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Sep 10, 2011

House Party Capsule Review

The Sims: House Party
Game Category: Simulation
Developer / Distributor: Maxis / Electronic Arts
Release Date: 27 August 2000 
Rating: ESRB - Teen, PEGI 7+

Note: This is a continuing series of reviews of the expansion packs from The Sims franchise. Please read about The Sims, and The Sims - Livin' Large here.

As Katy Perry's Last Friday Night blares on the radio, I can't help but laugh at the scene I am seeing unwrap before my very eyes, and how some of it mirrors the song's lyrics.

Here's a dream scenario I created specially for my review of The Sims House Party: There's eight of them in the family, two adults and six children, and they are having the time of their life living in a huge two storey mansion. I got my Brad Pitt look-a-like husband to call a caterer for the family. The caterer arrives and prepares a fantastic buffet spread for all; the caterer sheepishly joins in the fun by swimming in the pool.

I next got my Angelina Jolie look-a-like to roast marshmallows and tell stories by the camp fire. Later, she hires a female entertainer who turns up hidden inside a huge birthday cake. The entertainer jumps out of the cake to surprise the husband. Later, I get a surprise as husband and entertainer make out on the dance floor. Finally, a second party is thrown as the husband calls for a male entertainer for the wife. Mr. Chippendale appears and causes an uproarious scene.

Oui, even the chef wants to join in the fun
Yes, there's a lot you can do with the second expansion pack for The Sims House Party. There are a couple more new neighbourhoods, a ton of new objects, and new characters to interact with. Perhaps the most important feature is the ability to run the hottest party in town.

New Neighbourhoods
You get 3 new neighbourhoods numbered 6 to 8. One warning that I read in the readme.txt file that comes with House Party is that you must install the expansion packs in the correct order. Installing Livin' Large after House Party will cause any new homes you built in neighbourhoods 2 to 5 to be lost.

Tip: If you search the Internet, you will find that you can extend neighbourhoods all the way to 99. That means you can have almost a thousand different homes and families... who would need that many?

Who are the people in your neighbourhood?
New Objects
There are about 50 new objects found in House Party and they are mostly geared towards social interaction, or in other words, having a great party. Here's a quick description of some of the more interesting items available in House Party:
  • KampRite Instant Campfire - roast marshmallows and tell scary stories. Watch out that your stories don't attract a ghost. No, it's not a Halloween stunt... run when the ghost appears to haunt the camp fire.
  • Punchucopia Extraordinaria - have a great time interacting at the punch bowl.
  • The Elegant Chef Buffet Table - great for big families or holding parties. Call a caterer to fill up the table with lovely food.
Roast marshmallows and tell stories by the camp fire
  • "Bounce My Booty" Dance Floor - the floor literally lights up like at a disco.
  • Spazmatronic Plasmatronic Go-go Cage - dance in them and steal the show.
  • Turntablitz DJ Booth - features a funky DJ turntable and huge speakers. Blast loud music in your neighbourhood. Guaranteed to make all your party guests dance.
  • Fancy Feet Cake Treat - when you use this cake, you can decide on hiring either a male or female entertainer.
  • Porta Parody Costume Trunk - change immediately to beachwear, disco wear, beach wear, togas, and  more. Imagine a party with all your folks in togas.
Get entertained in your house party!
New characters
There are a handful of characters that you get to interact with in House Party:
  • Caterer: Call for the caterer to fill up your buffet tables and punch bowls.
  • Ghost: Tell a scary story at the camp fire and the ghost appears.
  • Entertainer: Both male and female entertainers will jump out of the cake and surprise everyone at the party. Watch out as the entertainers will start smooching party guests indiscriminately.
  • Mime: The appearance of the mime means you are doing a poor job with your party.
  • Party Crashers: If things are looking up at your party, these guys will appear.
  • Secret Celebrity: Someone famous gets wind of your party and turns up in a limousine.
Two parties in a row... and the mime appears
As a second expansion, I was slightly disappointed by the amount of new content provided in House Party. The concept of throwing parties is quite fun, but after a while, you begin to realize that there's not much else you can do in the game. Although you also do get some new building and music themes, I thought that Livin' Large was still the better expansion of the two.

Nevertheless, if you are a true The Sims fan, you know you just can't go without throwing a House Party!

Daily PC Game Review Score: 7.5 / 10
Review Date: 10 Sep 2011


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