The Sims 2: FreeTime

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The Sims 2: FreeTime
The Sims 2 - FreeTime Coverart.png
North American box art
Developer(s) The Sims Division
Publisher(s) Electronic Arts
Designer(s) Lakshmi Jayapalan
Series The Sims
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release date(s)
  • EU February 22, 2008
  • NA February 26, 2008
  • AUS February 28, 2008
  • EU February 29, 2008
Genre(s) Life simulation game
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution CD (2), DVD (1), .iso download

The Sims 2: FreeTime is the seventh expansion pack in the The Sims 2 video game series.

A flyer included in The Sims 2: Bon Voyage expansion pack and The Sims 2 Teen Style Stuff announced this expansion and read: "Now your Sims can enjoy hobbies! Your Sims will have fun taking up a variety of creative, intellectual, or active leisure-time pursuits. They can even meet Sims that share their interests and expand their social relationships. Develop your Sims' skills while they pursue their true pastime passions. Will your Sims stumble reaching for new goals or find a new sense of fulfillment?"

With this expansion, Sims can pursue employment in five new careers including dance, entertainment, intelligence, oceanography and architecture.

The ten hobbies included in the expansion pack are fitness, cooking, music/dance, sports, nature, science, films/literature, gaming, tinkering, and arts/crafts.[1] Every Sim is created with a predetermined "preferred" hobby which cannot be modified by the player. While the bar is filled, the Sim is "in the zone", shown graphically as a white glow around the Sim; causing their needs to decay more slowly than usual, as to allow extra time on that hobby.

Gameplay[edit]

This expansion pack features a new neighborhood named Desiderata Valley. The expansion also adds new secret lots[2] and adds a special character, a Genie.[3] A gypsy will come to the player's Sim house if the Sim is enthusiastic over a hobby or has high Lifetime Aspiration and will drop off the lamp on the player's property. The Genie will grant the Sim three wishes though the wishes have a chance of backfiring. Once the Sim uses the three wishes, the Genie will disappear.

FreeTime includes several new computer games the Sims can purchase and play on a gaming station or computer, including the sequel to the game itself, The Sims 3. The televisions now also feature movies that Sims can watch, which are movie clips featured in "How Do You Play?" ad campaign.

Hobbies[edit]

There are ten hobbies in The Sims 2: FreeTime. Each offers different unlockable benefits or new activities and also a pass to enter into secret lots. Doing an activity which is related to the specific hobby increases enthusiasm to that hobby. Enthusiasm can even briefly be gained as a Sim sleeps and dreams about a hobby activity. As enthusiasm increases for each hobby, there are a number of new actions introduced to the Sim in that area, this includes reading about the hobby in the paper, jogging, hiking and getting protein shakes from the fridge, blogging about the Sim's hobby, teaching about the hobby and more. These rewards and benefits will stay constant for the Sim provided the hobby enthusiasm is kept high enough to warrant them. The highest reward is to be in 'The Zone' (as described above).

The Arts & Crafts hobby centers around activities that are related to creating and discussing artwork, such as painting, and introduces two new Talent Badges: Pottery and Sewing. In addition, an activity table is available allowing toddlers and children to paint and play with blocks (playing with blocks supports tinkering hobbies while drawing supports arts and crafts).

Cooking, watching cooking shows and having meals are activities related to culinary. Cuisine hobby allows Sims to unlock new foods: chips, cheese and appetizers. Moreover, Sims may now enter a food contest by submitting a dish to be judged. Finally, a new nectar table is available in buy mode.

The novel writing system on the computer has been revamped allowing players to choose the cover, title and plot. Players may now choose which book for their Sim to read instead of reading a single generic book. Sims can also discuss books they have read, and a variety of films can now be viewed on the television.

Other than working out, swimming or performing Yoga, Sims with a high enough interest in Fitness can go jogging, get protein drinks out of their fridge, and can use an exercise bike. In addition, athletic outfits have been given a greater selection from more than just sweatsuits and children are also given athletic wear.

