The Sims 3: Pets is a stand alone expansion for The Sims 3 developed and published by EA. Pets contains everything from The Sims 3 and includes a new town called Sugar Maple Coast, adds cats and dogs, some new traits for the Sims and allows players to explore their town. The game also boasts some online features that allow players to share their customized Sims, Pets, Items and homes. In Pets players can not only create pets for their Sims but they can control them like any other Sim so they could go around playing as just the cat or dog and let the family live their lives around them.
The first thing you’ll do when starting up a new game is choosing or creating your Sims. You can either choose some Sims that already exist in the city of Sugar Maple Coast, choose some that you’ve downloaded from the Sims online Exchange service or create your own. Creating a human Sim is pretty much the same from past versions where you can change their looks, clothes, personalities and lifelong dreams. The only new thing added for them have been a few new traits such as Dog or Cat person. The biggest addition to the character creation is the ability to create a cat, small dog and big dog. There is a huge collection of cat and dog breeds to choose from in the creator and you can completely customize their coats with different layers, colors and patterns. Pets also have a few slots to assign traits to so you can sort of customize your pet’s personality such as Skittish, which makes pets nervous and jumpy, Destructive, which makes the pet more likely to destroy furniture and Adventurous, where the pet likes to go out and explore everything.
The Sims 3: Pets gameplay is pretty much the exact same from the past Sims games if you’ve played them. Your Sims have needs that need to be fulfilled for them to be happy, they need money to pay bills and buy new thing, they can make friends and throw parties, improve their skills, fall in love and start a family. New things added to Pets is the ability to play with and befriend pets and the ability to explore the landmarks of Sugar Maple Coast. Exploring the landmarks such as a cave or lighthouse ended up ultimately being disappointing because you didn’t actually get to watch the sim explore. It ends up being some weird text adventure without much text or many options and can end with the sim discovering an item.
While adding Pets to the Sims doesn’t completely change the game it adds enough to the game to keep it interesting. Controlling a pet you can interact with Sims and other pets and most furniture in the world. Pets can beg, want to be played with, play with toys, use the bathroom where ever they want, completely destroy furniture, sleep on most things if you’re a cat, hide under furniture when they’re scared, dig holes in yards and much more. I found besides the looks and some traits there really wasn’t much of a difference between the cats and dogs in the game. Pets can also travel around town, explore and visit animal parks. It still makes me chuckle that pets use taxis to get around town instead of walking but that’s just one of the many quirks the game has.
First thing I noticed when I actually started up a game after creating my first Sim and Dog was that graphically the game was alright. It was nothing to write home about but then again it’s the Sims and it’s cartoon like art style suits it well. When I un-paused the world and let the game start to run its course though I started to have issues. My main issue was that the framerate wouldn’t be consistent and constantly dropped, especially when I would fast forward time. When time wasn’t fast forwarding the framerate was playable and I could get used to it but when ever I’d fast forward something like my Sims eating breakfast or sleeping or going to work the game became a literal slideshow. I also had issues with my Sims stopping and standing somewhere in the middle of them going to perform an action for sometimes up to a few hours in game time. They always eventually did what they were supposed to do but that was very annoying.
While Pets is its own stand alone expansion it’s not a completely new game and I’m not sure that this couldn’t have just been downloadable content for the original Sims 3 game. After getting over some of the bugs and technical issues with the game I can honestly say I had fun creating a few families and living their lives. Overall I can say I had a positive experience with the game and think if you’re a fan of the Sims then you should give this game a try if you want to play it with pets and in a new location.
Click here to buy The Sims 3: Pets online from EBgames.com
Click here to buy The Sims 3: Pets new or used for a great price from EBGames.com