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I've always been one for video games. I had a Megadrive when I was pretty young, followed by a few other Nintendo consoles, but I've also been quite a fan of games for the computer as well. I particularly enjoy simulation and strategy games, and so The Sims was something I was desperate to get when it first came out when I was about ten. Unfortunately, our computer wasn't advanced enough to play it and it couldn't be installed when my parents kindly bought it for me. I was heartbroken, but luckily my dad was planning on buying a new one for work fairly soon anyway, so I did get to play it after not too long. My love of The Sims then lasted a few years, with me buying all the expansion packs not long after they came out, as well as its sequel, Sims 2, and its expansions as well. Today's review will focus on the fifth expansion pack for The Sims, "Unleashed".
== The Sims Unleashed ==
The fifth expansion includes even more extra features to make your Sims gaming experience even more varied and fun. This time, the main addition is pets for your Sims. You can adopt dogs and cats from a pet shelter and these really become one of the family, taking up one of the eight Sim slots in your household. These house pets can learn skills and your Sims can train them, interact with them and even enter them into pet shows. You can also own a variety of other small animals, but these count as items and not as Simlike pets.
This expansion also opens up a new area for your Sims to explore: Old Town. This is actually an extension of the normal neighbourhood and expands the number of lots from ten to 40, if memory serves. Many of these are commercial lots that your Sims can visit, but it of course also means that you can have many more Sims families living in residential lots in the same neighbourhood. This is particularly good if you and other people in your house play The Sims as well as there's more room for you all to have a few different families to interact with.
Another interesting addition with Unleashed is your Sims' new ability to do gardening. You can place soil in your garden and grow plants using seeds bought in the Old Town. Your Sims can then eat the results or sell them for a small profit in the farmer's market. There are also five new career paths available if you're interested as well as the usual array of new objects.
== What I Thought ==
This expansion pack has loads of new features and makes the extras offered in "Livin' it Up" and "House Party" look insignificant, as much as I enjoyed them. The addition of a new area to visit as well as extra residential lots and playable Sims families made this a great expansion pack and really increased my enjoyment of the game. If you have all of the expansion packs that preceded it, your The Sims playing experience will have a lot of variation and will have grown massively since you first bought the original The Sims game without any expansions. I really liked the gardening feature as well as the ability to have and train pets, as although neither of these things are things that I enjoy in real life, being able to do so in The Sims was a fun and new experience for a game that I was growing more and more used to.
== Conclusion ==
This is a great expansion pack that adds a whole host of new features. The addition of a new area to explore, extra lots per neighbourhood, new careers, gardening and pets made it a great expansion pack when it came out and it is still a good one today if you're still inclined to play the original The Sims series. The fact that it's available for the ridiculously low price of £3.97 is astounding considering how many features this expansion offers, but altogether unsurprising considering its age and it having become near obsolete by The Sims 2 and 3. I still consider the original The Sims franchise to be a lot of fun and I wouldn't want anyone to be put off playing it based on its age, as it's still fun to play and has a very low price. This is a great game and so well worth it for that price if you have the original The Sims game already installed. Please check system requirements before purchasing.