Sims 2: Open For Business Review

There,s always one thing you can expect each year, and that,s more expansion packs for The Sims series. The original The Sims featured a total of seven expansion packs in just three years. That,s a lot of expansions for any game to have, but for the average player of The Sims that,s a wealth of new content that should keep you gaming for hundreds of hours. We can expect the same thing to happen with The Sims 2, and just one and a half years after the release of this title, it,s no surprise that we,re now looking at its third expansion. Open for Business is the latest addition in the long-running Sims franchise, and is probably one of the best to date. This new expansion allows you to do something that was never possible in The Sims before: starting your own business.

One of the main things that was always lacking in the series, and perhaps one of the main complaints of all the fans, was the fact that you couldn,t follow your Sims to work. Instead you would just find yourself looking at the house all day until your Sim returned from their long, exhausting day of labor. Open for Business attempts to change all of this, and it succeeds very well. You still can,t follow your Sims to work on jobs that they can take by looking in the newspaper or searching online, but watching your sims run their own business is the next best thing.

Open for Business includes a completely new neighborhood, much like the previous two expansion packs. Just as you could create your own university neighborhood in The Sims 2: University and your own downtown neighborhood in The Sims 2: Nightlife, you can also create your own shopping district in this new expansion. There,s also a default neighborhood already created and ready to go called, "Bluewater Village". It,s a nice, quaint little area that,s ideal for homeowners and small businesses alike.

Of course you aren,t restricted to just building your own business in a shopping district. You could take your entrepreneur skills into a downtown or university neighborhood so long as you have the other two expansions. In fact, it becomes pretty clear that in order to fully enjoy Open for Business, you,ll need the other two expansion packs, as they have items which aren,t included in this expansion and will certainly help you out. Just as a quick example, you could start your own nightclub or bowling alley if you wanted in Open for Business, but this wouldn,t be possible if you didn,t have the Nightlife expansion. Having the other first two expansions really opens up a lot of new possibilities in Open for Business.

Creating your own business is much like building anything else in The Sims. You can select a blank lot, build a business on it, or you can have your Sim buy an existing business and improve on it. Doing just that is very easy. There’s also the option to run a business from your home. Starting a home business is a little more risky, as your customers will use your home just like they would if you were throwing a party. Basically anyone coming on your home lot will start using all of your sim,s personal belongings and may not pay enough attention to what you,re trying to sell.

Your sim can now purchase multiple lots, which technically means that they can have multiple homes if they so desire. The main advantage of this feature is to build your new business on a new lot that you,ve just purchased. However, this also allows you to get involved in the real-estate business which is just one possibility of owning your own business. Once you buy a lot you can then sell it at any point in time. So you could technically buy a lot, build or repair a house on it, and then simply sell it. You can also order another deed if you want another sim to be the co-owner of your business.

Once you,ve chosen your plot of land, you can then start constructing your new business. Some of the new items in Open for Business include number of new construction tools that can add some flair to your business, including some new fences, gates, windows, doors, and the ability to build foundations within rooms, perfect for making stages.

Open for Business includes over 125 new items, pretty standard for any Sims expansion. These new items are excellent for helping you figure out which type of business you want to create, as well as decorating your new business with product displays. What you want to sell at your business is really limited by your imagination. You could have your own electronics store, furniture store, grocery store, restaurant, or even a barber shop. Some new items include a toy and flower bench which can be used to make the merchandise for your business. Typically, you can have two different types of businesses. One type of business can be a simple retail store or restaurant where the customers pay at the cash registers, while another type of business can be setup so that the customers pay a certain amount of money for every hour that they,re there, which is ideal for businesses like nightclubs and bowling alleys.

Whichever way it,s setup, you,re going to need to buy some furnishings for you business. Thankfully there is a new HUD in the upper-right corner of the screen to take care of all of this. From here you can monitor everything about your business including your profits, specific prices on select goods, and of course your staff. There,s also a wholesale button, which allows you to buy all your merchandise at wholesale prices. Every item that you want to sell must be marked for sale in order to be considered by the customer. Once the customer starts looking at an item, they will have a small progress bar above their head which indicates their interest in that item. One of your sales staff can come over and try a sales pitch which will increase the bar rapidly. As soon as the customer buys the item, a restock sign shows up in its place and must be restocked by whichever staff member is handling that task.

Speaking of staff, it,s really easy to hire employees. Picking up the phone and selecting the "Hire Employees" option will allow your sim to choose from a number of employees. Every employee has different skills, and they,re particular business skills depend on what badges they have. If they have a sales badge than obviously they would make a perfect candidate for a sales position. Badges can also be earned over time as your staff gets better at their skills. Employees can be assigned to a large number of jobs including cashiers, janitors, restocking merchandise, cooks, waitresses, bar tenders, etc. Unfortunately you can only hire a maximum of eight employees, which will restrict your plans to build a giant shopping mall in Simtown.

As soon as you have everything up and running, it is quite easy to manage your business. One of the things that you do need to worry about is keeping your employees and customers happy. Your employees need a break once in a while, and your shelves need to be stocked ASAP to ensure customer loyalty. The better your business is run, the better reviews you,ll get in the local paper, and the more customers will flock to your new establishment.

In the end, The Sims 2: Open for Business is definitely one of the best expansion packs to be released for The Sims series. Although earning profit can be difficult at first, it really isn,t too hard managing your business. This also adds a completely new area of gameplay to the whole game. Running your own business is almost like a game all in its own. With that said, Open for Business can only be truly enjoyed with the previous two expansions for The Sims 2. Without all three expansions there are really a lot of opportunities that you can miss out on. For those of you who happen to have the whole collection so far, then Open For Business is a must buy.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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