. Apartment Pets leads you to believe that it is a game that mixes Nintendogs with The Sims, which should be a decent combination, but it fails by not doing either very well.
The Sims 2 Apartment Pets is made up of mini games that are not very challenging and boring after the first few times. To earn money in the game you have to run the pet spa that is located below the apartment you are living in. Your Sim needs to go downstairs in the morning and wait for customers to arrive. Once they arrive you examine their pet as it rotates on the screen by tapping or rubbing the screen at the appropriate time. This will reveal if the dog or cat is smelly, dirty, unkempt, wants a new collar, hat or something else.
After you have examined the pet you can play the correct mini games to cure them. If they are dirty then you use the shower icon to spray water on them in the appropriate location by watching for three randomly place circles on their head, stomach or tail areas. You tap the screen with the stylist and hold the left or right trigger down to spray the water. If they are smelly then you choose the perfume bottle and watch for the same circles and tap one of the trigger buttons instead of holding it down. When the pet is unkempt you rub in one direction on the randomly placed spots in the direction the arrow appears. The arrows appear in the same locations as the circles in the previous mini games.
If the pet owner wants a new collar, hat or ribbon on their pet then you need to play a matching game where you flip over cards on a table until you find the two cards that match the item they want. There are also a few more mini games in The Sims 2 Apartment Pets up in the apartment that let you play a Dance Dance Revolution style game with your parrot or play music with the snake by pressing buttons and blowing on the screen, but none of these mini games will hold your attention very long and they get very repetitive quickly.
You will need to continue to do these mini games though, especially at the pet spa to earn Simoleons (money) to buy your pets in the apartment new clothing and food. You can also use the money to buy and change the furniture in the apartment and to buy new clothes for your Sim.
Different people will also stop by and talk to you and drop off their pets for you to watch while they go do something. You need to take care of the needs of these pets by playing the same mini games as you do in the spa. After a few days of taking care of them the owners will come back and pick up the pet and give you some money if you have done well.
The Sims part of the game is also included and you will have to pay attention to the needs of your Sim and make him eat, sleep, and go to the bathroom at the right times. I know they are trying to keep the game rated for everyone, but I find it funny that your Sim takes a shower, bath, and goes to the bathroom fully clothed.
The Sims 2 Apartment Pets’ graphics look okay, but are nothing special and they are kind of blocky. The dogs and cats don’t look as good as the dogs in Nintendogs and don’t have as much animation. Your Sim is kind of stiff and squared off, but this might be expected in a Nintendo DS game, because the system is not a graphical powerhouse. The one thing that you will notice is if you increase the game speed to move along the day faster, the ability to pan around the apartment slows way down. It felt almost like the Nintendo DS couldn’t stay up with processing the data for the simulation of the game’s events at the same time as animating the environment. Also, you have to adjust the speed of the game every time you go up and down the elevator from your apartment to the pet spa. If I have the game moving in a higher speed then I probably want it that way, so why make me change it every time I change floors?
The sound and music in The Sims 2 Apartment Pets are limited and you will hear ambient noise and a dog or cat bark every now and then, but unless you turn the stereo on in your apartment you will not hear any background music. The music that does play when you turn the stereo on isn’t anything special, so I would leave it off if I were you. The pet sounds and other noises sound okay and fit the game, but I can’t say anything more than that about them.
Oh, and I almost forgot about the hidden treasure mini game that has you drawing and tapping on the touchscreen to have your pet search for buried treasure. This mini game locked up on me two or three times causing me to have to turn my Nintendo DS off and back on again. I also lost everything I did since the last time I saved. YAY!
The Sims 2 Apartment Pets is a sub-par game that has boring mini games that you have to do over and over again. I don’t think it will really appeal to fans of Nintendogs or The Sims, since it is lacking in both areas. Apartment Pets feels more like a game they slapped together to make money off of The Sims name instead of something that could’ve been really good. I have to admit that my four year old son seems to like it, and it might appeal to the younger gamers out there. I think he likes it because of all the pets you can play with, but I still can’t recommend this game over something like Nintendogs that is more interactive and fun.
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