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79 of 82 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Freetime Expansion Adds New Dimension to Gameplay
The Sims 2 Freetime offers just what the title implies; activities and goals for your sims when they are not busy with their usual day-to-day activities.
I was fairly impressed by this new expansion because of all the elements it added. When I first played expansions such as Pets and Bon Voyage, I got just what I expected. With this expansion, I not only got hobbies,...
Published on February 28, 2008 by Ashley S

versus
100 of 101 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun Freetime Activities - and Sim telemarketers
Freetime, like all of the previous Expansion Packs (EPs) adds new and interesting functionality to The Sims 2. Sims as young as toddlers can stumble upon an activity that they find particularly appealing and get additional fun and perks while engaged in it.

Hobbies include science, nature, music, cuisine, tinkering, sports and fitness. Now considering the...
Published on March 31, 2008 by Teahouse Fox


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100 of 101 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun Freetime Activities - and Sim telemarketers, March 31, 2008
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: The Sims 2: FreeTime Expansion Pack (Video Game)
Freetime, like all of the previous Expansion Packs (EPs) adds new and interesting functionality to The Sims 2. Sims as young as toddlers can stumble upon an activity that they find particularly appealing and get additional fun and perks while engaged in it.

Hobbies include science, nature, music, cuisine, tinkering, sports and fitness. Now considering the different activities and career paths that were already present, these add many new possibilities for finding a fulfilling lifetime of fun for your Sims.

New careers have also been added, new objects, such as the restorable car, the basketball and soccer nets, and new functionality to old objects like the newspaper and computer and career 'chance' cards that allow your Sim to take part in and share their love for their hobbies and gain enthusiasm.

Your sims can now pick their hobbies as a topic of conversation, and impart knowledge to other sims for relationship building and enthusiasm gain.

Sims also gain lifetime aspiration points for milestones that take place in their lives. Starting with toddlers who get points for learning the three primary growth skills of their age group (walking, talking and potty training), your sims will gain points to put towards perks such as a secondary aspiration, slower need decay, better luck at chance cards, the ability to make three way calls and give financial advice for cash, and much more. Of particular use is the ability to make Grandma's comfort soup, which drastically shortens the time your sims have the flu.

But, there is something annoying that happens once you install Freetime: Spam. Your Sims are spammed at every turn by the game announcing via a pop-up that a particular sim has gained or lost enthusiasm for one hobby or another. Once you get to higher levels, the spam increases, with your sims getting incessant phone calls from various hobby clubs and sims offering magazine subscriptions related to your sims hobbies.

Eventually, the NPC sims just barge in to your sims homes and give them membership cards to the new secret hobby lots of their interest area. There they can share their hobbies with other like minded sims and compete in contests for simoleons and build enthusiam even more.

The spam starts to encroach on your enjoyment of the game, as the phone ringing is not likely to be a buddy any more, but a hobby club telling your sim about their enthusiasm level. It makes you wish for Sim caller ID or phone screening. Even if you cancel the action of your sim answering the call, you still get a pop up about it. And if you have a full house of sims, it gets maddening, pop-ups filling the entire right side of the screen.

So, great EP if you can overlook your sims getting spammed to death. If simulated telemarketing reminds you too much of telemarketing in real life that prompted you to put every phone number you have on the National Do Not Call List, maybe this EP will get on your nerves.

(Supposedly, there is a user-authored mod that reduces in-game spam, but I haven't tried it yet. I'll update after I give it a go)

EDIT: I downloaded a user-authored mod that cuts the spam down to a reasonable amount. It's still more than I'd like. And Mr. Humble, wherever you are - I think it stinks that this EP has made the game so annoying. Does anyone there market test your stuff with real players? It seems like it never was, other wise you'd know how annoying this EP was.
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79 of 82 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Freetime Expansion Adds New Dimension to Gameplay, February 28, 2008
By 
Ashley S (Philadelphia, PA USA) - See all my reviews
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: The Sims 2: FreeTime Expansion Pack (Video Game)
The Sims 2 Freetime offers just what the title implies; activities and goals for your sims when they are not busy with their usual day-to-day activities.
I was fairly impressed by this new expansion because of all the elements it added. When I first played expansions such as Pets and Bon Voyage, I got just what I expected. With this expansion, I not only got hobbies, but I got a new aspiration meter with rewards, and lifetime friends as well as "BFFs".
Not only does this expansion add all these elements, but the main theme of the expansion, hobbies, was incorporated seamlessly into the gameplay. This was done not only with a variety of new objects, but by giving new functionality and value to old objects. For example, I was impressed when I found out that my sims can now read a variety of books, or watch different genres of movies. They can also write a somewhat customized novel, and it is delivered to their door! And sims that enjoy "tinkering" will find that they can "tinker" with many items they already have in their house.
There are, of course, a few downsides to the new expansion. It seems like sim motives decrease at a faster rate than before, although there are now unlockable rewards that allow you to slow this. It also seems to take a very long time to earn badges. Hobbies are not always the easiest thing to max out enthusiasm for either; it takes a lot of time. The variety of ways to increase this enthusiasm helps, as does the fact that a sim has a particular hobby that they will excel in faster than any other.
Overall, it is a very enjoyable expansion. I enjoy it much more than the most recent expansions, and I feel that it does add a new dimension to gameplay, as well as gives your sims a new kind of personality.
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48 of 54 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars APPARENTLY THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS TOO MUCH FREE TIME, February 28, 2008
By 
NeuroSplicer (Freeside, in geosynchronous orbit) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: The Sims 2: FreeTime Expansion Pack (Video Game)
This is the...7th expansion of the SIMS 2, so one has to ask: was there ANYTHING not done yet? Well, apparently yes.

