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Q1 2005



- New items and goodies for your Sims 2 to use and enjoy

- Already-high presentation values even more impressive



- With emphasis on getting good grades under an intense time frame, don’t have too much time to enjoy the extracurricular college Sim life

- Hey older Sims 2 players: and you thought you were done writing term papers!



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The Sims 2: University

Score: 9.0 / 10

The minute, no, the very second the Sims 2 was released, you just knew there would be expansion packs coming in the future. After all, the original Sims spawned expansion pack upon expansion pack to highly expectant fans craving more and more of the top-selling PC title of all-time. Well, the first Sims 2 expansion is here, and just like the late, great Rodney Dangerfield, the Sims head back to school in the Sims 2 University, and it gives a magna cum laude performance that Sims fans will enjoy.


sims 2 university review          sims 2 university review


Those who have played the Sims 2 know that Sims now age, from childhood to senior citizen status. Focus in University is on the “young adult” or college-age Sim ready to head out of the family nest and into the stage of Sim life that will prepare them for their future “adult” lifestyle. It doesn’t just focus on the academics either. University includes the seedier side (otherwise known as the “loss of innocence” side) of the whole college experience, including many social facets (think frat house kegger). College-bound Sims head on down to College Town, which houses the entire college campus, ready and prepared for your young adult Sims to go to school and live in the dorms.


Again, the Sims 2 high presentation values are stellar. The jump in visuals from the original Sims franchise to the Sims 2 was a quantum leap, and University continues in that new tradition of sweet, sweet eye candy around the campus grounds. The dorms aren’t exceptionally big, and the individual rooms are small. But that doesn’t mean they don’t look good, especially when you start to furnish both the shared dorm areas and your Sims’ room. That visual spit and polish also applies to the other sections of College Town, such as the requisite coffee shop, that are essential must-visits in order to increase your Sims’ popularity. As before in the Sims 2, the visuals are just so much more animated and smooth compared to the original Sims, as long as you have a good hardware to handle the impressive graphics. Standard franchise sound elements, including the Simlish language and musical selections, retain their same level of appropriateness. Players will get a giggle from the Simlish-rapping Sims trying to impress their fellow students.


While there’s plenty of new items that fit into the consumer demographics of the college-age Sims such as mp3 players and cell phones, and chances to experience full-blown Animal House-style college days, it’s hard to take advantage of those chances because if you’re serious about getting a Sim college degree, you really 




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have to focus on schoolwork. And you thought those long nights from your own life of writing term papers were gone and forgotten! But you can also use the “influence” gameplay options to lift the burden of homework from your young shoulders by getting other Sims on campus to do your work for you. So, work on that popularity, because if other Sims are doing your work, you’ll have more time to play to your Sims’ heart’s content.



Every Sims 2 player will want to play in a band, or join a fraternity or sorority, or just party hearty, but since semesters don’t last that long in actual game time, concentrating your Sims’ efforts into term papers and studying takes the majority of gameplay time. It’s the best way to earn a degree from Sims University in one of 11 majors that lead to four new career paths available for the sheepskin-in-hand graduate Sim.


sims 2 university review          sims 2 university review


Still, if you’re willing to blow off a semester of bad grades, there’s fun galore in college town with all the other college-attending Sims. Join that fraternity or sorority with the secret society! Jam like a rock star in that college rock band! Live it up in the Sims dorms, free from the shackles of “the Man” (otherwise known as your Sim mom and dad).


Apparently Maxis’ developers don’t listen to too much Steely Dan, because you can go back to your Sims’ old school with Sims 2 University, which earns its fun factor degree with high honors. And Sims 2 aficionados should hit the books hard to increase your Sims 2 I.Q., because already on the horizon is the, you guessed it, next expansion pack for the Sims 2, Sims 2 Nightlife, headed for stores this fall.


- Lee Cieniawa


(April 12, 2005)


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