The Sims 2 Nightlife Review

For a large percentage of The Sims 2 players, the gameís social interactions are the most enjoyable aspect of gameplay. Letís face it, going to the bathroom and taking out the trash are not nearly as exciting as trying to score with your hot neighbor. If you count yourself as a member of this group, the The Sims 2 Nightlife is just the expansion game youíre looking for.

The Sims 2 Nightlife expansion is really packed with new features. Thereís an entire new neighborhood in Downtown, a place for your sims to dine, dance, and play. Thereís a new dating system in place that takes your romantic relationships to a new level. Thereís a new pleasure aspiration for sims that just want to have fun, and you can try to really live the nightlife as a vampire. And of course are plenty of new objects, including something that players have been asking for since the original The Sims, cars.

A special gift at a special dinner at a special place.
The new Downtown area packs a lot of new fun locations for your sims into its neighborhood. Restaurants range from diners to upscale places suitable for formal dining. The restaurants in Downtown arenít just places to grab a plate and eat grub Ė they function just as youíd expect restaurants to function. You are seated by a host or hostess, a waiter or waitress takes your order, you can flirt with your waiter or waitress to try and lower your bill, and when the check arrives you can leave a nice tip or try to skip out on it. Skipping out on the check is effectively a mini game in which you need to avoid the host for a bit in game of hide and seek. You have the chance to play a game and save money too!

Downtown is a good place to take your sims for a little R&R, but the biggest use of Downtown is as a venue for the heart of Nightlife, the dating game. The first step in dating is of course to get a date in the first place. To do so, you need to work on your relationships as before and when you rack up some relationship points you can try to ask the object of your desires out on a date. For those of you who prefer the easy route, the game provides a matchmaking service. You determine how much you want to spend on the service, and the more money you spend the more compatible your blind date will be.

Not unlike real life, dating plays out as a game of sorts in Nightlife. A thermometer-like meter appears on the top right of the screen along with a countdown timer. Successful interactions will result in the meter climbing upwards along with bonus time added to the date timer. Make a mistake and the timer keeps ticking as your meter drops downward. Special date interactions have been added to the action menu and these are signified by little lightning bolt-like icons on the actions. As the date progresses and things go well, new interactions will become available. For example, you can work your way up from a kiss on the hand to a passionate kiss on the lips as the date heats up. Youíre also given the opportunity to ask a number of questions pertaining to likes and dislikes, so you can try to show your date a good time. If your date ends on the positive side of the meter then things went well and youíll have the chance for follow-up dates. If things went really well then you can expect to receive some wooing from your date in the form of phone calls and gifts.

The dating game is a fun addition to the game but it is not that challenging in and of itself. If you understand how to work the gameís relationship system, then youíll know what to do and when while out on a date. It can be tricky to maintain your simís needs on longer dates, as they have a nasty habit of becoming more pressing just as the date is really heating up. However, the biggest challenge in dating comes from simsí tendency to wander off in the middle of an activity, oblivious to the fact that there is a date in progress. Even when things are going well youíll often have to chase down your date, wasting precious date time as you try to find them and bring them to an activity object.