The Sims 3: Pets – Hands-On Session


On September 13th, we travelled for the farthest reaches of Utrecht, the Netherlands, to get a hands-on play session with the upcoming Sims 3 expansion Pets. We’ve seen a lot of new things and we clearly saw that this expansion pack is going to be purrrr-fect. Woof!

But before we play, we see

Screenshot-1Before we actually got to play the game, we got a short presentation of it. First up was the PC version of the game (both the console version as well as the PC version were shown). In this presentation we saw a household of 3 Sims and 4 pets. First off, we got to see the horse and what great things you can do with that. For instance, you can live at a ranch type house and build a jumping course in your backyard for old Apple Jack to jump over. You could choose from several different jumps; we saw ones with rubber duckies in a small pond, regular ones and even one with fireworks. Off course, people who haven’t learned the ropes of horse riding won’t be able to immediately ride the horse will lots of grace. In fact, you probably won’t get on the horse gracefully, let alone facing the right way. So be sure to practice that first, before you get to show off your horse-riding skills to the general public.

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After that, we went on to the dog of the family. He was having a nice time playing in the park. Dogs can do all kinds of tricks and fun things. The dog in the presentation (aptly named Scooby Doo) decided to go for a little swim in the fountain in the park. Pretty funny. Of course, Scooby also had a friendly companion in the household, namely Garfield Arbuckle, the residents’ cat. He was also at the park, trying to catch something. Yep, cats can go hunting for prey. Small animals like birds and rodents. They aren’t always successful in that, but the more you let them do it, the better they become.


You would think that these would be all the animals that you have in the game. But boy are you wrong. You might have already heard about this mythical creature, that’s roaming your world, but we’ve seen it in action. The unicorn that is off course. It’s all shiny and has a big horn on his head. Now there are two forms of unicorns; good ones and bad ones. The unicorn in the presentation was a bad one. And it showed. He went to the local criminal hideout and decided to burn the place down. Though his intentions were good, as he wanted to rid the neighborhood of the criminals forever. Aww how nice.

After the PC presentation we went on with the console one. In the console presentation, we saw Tiger Boy mourning over his lost friend Tiger Dog. Off course the other pets of Tiger Boy tried to cheer him up by playing dead, but this wasn’t taken too well with everyone. Then we were shown the power of Karma Powers. Because even though others tried the cheer Tiger Boy up, all he really wanted was to get his friend back. So with the power of Karma, we brought Tiger Dog back from the land of the ghosts to the land of the living. Everyone happy. Or so you’d say. Because Karma powers can’t only do good to your Sims. No there are also bad Karma powers. Which we were also shown. Shortly after Tiger Boy was revived from the dead, a meteor strike fell from the sky, which ended the presentation.

Enough, let’s play

All right, so after that, we got a chance to play the game ourselves. So we jumped right into it. Some things that we learned from the presentation was that there are over a 100 difference breeds to be found in the game, for your pets to play with. So there’s bound to be a specific breed in there that you like.

Pets also have a free will. You can fully control them, but just like Sims, they don’t always tend to do what you want them do to. This also has to do with pets having their own traits. This way you can really make a unique pet. Make it adventurous and friendly, or make it evil and aggressive. The choice is entirely up to you and it will surely bring interesting story scenarios with it.

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After creating your family, you can let them settle in the humble new town of Appaloosa Plains. This new town is inspired by a ranch and Midwestern theme. This also shows by the buildings in the city. There are several ranch like houses, where you can live with your horses.

So what else is new?

Besides the addition of “big” pets (cats, dogs and horses), smaller pets also make their return to the game. You can have several smaller animals in your house. These work the same way as the fish bowl that you could already buy. You buy a cage or habitat, press it and select that you want to “fill” it. You can choose from several forms, of animals, so choose the one you like best. After that, you can do basic interactions with it, like feed and play with it. It won’t, however, become an extra member of your family, and thus you can’t control it. They are a nice addition to your house though. Don’t forget to feed them though.

Also new, a fan favorite requested by the community, is the collection option in the build and buy mode. You can filter on collection, to see lots of new items that really go well together. So if you want to design your house in a specific theme, now is your chance.

New interactions

Your Sims aren’t the only ones who like to interact with each other. You can now have two more types of interactions; pets-Sims and pets-pets. Yep, pets can also interact with each other. And this even goes between different animals. So dogs can interact with cats as well as other dogs. This causes for some fun situations, as you can imagine.

Screenshot-54Pets also have a little naughty side to them. Yep, pet woohoo. It’s all possible in the Sims 3: Pets. Pets can woohoo in different places, just like Sims. And just like Sims, pets can create babies, by WooHoo’ing with another pet.
Birth works a bit different with pets though. They don’t necessarily go to the hospital to deliver, but they will do this at the comfort of your Sims’ home.
Pets also have different life phases; puppy, adult and elder. So you can really see your pets grow up. And you really have to train them. In the puppy phase, you can teach them things like hunting. The more you interact with them, the better they become. In fact, if they learn a skill – hunting for example – during their puppy phase, they’ll become better at it when they are an adult.

You can also have a little walk with your pet. Just put the leash on and have a stroll through the town. Sometimes your pet might not be in for a walk and refuse to go walking. Or he escapes from you, so be sure to hold a tight grip.


The Sims 3: Pets is an expansion that a lot of fans have been waiting for for a very long time. The addition of pets to your household really adds something that a lot of people like. And it’s been done very well. Pets really are a good addition to any Sim family. And the little things like collections only add to the experience.

If the Sims 3: Pets will be a keeper or a biter we’ll know on October 20th, when the game is set to release!