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Q1 2006



- No longer does your Sim jump into a car a head off to an unseen-to-the-player workplace alone — now you get to go along for the ride
- For veterans of the franchise, it gives yet another fresh, new (and challenging) gameplay twist
- Goal-oriented gameplay helps focus the tasks at hand



- Trying to hustle around your business and keep everything operating efficiently is hard to do when your Sim really needs to return home and get some well-earned sleep
- Your Sims time at work is sometimes more of a chore than actual fun — hey, just like real life!



Review: The Sims 2 (PC)

Review: The Sims 2: University (PC)

Review: The Sims 2: Nightlife (PC)



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The Sims 2: Open for Business

Score: 8.9 / 10

The Sims finally get down to business with the newest Sims 2 expansion, The Sims 2: Open for Business. For the first time in the PC title’s long history of expansions, Sims gamers finally are able to own and operate their very own establishment of choice. It’s not all fun and games, as you really do have to work hard to write a simoleon-making success story in the business of your choice. Open for Business still is one of the best Sims expansion packs to be developed, giving Sims 2 players a reason rush home from their own workplace and hit the virtual business world. With a lot of time invested playing as the boss, you can reach tycoon status right next to Donald Trump, and you can even issue a “You’re fired!” edict to underachieving employees just like “The Donald” himself. Combined with the locales and items from both University and Nightlife, Open for Business has tons of gameplay possibilities.


the sims 2 open for business          the sims 2 open for business

While the previous Sims 2 expansion game, Nightlife, was similar to the Hot Date expansion for the original Sims, Open for Business treads the path of originality of the first Sims 2 expansion, University. Before, with your Sims’ work life, the only decision you had to make was selecting a career path and accepting a job to go to every day. Unfortunately, you never could jump into the passenger seat and head off to the unseen-to-the-gamer workplace with them. Now, not only do you get to go along, you’re in charge of every aspect of your Sims’ workplace.

You can choose what kind of business you own and operate. Sell toys or clothes. Run a restaurant. Open a beauty shop. Even kid Sims can get in on the business by opening a lemonade stand. There are numerous opportunities (my business was running the arcade). You can decorate your business any way you see fit, with more than 125 new items such as cash registers and display cases now available to purchase, assisting you in designing a first-class business to attract customers. You 




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must also hire and manage a staff. That’s where the big challenge of Open for Business presents itself. You’ll have to find Sims willing to work for you (and design a staff uniform if you so wish, even if that uniform consists of nothing more than fig leaves covering their naughty parts – taking a Sims-style approach to the “sex sells” strategy).

If you pay them well, they will turn out to be much better workers for you (and be willing to wear whatever uniform you design, however 


skimpy, gaudy or unflattering it may be), and that can lead to bigger profits. Promotions you dole out to particularly star-quality employees will boost morale and that will show when it comes time to review the bottom line. Your employees will also pick up new skills over time that will turn them into more efficient sellers of whatever you are peddling to the Sims’ public visiting your establishment. The better they sell and the more customers they transform into loyal clientele, the more money you will make, and the bigger you simoleon bank account will swell.

But no matter how good your workers are, you have to be careful to not price yourself out of your customers’ pockets, because if your goods or services cost too much, you’re going to have a tough time turning a profit and being able to afford to staff your business with top-notch workers. Complete pricing control is at your fingertips.


the sims 2 open for business          the sims 2 open for business

On top of all the stress of running a business, and it will get stressful because there’s so much you’ll need to manage during a typical session at “work” that Open for Business oftentimes can almost be too much like a real-life workforce grind, there is also a plethora of goals to achieve in order to operate a well-run business. This helps you focus on specific functions, taking away a lot of boring and aimless “what-should-I-do-now?” gameplay.

Make sure that you balance your work life with your personal life, though, and be sure to handle with care all your Sims’ living requirements, especially sleep. My biggest problem I faced was staying at work too long – despite phone calls from home – and getting too tired to continue to run my business without returning to my family domicile and enjoying a good night’s sleep. You still must eat and worry about your hygiene while at work, which with the added responsibilities of running a business, will be more challenging than any previous Sims 2 expansion.

It’s all business for the Sims 2, and the virtual corporate world will never bee the same again. Who are you and your Sims going to be: the next Trump or a bankrupt chump? It’s all up to you in the most challenging Sims 2 expansion to date. Open for Business will require you to put aside the leisurely pursuits of your Sims, roll up your sleeves and put in a hard day’s work to succeed. But in gameplay and fun, this is the most rewarding payday you’ll find in any Sims game.

- Lee Cieniawa

(May 28, 2006)


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