Our Sims are given a choice of 10 hobbies (ranging from dancing and sports to...video games - Sims playing the SIMS 3? Yeah...deliciously ironic) which not only improve their mood but also their job skills if compatible. Said leisure-time activities can also serve in making money, since most hobbies end up, first, creating something and, then, improving on it.
Yes, there is a new Hobby-meter...Keeping it high will ensure your Sim's admittance into hobby-specific exclusive clubs. There are music and dance, arts and crafts, sports, fitness, scientific, nature lovers, gaming, cuisine, tinkering, and, finally, film and literature clubs - each branching out into more specialized subcategories.

Besides new clothes and items, this expansion comes with 5 new careers: architect, dancer, entertainer, intelligence officer (no Sim-Jack Bauer, no) and oceanographer. The controls are more or less the same - and so are the graphics and sounds (well, whatever sound the SIMS ever had). What I did not appreciate was...SecuROM (hence the second star withheld).

SIMS 2 always required a lot of micromanagement. FREETIME does add another level of complication, but I am sure it will appeal not only to hard-core Sims-fans. However, by taking care of your Sims' free time, make sure they do not take up all of yours...

Since this is supposed to be the last expansion, fans of the series will not resist. However, keep in mind that EA will probably release a SIM 2 bundle in a couple of months. If missing on more than a couple of expansions, I would advise to wait.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't download the patch, whatever you do!, June 19, 2008
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: The Sims 2: FreeTime Expansion Pack (Video Game)
This is a good expansion pack. In fact, I'd say it's one of the better ones that the company has put out. It has some flaws, of course...some game crashes and bugs and all...quite a few of them, in fact...but that seems to happen more and more since EA took over Maxis. (They don't 'polish' their games; they get them on the market as fast as possible.) However, I do have two major flaws that you should know about before you buy this:

1. It comes with 'anti-piracy' software. DRM. And you can't uninstall it, even if you uninstall the game. I'm not sure exactly what it does, but I've heard it's bad. EA thinks we're a bunch of thieves.

2. If you download EA's own patch for this expansion pack, the anti-piracy software in that patch conflicts with the anti-piracy software in the game itself. Result? It varies, from what I've heard. Some people haven't been able to start their game, after downloading it. While my own game started, after downloading the patch, many textures disappeared, making the game virtually unplayable. The only way to fix this is by uninstalling the expansion pack (loosing all your saved games, in the meantime) and praying that you still have both disks and the stupid code EA makes you enter to...surprise...make sure you aren't a pirate.

And whatever you do, don't download the patch again, after that. Maybe someday EA will make a better patch that doesn't ruin your game. Maybe they already have; I haven't checked the site lately. But I'm not taking my chances. I'm just going to grit my teeth and play the thing, bugs and all.

Like I said, other than that it really is a good expansion pack. Once you get past the bad things, it the hobby system really does add a lot of depth and personality to your game. So go ahead and get it, if you want; just know what you're getting into.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Overall Fun, March 6, 2008
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: The Sims 2: FreeTime Expansion Pack (Video Game)
It's been very hard for EA Games to top the Season's expansion in way of activities and good game content for the Sims 2 game franchise, but they come pretty close with their new expansion Freetime.

The big draw is the new hobbies that are available for your sims to do in their spare time. And while this can certainly keep your sims extremely busy, often it feels like there's never enough time to do it all in. It does help fill in those gaps for age groups of toddler and children though , which is a great stress killer as both age groups have been limited in activities for so long. As your sim increases their "points" in a certain activity, options like surfing the web and posting blogs on the pc concerning your sims hobbies opens up. Eventually you have a special membership to a exclusive club for that hobby as well where you can go to do things related to the hobby or even just meet other sims who might share that hobby.

