The Sims 3 Pets Review (Xbox 360)

Honestly I didn’t think The Sims 3 Pets could possibly get any more crazy (or hectic for that matter) than The Sims 3, I was so wrong. With the addition of The Sims 3 Pets not only will you be able to play as human Sims but also dogs and cats as well. Now managing a household can be even more difficult especially if you happen to adopt a pet with the Destructive trait like I did. How you play is ultimately up to you whether you make them puppets or make your human’s day a complete nightmare with your pets. Imagine how insane a houseful of adults, pets, and offspring of either would be. I do hope that you are ready to dive headfirst into insanity because that’s exactly where you’re headed. I wanted to know if buying The Sims 3 Pets was really worth its price for someone who already has The Sims 3.

If you’ve played The Sims 3 you should be pretty well armed to play The Sims 3 Pets. Coming off of The Sims 3 I was hoping for an expansion but that wasn’t the case, I had to start all over. It’s a new town to make your Sims dreams come true or their worst nightmares. If you decide to build your household from scratch you will be able to pick your human Sim’s traits and lifetime wish as well as those of your pets. An adult dog and cat will start out with two trait slots, you can pick quite a few combinations of traits (some can be quite comical). There are some new traits for human Sims including but definitely not limited to Cat Lover and Dog Lover. I finally got to fulfill my dream of virtually being a crazy cat lady! In order to achieve it you’ll need a female Sim with the Insane and Cat Lover traits along with five cats. As far as your human Sim’s actions you will now have interactions with your pets. You can praise and scold pets for things that they have done; like your cat or dog destroying yet another piece of furniture, whether or not you made them do it is a different story altogether. However if you praise and/or scold enough your pet will receive a trait, such as Non-Destructive, my favorite! Playing as your pets gives entirely new interactions, with human Sims and other pets. You can beg for food from human Sims, sit on their lap, and ask them to play. You can also play with other pets, socialize with them, fight with them or WooHoo! You can even try for puppies/kittens and don’t worry about the other dogs/cats your “close with” getting jealous because unlike human Sims, pets don’t really care.

If you level your dog’s digging skill you can have them dig for specific things (metal, gems, etc.) but you can also eventually get them to “Go Fetch Something Awesome”. You cannot determine what your dog will bring home or follow them until they get back but even if you have something better (like a TV for instance) you can sell the one they brought you for Simoleons. Skill Milestones for digging do not really offer anything in return like the ones for cats. If you give your cat the Lifetime Reward of Cat Burglar you can have them swipe items, your neighbors didn’t really want that expensive bed right? Just make sure that other Sims are not watching you, if they are you can’t swipe anything. Once you level your cat’s hunting level up they can also stalk certain prey including ghosts. If you do not want to keep these items you can sell them from your inventory but many you can donate to the science lab for money. Completing the Skill Milestones for your cat will allow you to command human Sims to do certain things like clean your litter box or feed you. If you catch 50 spirits with your cat it will learn teleportation and teleport will be available when you select a destination on the map. Also available for your pets are jobs although there are only two, one for each pet. Your cat can work as a Crime Cat and your dog can be employed as a Police Dog.

The karma point system in The Sims 3 Pets is different from The Sims 3; you now earn karma points by completing challenges. No more random fire and brimstone from the sky or lucky karma refill, they may have taken the free refill away but that doesn’t mean they didn’t make up for it. With Transmogrify you can now make your human Sim into a pet, your pet into a human, or your dog into a cat (and vice versa). Accompanying Transmogrify is Ghostify and you bet I Ghostified my neighbor’s cat, Apocalypse Meow and caught him with my own cat - LOL. If you do happen to use Feral Possession be prepared for the possible loss of your pets friendship, let me tell you, it was quiet creepy to see all the pets in my house running around with glowing red eyes and red mist surrounding them. If you happen to run out of Karma Points you can now go negative but there’s a catch: Karmic Backlash. The game can punish you for going in the red, however; you can reduce and eventually eliminate the chances of a backlash which can range from a Ghost Invasion to a Solar Flare. As in The Sims 3 there are a ton of challenges for you to complete for achievements (on the 360) and other rewards. There are individual challenges as well as main challenges and sub challenges, for example; the Cat-astrophe challenge has four sub-challenges: Cat Fight, Cat Herding, Crazy Cat Lady, and Fur Friends. Continuing the trend of The Sims 3 there are Lifetime Rewards which are available for pets as well which add yet another level to your pets.

