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on 19 March 2008
I own and love every single Sims 2 game but I don't feel that this makes as big a difference as some of the others, such as University for example.

Your Sims are now able to pursue a variety of interests. Such as tinkering, and art and dance. To keep a Sim interested in a talent they have to keep working at it.

Once the Sim has gained enough interest in a certain area, for example, cuisine. They will first have the option of researching this hobby on the internet and in newspapers and also talking about it with other Sims. They will then be called and asked if they wish to subscribe to a magazine. You can of course say no to this and then subscribe at a later date.
Once the Sim has gained enough expertise in their area they will be given a membership card which allows them to visit a secret club. If they are interested in cuisine, they will be invited to Sue's Secret kitchen where they can enter food contests in hops of winning a cash prize.

Every Sim has a natural ability, but it may take a while to find out what this is. But once you find it that Sim will let you know how much they are enjoying the activity.

As the Sim gains enthusiasm in a hobby they gain rewards. If someone is interested in nature for example they will soon have the option to go hiking.

There are also more jobs available. Like choreographer and comedian.

All in all another good Sims game.
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on 5 March 2008
There have been two distinctive types of Sims 2 add-ons; there are those that change an element of gameplay but which only impact your gameplay based on your choices (Pets being the prime example) and there are those that change the mechanics of gameplay. This add-on falls into the latter category.

Basically your characters now develop hobbies along one of ten themes where they gain enjoyment through action. Fixing the toaster? You are tinkering. Painting a still life? That'd be arts and crafts. This is a neat way of generating hobbies and works well.

You will notice that the more you indulge in hobbies, the more options you have with your sim. Worked up a fitness enthusiasm? Now you can go hiking. It adds an element of reward to exploring this expansion.

The changes are not as revolutionary as those in Seasons were but they are tidying and sensible. FreeTime is a quieter success than Seasons, making subtle improvements to the gameplay. It won't make you feel that you are playing a whole new game but there is enough here to ensure that you notice some improvements.

If you are not a dedicated Sims gamer I'd say skip over this for Seasons and University - the two expansions that add the most visible changes to the game. If you are though I would say this is worth a look and is one of the best expansion packs for the game.
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VINE VOICEon 24 November 2008
After migrating from The Sims to The Sims 2, it was inevitable that the expansion packs would follow shortly after. I just couldn't resist. The Sims 2: FreeTime was one of the first expansions I opted to buy, as I considered it to be the best value amongst those available.

In a nutshell: FreeTime gives your Sims 10 types of hobby to pursue: music, art, dance, mechanics etc, etc. Spending time developing your Sim's enthusiasm in a particular hobby area can lead to such rewards as being invited to visit secret locations and take part in contests. You may also be given special items (reward plaques and the sort) for spending long enough pursuing a particular hobby.

One of the most notable additions that this expansion pack adds to the gameplay experience is the ability to have 3 other Sims (as long as they are not part of your family/household) grow up with your Sim when they reach a birthday. This is pretty useful, as it prevents that childhood crush that your Sim had his/her first kiss with remaining a teen, whilst your Sim is an elder.

The major, major downside of this game is the spam. Simply put, once you install this package your Sims will be flooded with it. You'll get constant pop-up messages everytime your Sim tries out a new hobby, not to mention the phonecalls. Hobby club enthusiasts will call you day and night (even at 5am!) to invite you to tell you that they've noticed you have an interest in X subject. It's okay at the start, but if, like me, you have a household of four sims --- that's 10 possible hobbies you can pursue with 4 sims, which equals a potential 40 phonecalls. And they seem to KEEP phoning you, again and again and again. It's utterly irritating.

In short, if there was no fix available for this issue, then I would urge buyers to think twice about getting this pack. Unless you don't mind having your Sims running to the phone every five minutes (usually more often!) it's a total nuisance. However, there is an (unofficial) fix available for this pack, which I installed yesterday. And it is very, very effective (not a single nuisance phonecall!).

