The Sims Unleashed Review

Those of you with Vacation will be happy to hear that your dogs and cats can be taken with you to Vacation Island.  If you're lucky, your dog may even dig up a little treasure while you're taking a walk on the beach.  Dogs and cats can not be taken Downtown if you own Hot Date, but the new community lots serve as a pet-friendly substitute.  Like downtown, community lots can have cafes, stores, and parks, so you will have many of the same environments available to share with your furry companion.  And yes, you can take a date to a location on a community lot.

Unleashed has done a good job of integrating dogs and cats into the game.  The social benefits put less pressure on you to keep your sim happy without adding too much extra work.  As long as you keep their dish full and play with them on occasion, pets do a good job of keeping themselves happy.  If you bring more than one pet home, they generally get along and help to provide each other with companionship when your sim is just too busy to do so.  There are also a lot of pet interactions that will keep animal lovers happily watching their pets run around their sim homes: dogs drink from toilets, cats watch birds and fish very intently and attack insects, and pets wrestle with each other, to name a few.  And what pet lover wouldn't melt the first time they see their sim pet perform a trick for them?

In addition to cats and dogs, Unleashed provides iguanas, parrots, fish, and turtles.  These pets do not become members of your family, and are tied to a corresponding object such as a tank, cage, or perch.  To keep these pets alive, you need to feed them and keep their area clean.  Each of these other pets comes with their own set of interactions, though they are more limited than those available with cats and dogs.  Of these additional pets, fish are the most boring, as all you can do with them is feed and watch them.  Parrots provide more entertainment, as your sim can gain charisma points as he or she teaches the parrot to speak.  No question about it, the dogs and cats are the stars of the show.

Unleashed also unleashes a whole host of animals into your neighborhood.  Throughout the day, stray cats and dogs will wander through your yard (and sometimes into your home), and you may even be paid a visit by skunks, raccoons, rabbits, or gophers.  These last two pests can have a detrimental effect on your sim's garden.

A Sim GardenSpeaking of gardens, your sims will now be able to grow their own vegetables.  Seeds can be purchased at a garden store and added to garden plots that you buy just like any other landscape feature.  Once seeds are planted, you need to water and weed the plots until the vegetables are ready to harvest.  You'll also need to keep the pests away so that they don't eat up your crops - a cat with good hunting skills is the best way to accomplish this.  When vegetables are harvested you can store them to use for meals or sell them at the market to make a little extra money.  Since gardens can provide both food and money, you could even become a full-time farmer if you wanted.  In practice, the gardens take work every day and aren't all that exciting.  It would be hard to imagine anyone who would want to spend all their game time working a vegetable patch, but you can do so if you want.