New for your human Sims is invention! You can now invent cool things instead of just performing experiments on inanimate objects as a Mad Scientist like you could in The Sims 3. Doesn’t detonating household items sound appealing? Once I had obtained level one of inventing I could detonate objects, like the toilet for instance (it will give you scrap to use for inventing as well as a little explosion and a burn mark on the floor). If you purchase the workbench you can have your Sim create all sorts of things from a Moodlet Manager to Food Replicator. Relics are also new and if you or your pet happen to find each piece in a collection you can put them all together and receive a mood boost (they must all be together which is hard with the Octo Avis collection). You can display Relics found on display cases or pedestals purchased from the Buy Menu under Surfaces.

Great mysteries are afoot for your Sims to investigate and solve once and for all! Once you register at the City Hall you are able to access your Mystery Journal which allows you to choose a mystery to complete. Each mystery comes with its own set of rewards which to me was entirely worth the running around. (I made the mistake of purchasing items rewarded from the Buy/Build menu, they should already be in your Household Inventory so unless you want two or accidentally sell it off, don’t buy it.) One of the rewards that you can receive is the Bottomless Pet Bowl which as it suggests, never empties; however, when your pet eats the food inside it will receive the Divine Meal moodlet (+75 Mood). The mysteries are a great addition and hopefully they will put out more for DLC. Although it isn’t really a “mystery” your pet can get lost. Certain things will cause your pet to run away, mainly any type of fire. You can call to notify that your pet is lost and someone can return it to you or you can look for it yourself. Looking for a lost pet can be very hard and time consuming (much like in the really real world right?), someone always brought mine home before I found it.

Graphically speaking the game looks great and so do the pets. I was honestly surprised with the amount of time they had to have spent getting movements correct and natural looking. With your pets, you have numerous layers that you can customize to truly make the pet your own if you wish to spend the amount of time it will take. Technically you could make an Australian Cattle Dog have a coat similar to a Poodle, ridiculous? Yes. Is it funny? You bet. Since I did play The Sims 3 first, I did notice that the items in the Buy menu were more limited in Pets, although I think that it made up for it with other items that  Sims 3 did not have. Some of the breeds of pets chosen weren’t ones that everyone would know, such as the Klee Kai and Japanese Spitz (which looks almost identical to an American Eskimo but is not the same breed) for dogs and the Havana Brown and Bengal for cats. With the Xbox 360 version of Pets you can also command your pet with Kinect which is was a very neat thing to add, it made interacting with my virtual pet seem more real (although my real dog was entirely confused when she wasn’t sleeping).

I know that I have not touched everything new between The Sims 3 and The Sims 3 Pets but that would make this article huge not to mention leaving nothing to pique curiosity. I did purchase both copies of the game and I can tell you that I enjoyed The Sims 3 Pets more than I did The Sims 3 because I am a huge on animals. I have always enjoyed playing Sims titles but this one stands out as my favorite. In my opinion The Sims 3 Pets is worth it if you’re an animal lover like me or if you have The Sims 3 and want a new experience. My only regret is that I don’t have a good PC to play on because I would’ve loved to have and play as a horse. So for now I’m stuck being the crazy cat lady and not trying to be a female Roy Rogers.

Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 

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  • Darci

    At first I thought the pets thing would get old – after all, I remember Giga Pets and that concept was interesting for maybe 2 hours. Anyway, finally just picked up this expansion pack and it is surprisingly fun! I have spent literally hours just playing around with the coat design features, you can really create distinguishable animals.

    Also, this add-on has some new songs in Simlish, and those are always hilarious. My favorite has gotta be “Television” by Jack’s Mannequin, it is such a trip to hear that song in Simlish, I wonder how they do that? 

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