Media Publishing) £14.99 PC CD-ROM
'The Sims' and possibly 'Livin' It Up'
The last add on for 'The Sims' was a little disappointing for me because there was not enough of what I wanted! I wanted lots and lots of wallpaper, carpets, gadgets and lots more besides. Well now I have it - without the need for an Internet connection and several hours free to trawl through the multitude of sites dedicated to The Sims. It's all here in one neat easy to use bundle.
Inside there are 2000 items and these are divided into 6 catergories: skins, objects, roofs, walls, floors and houses. Most of these then have sub-sections, for example; skins lists the catergories: adult, antique, fantasy, kids, movie and sports and these options then lead to another 12 sub-sections. What a choice! Now I know that roofs may not be of the utmost importance to The Sims' gameplay but for those of us who like to perfect our little homes, there's 18 different roof tiles to choose from. It just doesn't compare to the 4 that were offered in The Sims.
You'll find some really strange stuff. See the picture of the electric chair. Just the job for that unwanted visitor. Hee, hee. No, seriously - you can't interact with the new features of this pack. Whereas in the 'Livin' It Up' software there are several things to play with, such as a chemistry set. You can alter your sims with the eight potions you make. It would have been great to see this function in That's Life.
Click here for full size screenshot
This add on really allows you to accessorise, some of the wallpapers have curtains, which really finishes the window. There's wallpaper with pictures or sculptures on and there's wallpaper decorated with all those nicknacks that make a house a home. A towel rail for the bathroom or pots and pans for the kitchen.
You can even have fun in the garden. There's a cute little gnome. Ahhh. And grass that looks like it has wild flowers growing in it, as well as gravel and cobble stones with genuine moss in between them.
You can add houses into The Sims with That's Life as long as you have Livin' It Up. So this doesn't give you much of a bonus if you have to own all three pieces of software to take advantage of the houses available.
There's one little problem with this software that is a little annoying. Once you have chosen all on your add-ons from That's Life and you imported them into your game, you will quickly notice that there is no image available in the buying menus. This becomes irritating when you are trying to select an item to purchase. Not only is there no image in the buying menu, it's missing from the further detail menu that appears once you have clicked on the empty box. The only way to see what you are attempting to buy, is to click and then move the mouse into the house - and hey presto! it appears.
This pack is well worth buying, for instant access to all those DIY jobs that your Sims want doing to their homes. The menus are very clear and simple to use and very easy to download and install your chosen components. Just one click and you will be able to find that new addition in The Sims the next time you visit. You can even create your own personal directory that will collect every item that you find along your decorating journey.
Deaf gamers don't need to worry about access to this software as there is no speech in it at all. It is sight orientated - you see what you like and you pick it. It's as simple as that!
Overall Game Rating: 8.25/10
Quality of text: 9/10 Very good. The web addresses are also available for you to take your explorations further if you want.
Graphics: 7/10 Uses the same style as The Sims, easy on the eye and pleasant to look at.
Interface: 9/10 Very simple to use, just browse, highlight the one you want and then click the button to import and the you'll find it in The Sims.
Gameplay:8/10 Extremely useful add-on pack for all enthusiatic sims fans. You'll keep popping back to it for a quick look and the most surprising thing is that you'll find things you hadn't seen before.