A variety of digital games can now be purchased and are playable on Sims' computers and consoles. All of these games are actual EA games, namely Spore, MySims, FIFA 08, The Sims 3 and Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars. Other games such as pool and chess also contribute to the hobby enthusiasm. Sims can also challenge each other in a video game competition in community lots.

Sims can now play the violin and the synthesizer as well as the piano (and guitar, bass and drums if University is installed). They can also practice ballet on the ballet barre, enter dance contests and also teach their toddlers nursery rhymes. A new soundtrack features the Natasha Bedingfield song "Pocketful of Sunshine", and also includes artists They Might Be Giants, and Datarock.[4] Finally, players can create custom radio stations for their Sims stereos (though all songs added to custom stations must be in MP3 format).

Nature-loving Sims find gardening, fishing, bug collecting and birdwatching interesting. If the Sim goes hiking there is a chance they will find an unusual bug which will start a bug collection. This can be hung on a wall or put on a table. When a Sim goes hiking he also runs the risk of being followed home by angry swarms of bees.

Science hobby items gained with FreeTime include an ant farm and new telescope interactions. Sims can now choose to search for planets, constellations and UFOs. Sims can also choose to summon aliens. When they use this interaction as an adult or teen, they get abducted, regardless of their gender, but only adult male Sims will become impregnated with an alien child.

Tinkering allows Sims to tinker various electronic devices in the house and also restoring a car to sell it for profit. The restored car can also be used as the family car with the ability to paint it a different color. There is also a new train set which a Sim can decorate and design.

Townie aging[edit]

When a Sim ages, the player can choose three NPC friends to grow up with the Sim.

Careers[edit]

Five new career tracks and their reward objects are added with FreeTime. These are oceanographers, entertainers, architects, dancers, and intelligence agents. Oceanographers can earn a koi pond, entertainers can get their own star of fame, architects can use their own drafting table, dancers can receive an improved ballet bar and intelligence agents can use a listening device.

Lifetime Aspiration Meter[edit]

The Lifetime Aspiration feature is enhanced in this expansion. It displays on the GUI as a segmented bar, next to the standard Aspiration meter, and for every segment filled the player is awarded a Lifetime Aspiration Point, which they can redeem on various new abilities.

Secondary Aspirations[edit]

New with FreeTime is the ability to assign a secondary aspiration to a Sim and to avail of rewards/upgrades for fulfillment of primary wants filling the lifetime aspiration meter. These upgrades may be passive, context-sensitive, and reduce the speed at which the Sim depletes mood motives.

There are four upgrades in each of four categories: Life, Work, the Sim's current Aspiration, and Secondary Aspiration, which lets the Sim choose a secondary Aspiration, and then unlocks access to that Aspiration's first three upgrades. Sims with a secondary Aspiration will begin to exhibit Wants and Fears related to it. Sims can choose the previously hidden 'Grilled Cheese' aspiration for their secondary Aspiration which includes the bottomless stomach reward and the ability to paint pictures of grilled cheese; And for Sims with grilled cheese as the main aspiration (Renuyu orb fault), the ability to conjure up grilled cheeses, however this uses up an excessive amount of energy.

Objects and outfits[edit]

FreeTime introduces new items, including a basketball hoop (previously in The Sims), pottery wheel, toddler activity table, modular synthesizer, hobby train table and others including new furniture for the nursery. The game also has outfits related to their hobby, for instance a Cuisine Sim can buy a dress with an apron. The sewing machine can be used by a Sim to make curtains for his or her home in colors.

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 74/100[5]
Review scores
Publication Score
Eurogamer 6/10[11]
GameZone 7.0/10[9]
IGN 8.3/10[8]
PC Gamer (UK) 83%[5]
PC Zone 70%[5]
NZGamer 8.5/10[6]
Game Chronicles 8.5/10[7]


References[edit]

External links[edit]