Also in this expansion is a second meter for your sims lifetime achievements. As your mood stays platinum it builds faster giving you points to spend in four categories: Motive Decays, Career, Your Chosen Aspiration, and a category to select a secondary aspiration if you want. The secondary aspiration is long overdue in my opinion, as it stops the extreme one-dimensional aspect of picking your aspiration. So now your sim may be obsessed with money, but if you select Family as a secondary, you might actually want children or to interact with your own family more. The Motive Decay section is almost essential these days as motives seem to pile drive down faster than I ever recall them doing before, especially as you partake in the various hobby activities.

However, this expansion comes with some MAJOR Annoyances. I swear that Maxis holds a meeting before each expansion to study and put together some of the most aggravating behaviors possible to irritate their fan base (Sea Chantey anyone?). In this case it would be the phone ringing off the hook and people stopping by chronically at your house (and no... locking the doors to household only does not keep them at bay) as you learn new hobbies. The phone only rings off the hook for the first few points into a new hobby, but if you have more than one person in the household it can drive you absolutely NUTS. And imagine if you play more than one household in your neighborhood. It grinds on a player very quickly. Another bad point is that as you don't do something for a hobby bugs the player by saying that you need to do activities associated to get it back up. So when you're just doing the basic skills (for scholarships or jobs) as you no longer study since the points pretty much are a permanent thing once you get them, or do anything else related to that field it will give you messages telling you that you're losing points in it. The downer regarding hobbies is that a sim doesn't actually get to pick what their "predestined" hobby is. You basically experiment around until the sim gets a highlighted section. This is the hobby that your sim is most interested in doing. It would have been nice for the players to pick themselves, based on their sims habits and personality. Be prepared though for your sims to pick up new gestures with every new hobby they gain points into, and while it's cute the first few times, you eventually get tired of them rubbing their bellies thinking about food or cracking their knuckles (beware, some sims will actually whistle the Sims 2 theme song). Based on all these exasperating things mentioned, this player currently has all sounds turned off.

The expansion does offer a few overdue new things though. The ability to sort and create your own music channels (so pick your favorite Sims 2 songs from all the radio stations or set up your own MP3's), a few new badges for your sims to earn and a new neighborhood with new characters to play. The sewing badge is rather neat in that you can actually make one custom outfit for each gender/age once you get high enough, it would have been great if Maxis had expanded that option a bit more for making custom outfits. There's also an option to study parenting out of the bookshelves now, once learned you're able to click on a baby and see their greatest need. However, I find this option completely unnecessary considering that babies in the game are very simple, and usually it gives me a toilet symbol (as if you can do anything with them regarding) and you just have to wait for a diaper change anyways. Other neat things include Mr. Humble, who might visit your household and give you a special PC that has a preview of Sims 3 on it, and if your household is really into their hobbies they could just get a visit from the gypsy who'll leave a mystical genie lamp which grants 3 wishes (careful what you wish for though...). Of course there's a few new outfits for the expansion, but have to say that I found them rather hideous (another specialty of EA Games as of late, wondering if they let 4 year olds design the outfits these days to save money) and one new hair for adult males. So if you're expecting a lot more content in that area, you'll be disappointed. The last neat item they placed into this expansion is the ability upon a sims birthday to grow up to three townies with you, so now when you make friends with little Marsha Bruening, she can go through the life stages with you, instead of still being a child when you're an elder and wondering why you don't hang with her anymore.

Overall, the expansion gives enough new stuff to keep you busy for a bit and expand your sims activities making it a decent buy. Finding the time to squeeze it all in may be a problem though, and people who used to keep busy creating large sim families may find it near impossible to do now. Still this is one of EA's better expansions and should have enough stuff in it to keep even a finicky simmer busy for a good while. And thankfully thus far this expansion has been bug free, which I know purchasers of Bon Voyage can greatly appreciate. Happy Simming!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Freetime is great!, March 4, 2008
By 
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: The Sims 2: FreeTime Expansion Pack (Video Game)
Freetime allows your sims to have hobbies such as Tinkering, Science, Nature, Arts & Carfts, Film & Theatre, Nature, Sports, Gaming, Cuisine. Once your sim reaches the half way point of mastering these hobbies it opens up a secret lot where your sim can perfect these hobbies. If your sims is into to cuisine a secret lot will open up that allows them to enter a food contest. Also your sims can earn membership into a hobby club once they reach this half point in there hobby skill level. Once they master a hobby then your sims will be in the zone. When your sim is in the zone they glow and their motive meter decreases alot slower which allows them to participate in this hobby a lot longer.

