From the neighborhood view, the player selects to play one lot, as in The Sims. There are residential and community lots. Sims live in residential lots, and can travel to community lots to purchase stuff, clothing and magazines as well as interact with NPCs.
The player can choose between playing a pre-made inhabited lot, moving a household into a built-up lot, or constructing a building on an empty lot. One novelty from The Sims 1 is foundations.
The player switches among the “live” mode (default) to control Sims, the “buy” mode to add, move or delete furniture, or the “build” mode to rebuild the house. Buy and build mode for community lots is locked when player Sims visit the lot but are available from the neighborhood view. It is also possible to import neighborhood terrains from SimCity 4.
The game contains some time-bound social challenges that provide a reward if successful. Sims can throw parties to gain aspiration points or invite the headmaster over for dinner in order to enroll their children in private school. Some expansion packs have new mini-games, like running a Greek house in University or dating in Nightlife. In Nightlife, each day is a challenge to keep both Sims as happy as possible while accumulating aspiration points. Various other expansion packs introduce supernatural characters which Sims can be turned into. This includes Vampires, Werewolves, Plantsims, Zombies, and Witches.
The Sims 2 Seasons expansion pack introduces two new game play concepts to The Sims 2 series: weather and seasons. Each season lasts for approximately five Sim days and players have the option to alter their order of progression.
Sims are able to build snowmen during the Winter, rake fallen leaves in Autumn, jump in puddles during Spring and occasionally experience heatstroke in Summer. Besides being a visually interactive addition, each season enhances Sim’s attributes in certain ways.
Weather and temperature
There is weather within each season, including rain, hail, lightning storms, and snow (there is another type of weather called the rain of fire due to the malfunction of the new aspiration reward object, which is a weather control machine). Although weather was originally planned for release in the original Sims 2 base game, a 3D rendering error prevented this from being possible: rain would fall into enclosed housing areas, and other graphical rendering problems would occur. Weather may also adversely affect Sims. New to The Sims 2 is a thermometer that shows how hot or cold a Sim is. The thermometer goes red when a Sim is too hot or has sunburn and goes cold when a Sim has been playing in the snow for too long. However, this does present disadvantages. An example is a Sim getting a cold or getting too hot after too many showers. For example, heat in summer may cause a Sim to experience heatstroke or receive a sunburn. Sims who are outside during the winter may feel cold, though they can be warmed in various ways. Sims can die due to heatstroke and they can also freeze to death. Other Sims have the option of a “thaw” interaction, provided their relationship is high enough. Children who are allowed to get too cold or too hot do not die, but are instead taken away by social services. Rarely, Sims who go outside during a rainstorm can be struck by lightning, but this more commonly happens to trees or other objects. A Sim who survives gets blackened hair and skin that do not come off until the Sim’s next shower or bath.
Plant Sims are the new creatures that comes with The Sims 2: Seasons. Plant Sims have green skin with vine-like tattoos, special leaf or flower made hair and yellow eyes, and will obtain a gold gardening badge when they become a plant sim, if they didn’t already have one. While spraying their orchard trees or plants in eccess, the excess pesticide could randomly turn normal Sims into Plant Sims. The plant Sim condition can be “cured” by calling a garden club member or gypsy and buying a potion.
A PlantSim toddler.
Plant Sims only age within three life stages: toddler, adult and elder. Besides aging differences, they have three needs: sunlight, water and love. Plant Sims also gain a prank interaction (pollen cloud), the ability to release spores of happiness, and the ability to reproduce. Spawned offspring begin life as toddlers and have a gold gardening badge and the same skills and personality as their parent. However, their facial genes are a combination of the parent and a hidden NPC named Ideal Plantsim.
With a high enough gardening skill Sims can talk to plants and turn a hum-drum orange tree, vegetable or fruit plant grow to vibrant status thereby increasing the harvest yield. There is a new object, the “Juicer” which will allow Sims to create custom juices from their own harvest.
Included existing features
Features from the existing expansion packs such as the influence system, turn ons/turn offs, lifetime wants, pranks, fury, Mrs. Crumplebottom and talent badges are available. Although the talent badges included in Open For Business are not available in the Seasons expansion pack, talent badges can be earned for activities such as fishing and gardening without Open for Business installed.
* 1.3 Ghz processor (2.0 for Vista)
* 512 MB RAM (1GB for Vista)
* Windows(R) Vista, Windows XP, Windows ME, Windows 98 or Windows 2000 Operating System.
* 8x or faster CD/DVD drive
* At least 1.5 GB of additional hard drive space (5.0 GB total is required if installing both The Sims 2 and The Sims 2 Bon Voyage Expansion Pack at the same time.)
* A T&L-capable video card with at least 32 MB of video RAM.
Supported video cards:
* ATI Radeon(TM) series 8500 or better (9600 or greater required for Vista)
* 8500, All-In-Wonder 8500
* 9000, 9200, 9500, 9600, 9700, 9800
* X300, X600, x700, X800, x850
* X1300, X1600, X1800, X1900, X1950
NVIDIA(R) Quadro(TM) series
Quadro, Quadro2, Quadro4
NVIDIA GeForce series GeForce2 GTS and better (GeForce 6200 or greater required for Vista)
# GeForce 2, 2 GTS
# GeForce 3, 3 Ti
# GeForce 4, 4 Ti, 4200, 4600, 4800, MX 420, 440, 460
# GeForce FX 5200, 5500, 5600, 5700, 5800, 5900, 5950
# GeForce PCX 5300, 5900
# GeForce 6200, 6600, 6800
# GeForce 7300, 7600, 7800, 7900, 7950
# S3 GammaChrome
# S18 Pro
# S18 Ultra Intel(R) Extreme Graphics (see note below)
82865, 82915 and above