Creativity, accessibility, and the sadistic pleasure of watching your Sim clutch his crotch for dear life - as you toy with the idea of letting him use the bathroom - have always been hallmarks of the Sims series, and they're all back in The Sims Pet Stories. But this time around, the franchise hopes to lure more Sim-virgins into the mix by adding a bit of direction - via lighthearted plotlines - to the otherwise freeform nature of previous iterations.
Pet Stories will throw you in the shoes of two new characters with their own sets of trials and tribulations to overcome. Alice is broke as a joke and her landlady is ready to give her the boot unless you can help her come up with some cash by winning best in show at the local dog show tournament. Apparently, getting a real job won't pay the rent, so you'll be busy training your pet prodigy to perform tricks over the course of the game's 12 chapters.
Above: You can achieve "super successes" when training your pet to perform tricks on the teeter-totter
On the other end of the economic spectrum is a well-to-do executive chef, Stephen. While Alice's story is geared toward grooming her Dalmatian into an obedient trick-performing mutt, Stephen's 12 chapters will be focused on keeping his naughty out-of-control cat in check. The two stories sound like clichéd plotlines from the cheesiest of TV sitcoms. But that's part of the charm of EA's second stab at the Sims' Stories series.
Sims fans should note that Pet Stories is a standalone expansion. While you won't need to own any of the previous Sims titles to play Pet Stories, you won't be able to incorporate the game's new content into your current library either. Expect Pet Stories to hit shelves this June. In the meantime click on the Images tab above for some hairy new screens.
May 11, 2007