Freetime also offers new interactions like birdwatching, bug hunting, sing nursery rhymes (which sounds funny), watching movies, blogging about your hobby on the computer, browsing the web about your hobby, reading about your hobby in the newspaper, etc. It also adds a new study skill called parenting which allows your sims once they have earned this skill pick up on your sim's baby needs lowest motives and try to fulfill it. Which takes the guess work of trying to do everything for a screaming baby when you can't see their needs meter.

Freetime also offers new furniture such as a new microwave, stove, toaster, dishwasher, trash compacter, etc. that are different colors. Other furniture options include new baby furniture. The is what I love because the new baby furniture is a lot nicer and elegant. Other furniture include sports or hobby related items such as basketball court, soccer, ballet barre, sports rugs, picture frames, desk supplies, painting supplies, pottery making machine, sewing machine, restorable car,etc. Some new lots which include Nerissa's clothing store, Freetime Recreation Center, and two other homes.

Sims can now have a secondary aspiration as well. They can also earn aspiration benefits which will allow them the benefit of for example to beg for there job back if they were fired or have there hunger & energy meter decay slower. Overall I feel like the sims 2 life is so complete right now. I could not imagine another expansion pack being added on to the ones I already have because there is sooo much to do as it is. Between walking the dog, having hobbies, working, and having a family there is much to keep up with. Some people reading this review might think their sims have no time for Freetime but this is not really the case. Your sims can earn skill point and hobby point at the same time. For example, studying cooking can earn your sims skill point and hobby point. This was a great idea and is definitely a great expansion pack to have.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Caveat emptor, October 27, 2008
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: The Sims 2: FreeTime Expansion Pack (Video Game)
Just be aware this product contains some security software called SecuROM.
The game ran on my system exactly once before the SecuROM software shut it down. The SecuROM software would insist I had loaded a backup or a copy and would not allow the game to run. Ea customer support blamed everything from my video driver to dust on the disk. I still haven't gotten the game to run again. I liked the game very much the one time I got to play it.
Caveat emptor
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great, except for the SecuROM, May 30, 2008
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: The Sims 2: FreeTime Expansion Pack (Video Game)
As a former die-hard Sims 2 fan, I have the base game and all the expansion packs. Free Time is the most fun since Open for Business, because it gives Sims new things to do and new places to go. It also gives them new abilities based on their accumulated aspiration points, like being able to invest in the stock market and being able to make a chicken soup that cures colds. Yes, a lot of fun. But, the day comes when SecuROM decides to mess up your game, and then it's not fun anymore. I had the same problem with Bon Voyage, the first game that EA Games decided to put SecuROM on. I played happily for about a month, then suddenly the computer kept crashing. So, with great regret and a little sadness, I must give up the game. It's a lot of addictive fun, but it's not worth the problems EA's copy protection software causes. Bye, Sims 2. Bye, EA Games.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, some flaws, May 27, 2008
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: The Sims 2: FreeTime Expansion Pack (Video Game)
I love the sims2, and I couldn't wait to pick up this latest expansion. Overall, it is worth the price, I love the new 'hobbies' the additional characters, the interests and hobby benches, such as sewing machine, dance bar (that's like crack, my sims can't stay off it). I do wish there was more of a randomization of hobbies/interests inside a household. I ended up with 3 sims with the same interest and that was a trifle boring. I agree with other reviewers the telephone calls from hobby club leaders is irritating. It makes me wish I could delete the household phone for good, but I do need it occasionally.

I have a bit of trouble playing the sims 2 with vista even though my hardware exceeds minimum requirements. I get crash to desktop errors which I never recevied in XP. Nvidia and sims 2 don't play that well together.

I'll give this one 4 stars. It has some great new content, but it wasn't ground breaking like Seasons.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great way for Sims to spend their "free time", March 11, 2008
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: The Sims 2: FreeTime Expansion Pack (Video Game)
I got this game the dayt after it came out, and it is pretty fun. It gives your Sims something new to do, and it helps them build their regular skills at the same time. And I love all the new objects. But of course, this expansion pack comes with some drawbacks. One thing is that the owners of each hobby lot will not stop calling! Everytime anyone in your household gains new hobby enthusiasm, they call. It gets to be quite annoying. And then when you've gained enough enthusiasm to be given a membership, they just walk right in your house, no matter what time of day it is.

Also your Sims can go a little overboard with their hobby enthusiasm. One of my Sims is a fitness enthusiast, so I bought him an exercise bike. (One of the new objects) What's really annoying is that he wants to do nothing but ride the darn thing all day! One time he stayed on there so long his energy was totally depleted.

And my sims that are into gaming stay on the computer so long they get wrist aches. Those are really the only drawbacks I've experienced. But it's still a good game. I would get it used if you are someone that does not mind used products.
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The Sims 2: FreeTime Expansion Pack
The Sims 2: FreeTime Expansion Pack by Electronic Arts (Windows 2000 / 98 / XP)
$39.89
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