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House Party Review
The best way to describe what House Party has to offer is to relate this true account of a party that was held in one of my neighbourhoods.

"I went to work last night at the SCPD as a married patrolwoman. I came home this morning to find Rudy had deserted me to move in with Chip Snooty-Patooty. His note claimed that the lifestyle at No.2 was more fun that ours had been.
So, I decided that two could play at that game. I decided to throw a swimsuit party.
I bought a costume trunk, catering table, a punchbowl, a bubble blower and got one of those big cakes in. I decided I didn't have time to tend to the tables so I called a caterer in. I think ยง350 was money well spent.
Before long, the house was a mass of people. Everyone was tucking into the food and starting to have a good time.
I don't know who called the Mime but he didn't hang on long. Once the party got going with Cliff the Entertainer bursting out of the cake and started strutting his stuff, he left quietly.
Cliff caught almost everyone's attention and during his act, he swept Ruby-Ann Hatfield off her feet and gave her a big kiss. I managed to get a snapshot of that one! Fortunately, Ulysses was not there to see it else the scene could have become ugly.
There was a blue-haired party crasher who turned up, but he only complained a little when I asked him to leave.
There was only one damper on the party. Rudy turned up with some friends. He caused a scene and left. The rest of the guests didn't seem to notice. They were too busy having a good time blowing bubbles.
One of my colleagues from the station turned up and told me someone had complained about the noise. I was sure it was Rudy who had called them.
It got quieter later on and gave me time to have a long chat and a dance with Mike Bachelor. We blew a few bubbles together and slipped upstairs for a chat and to watch some TV.
Friendship turned into something more and the day ended with our wedding. All the guests congratulated us, including Gaston the Chef.
All in all, the party was a great success - I certainly won't forget it in a hurry - and it won't be long before Mike and I will be throwing another one.
I think we'll have a disco next time ... or shall we have a hoedown?"

Julia only points out a small part of what the new expansion pack for The Sims has to offer. To look at it in a bit more detail, there are architectural items supporting the new themes - cowboy, western and warehouse - supported by objects and skins.

She didn't mention that there was a charades card game that can help keep people entertained or a campfire that up to eight people can sit around and sing songs and roast marshmallows. She didn't mention the disco equipment that gives three extra music styles, speakers, lights and illuminated dance floor. She didn't mention the mechanical bull. All of these items can also make your party one for you and your locals to remember.

For those who haven’t bought Livin’ It Up, House Party includes multiple neighbourhoods, although people cannot visit other ones. This is one flaw but the interface is slick and simple, allowing you to easily switch from one ‘hood to another and import families and houses to which ‘hoods you choose.

What's that? You think Maxis are milking every penny out of us?

I am one of the first to pull up Maxis if I think something falls short of what they promised. This time, they have done what they said and given us items that help make a party really happen. The gameplay now allows you to throw a party with one phone call instead of ringing up everyone in turn. However, like Julia, you might get someone there you don't want. That's the risk you have to take. All right, so we have seen the turkey, the cookies and the birthday cake before. I think we knew they would appear here. After all, they are party related. I do not think we have been robbed. I believe it is value for money.

So what would I like to see in order to customise House Party?

I would like to see a tutorial on how to make your own archive of themed party costumes for the Costume Trunk. Ideas of mine include a Sci-Fi party, Fantasy, Bad Taste and Horror. I am sure everyone has their own ideas … and some that can’t be printed here. I don't think it would be difficult.

Is it better than Livin' It Up?

That is like comparing a prawn cocktail starter to the after dinner mints as both are parts of the meal that compliment the main course. To put it another way, both offer new and different areas of gameplay that enhance the original game.

So, what are my conclusions?

If you are happy with your Sims are they are doing everything you want, then stay with what you have got.
If you want more play from your Sims, then what are you waiting for? Go out and buy it! I did and I have no regrets.

I am sorry to cut this short, but I've got to organise a rave for the Goths.

Dag dag!

Written at 20:35 on Tuesday 17 April 2001 by Andy.

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