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The Sims 2 Pets

Barking up the wrong tree or as endearing as a fluffy bunny? The new Sims addition gets taken for walkies

What's going on? As if clearing up your own mess wasn't time-consuming enough, now there are pissing, shitting, filthy animals to clean up after too. If you're aren't a fan of making sure your Sim's motive bars are topped up, then avoid The Sims 2 Pets like you would a rabid dog.

As in real life, canines and other pets take up an astonishing amount of your time, requiring general love and affection, feeding, toys and food dishes bought for them, and time dedicated to teaching them commands. It gets so much that it's nearly impossible to meet your own basic needs, hold down a job and socialize with other pet-owning Sims. No one wants to give your Sim a friendly hug when you stink, your belly is gurgling through starvation and you're standing cross-legged to stop a little wee dribbling out. Maybe it's time to streamline the motives or even ditch some altogether.


Keeping your demanding animal happy earns Pet Points, which is the currency used to buy anything pet-related. The town centre is home to a salon, a bakery and an emporium, stocking everything from litter boxes and dog bones to baskets and cupcakes, as well as an opportunity for freaks to treat their pet to glasses, hoodies and shoes! Someone call the RSPCA.

What we have here is a variation on Tamagotchi that's been roughly crowbarred into The Sims 2. So it's a good job that the animals themselves are so well animated and likeable. You genuinely become attached to your pet and want to take care of it in the best way possible, to the point where you're oblivious to everything else. If you manage to strike a balance between pet stuff and regular Sim stuff, you'll find plenty of jobs, promotions and skills to get stuck into.

It's interesting to note that The Sims 2 Pets is being sold on PC as a budget price expansion pack, yet a near-full price game on PS2. This is plain wrong. Away from the pet angle the game is essentially The Sims 2, which you can now buy on Platinum for under £20. Perhaps this version is more useful as an experiment for anyone thinking about getting a cat or a dog: if you can't handle managing the lives of both your pet and your Sim, you probably aren't cut out for anything more strenuous than a goldfish in the real world.

The verdict

Kids will love looking after a pet, so why make it so hard to keep both them and their Sim happy?

  • The animals are instantly likeable
  • Tons of stuff to buy
  • Fussy micro-management
  • The Sims 2 but with animals
PlayStation 2
Electronic Arts
Sim / Strategy