The Sims 2 University is the first expansion pack to be released for EA's The Sims 2, one of many to likely come in the future. Developed by Maxis, The Sims 2 University allows you to live the life of your Sim through their college years, for what could prove to be either one of the best or worst times of their life. That decision is yours to make.
When your Sim grows into a teenager, you are given the opportunity to send them off to one of three Universities: Sim State University, La Fiesta Tech, or Academie Le Tour. Each University neighbourhood is equipped with campus shops, libraries, gyms, cafes, houses, and dormitories. Some houses are already in use by sororities, fraternities, or other students living together. You can also pick a group of students and put them into a house or dorm together, create new students, or send a Sim to college from one of your existing neighbourhoods.
Once you move into a dorm, you have to claim a door so that you will have a room for the year. Most of the dorms support eight people, usually more. Getting along with these new Sims is important to building your Sim's wants and needs, as well as gaining influence points. You can gain influence points by making new friends, or by reaching certain goals. Once you have these points, the "Influence to…" option becomes available and your Sim can try to get other Sims to do things for them.
The game tips on this expansion are very useful in learning how to use the influence points, and how to make sure your Sim will make it through their semester. If your Sim's class meter has not reached a certain point by the end of a semester (semesters are usually about a week long in Sim-time), then they will be put on Academic Probation and will be forced to repeat the semester. You can choose your Sim's major from a dozen different options, whether it's Politics, Business, Drama, Biology, Philosophy, or anything in between. With each program comes many hours of work, and you'll have to make sure that your Sim attends class regularly, does assignments, and writes their term paper before the end of their semester.
The install time for the game was good, and the load times are the same as they were in the original. Unfortunately, when you take a taxi to a community lot, the wait for this area to load is very lengthy. The University expansion pack doesn't refine the graphics engine, nor are there any other major enhancements to the overall gameplay.
The expansion pack includes new designs for walls and floors, as well as some new design packages for your house or dorm. New community building options are also available. Some new designs for hair, clothing, and makeup have been added, as have some new background music styles. Other notable mentions that would be nice in a future expansion would be the addition of cars and garages for your Sims, as well as being able to make a proper basement for a house. Adding a dual player mode where two people could play the same game on different computers would add to the interest of the game, unless it was similar to the short-lived Sims Online.
Overall, it's definitely an expansion that adds a variety of worthwhile content if you want to explore the University aspect of your Sims life. It's a game that will bring you back to see your Sims graduate and try to get jobs is the "real world", only to later watch as they send their children to University in true Sims fashion.