With the fix installed, Freetime is a very enjoyable, worthy addition to the Sims 2 collection. Without it, I'm not too sure I'd feel as positively about it. I'd have to think about getting rid of my Sim's phone or something in order to be able to enjoy the game.
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on 11 December 2010
I find it hard to rate the sims 2 expansion packs because I found them all quite interesting (which isn't necessarily a bad thing) and this one is no different.
The idea is that you spend your time doing hobbies and get rewarded for it (going into "the zone" which decays your needs slower, being able to visit specials lots is also another one),
The only problem I had with this expansion and the reason I gave it 4 stars is simply one thing - in my case, I found my sims doing their "hobbies" most of the time (painting for example - I use to increase my sims' creative skill and to earn a little money) and whenever you do it you get a barrage of phonecalls / visits from NPCs telling you about their special lot, and it got rather annoying. Going to look through the telescope to increase your logic skill for work ? That'll get you a phone call and visit from the science man telling you "If you keep at it, i'll let you join". Trying to fix the microwave ? Then you'll get a phone call and visit from the tinkering NPC, and so on and so forth.
It's hardly game breaking and I still play the game just fine with this, but it can be mighty annoying at times to have the phone ringing as soon as my sim picks up a paintbrush.
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on 9 December 2008
I also own all the expansion packs and am a dedicated fan of the game. This, in my opinion, is the most pleasant expansion (including Apartment Life which I didn't like at all). The new interests add lots of fun, and you can also sell the things you make. And it's refreshing, when you want to exercise, to have a ballet barre instead of those old machines. The clothes and objects associated with the new hobbies and new careers are imaginative and more beautiful than the EA people usually make.
The only nuisance, as somebody already mentioned, are the phone calls. He also mentioned a fix, I'll try to search for it! I wish there was also a fix for those phone calls saying "Are we still friends?" which don't add at all to the relationship.

Each expansion gives something, but this one, together with Seasons and Pets, is the one that adds most interest and beauty to the game. No, it doesn't alter gameplay radically, but it brings a new way to look at activities, and many new activities as well, some of them very interesting and fun to watch.
I had thought that Open for business would be a great expansion, but in fact I've only opened shops a couple of times, then lost interest in it; University is so boring, it takes so long to graduate, and you have to do the same things for long long hours.
Pets is lovely, but if you have a pet you have to dedicate very long hours to it, you don't have any life anymore. In real life (I've got cats) you can have your pet on your lap and stroke its head while reading at the same time, or talking to your friends and family: not in the Sims. So it's either keeping your pets happy or having career and family and friends. Sometimes I have to send the pets to work INSTEAD of the Sim, so that he has all the time to cater to their needs and the needs of his family and house.
Seasons I love, but there's the heartbreak of the sick tomatoes to watch dying if you're not extra careful. Planting things needs lots of care too.
For the moment being, Free Time does not have any such problems, it's all sheer pleasure.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 28 February 2008
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 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 Bower, 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 not so sure it will appeal to anyone besides hard-core Sims-fans. 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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on 7 March 2008
Alone 3.5 stars but with other expansion packs 5. The sims become even more mad with secondary aspirations such as the grilled cheese aspiration !? For some reason very addictive and you'd be hooked for hours unless you had like me people nagging you to get fresh air. a great buy and worth the huge disc space and never ending loading spaces.

v. good
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on 28 December 2012
My daughter enjoyed this game very much until it stopped working when we got a new computer.ACTIVATEUK has now refunded the amount paid even though it was after the 30 day period.Very good customer service. I'll be buying again!Thanks.
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on 8 July 2008
Even though my sims people in my game have extremely busy lives I wanted this pack oh so much, not just because I have all the Sims games anyways but cos of all the fun things my simmies can do, so at the weekends they do all their fun and family types things. But with this packs diversity you can also use it in a different way for exanple a soccer mom, could watch her kids play soccer, like they do at school events, and if you have Open for Business you can have a clothes shop where the clothes are made on the sewing machine then sold, also pottery shop, a garage (home business) to do up scrap cars and sell them on to buyers. I love this game so very much and play it very often if you are a sims fan i am sure you will love it too, taking into consideration the other packs do make this a more enjoyable pack on its own people may find it not as good, but as i said though I love it!!

Happy Simming
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on 9 October 2008
I put of buying this game because of the DRM issues these games have after the Seasons Expansion.

I gave in however and bought it and then spent three days backing up my computer incase anything did go wrong. (I highly recommend backing up your system in any case). Do your research into the issues caused by SecuRom and be informed when taking such risks so you can take preventative measures or be ready incase of a system re install.

I love the new features. You have new items that add interest in hobbies, theres a dance bar, violin and you can even fix up your own car, hunt for bugs etc. It makes it easier to be abducted by aliens and to get pregnant with twins assuming your sim has the necessary interest in those aspirations.

I love this pack better than the rest (though I do not have Bon Voyage or Apartment Life) But even so I think this is two thumbs up and Im glad I bought it!

Be warned though, the minumum specs are really not enough if you have many of the expansions and stuff packs. You can still play, but game play will be slow. Have at least 2-3GB of RAM and lots of Hard Drive space and a good processor and compatible graphics card! Also go to EA Sims 2 page and download the patches to fix the glitches!

Have Fun!
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