Practice English Speaking&Listening with: LGR - The Sims 4 Cats & Dogs Review

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After three years of waiting, its finally here: The Sims 4 not-Pets pack!

Aka, Cats & Dogs, the fourth expansion pack to the The Sims 4,

arriving at a suggested price of $40 USD.

And this time around I was not provided a review code by EA,

so its back to me buying the pack myself.

Not gonna stop me so lets get right to it!

As the pack title suggests, Cats & Dogs isnt as broad of an expansion theme as older, similar

packs, like The Sims 3: Pets.

While that one included cats, dogs, horses, birds, rodents, reptiles, turtles, deer, raccoons,

and unsettling ice cream trucks, Cats & Dogs features... cats.

And dogs.

Oh and raccoons once again, as well as foxes, each of which are respectively classified

as a cat and a dog for some reason.

Anyway, the whole idea of the pack is that your sims can now own and care for various

fuzzy critters, of which there are over 170 premade breeds to choose from.

Not only that but you can make a completely custom breed or crossbreed existing ones,

making for some truly inspiring combinations.

Say hello to the hottest new designer dog, the Greyhound Pug!

Scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could,

they didn't stop to think if they should.

And yes, since in this case raccoons are cats and foxes are dogs, they can be crossbred

with rather odd results.

Foxes and dogs I can somewhat believe since there have been Canid hybrids reported, but

domestic cats and raccoons?


EA definitely knows it.

And dont even bother bringing up the Maine Coon cat; despite the suggestive name it didnt

descend from raccoons.

Besides, Im mostly joking here anyway, because I think this kind of open-ended absurdity

is what makes The Sims games great.

Cats & Dogs provides the highest degree of customization weve seen in the game thus

far, well beyond what can be accomplished with humanoid sims.

For example, the color wheel and pattern tools have returned from The Sims 3, although unfortunately

its only for pets right now.

Whether or not thatll ever change I cant be certain, but what I do know is that I was

seriously cracking up while creating dogs and cats that look like they were painted

by a group of dangerously-caffeinated preschoolers.

And its true, I've always wanted a taco cat covered in spray-painted goldfish with

its head stuck in a grilled cheese sandwich.

I guess you could call him "inbread," ha ha.

And of course, there are a number of traits and voices to further personalize each animal,

just like youd expect with any other sim.

You can also choose whether or not theyve been spayed or neutered, so if you wanna role-play

as Bob Barker from the word go then thats your prerogative.

And finally, there are a good number of new hairstyles, accessories, shoes, outfits, and

clothing options for your existing sims both young and old, including a healthy dosage

of crazy cat person attire, and uh...


This right here.

Oh my.

All right so now that you have you furry friends where are you gonna play withem?

Why not try out the new map location: a seaside town with four neighborhoods

known as Brindleton Bay!

Its a pretty attractive-looking, cozy little place in my opinion, although its inclusion

of more autumnal trees makes me yearn for a Seasons pack even more.


Yeah I guess Ill wait another year for that if I have to, and until then there are

places like this where I can pretend fall has arrived.

And to populate these new lots there are over 300 new objects available for your sims to

buy in build mode, many of which are expectedly pet-themed with paw prints and dog bones,

but most notably among them are no fewer than eight new chairs.

Im sure there are other objects of note, but as a wise man once said: “When youve

got chairs who cares!”

Okay actually, one new thing Im happy to have are robot vacuums.

Not only do pets introduce more messes to clean up than ever, but they provide extracurricular

activities for your strange felines to casually enjoy...

*sounds of strange feline enjoying SimRoomba*

In addition to the expected litany of broad-use furniture, lights, signs, and various clutter objects,

there are plenty of pet necessities on offer.

Piles of toys, beds, feeders, litter boxes, and treats of all kinds have been added to

the game to make it feasible to fully care for your pet and give them a pleasant home.

Speaking of which, how do you get them home in the first place?

Well, other than just rolling your own critter in Create A Sim, your other option is to adopt

a pet on the Sim Internet or waltz on out into the world and befriend a stray.

Sims with cat- and dog-loving traits will find it especially hard to say no to strays,

and in all likelihood so will you with how instantly cute

and playful every animal can be.

Just keep in mind that a pet takes up a sim slot in your home, so if your household is

already full then, well, Im sure youll come up with ways to free up some space.

*sounds of creative space-freeing... burning, mostly*

Once thats sorted, great!

Whether you adopt through a service or through the wild, getting a pet is a surefire way

to keep things interesting.

For example, each pet has a number of traits, and those traits affect

what theyll able to do.

Things like affectionate, clever, lazy, aggressive, and hairy are more passive, self-explanatory

traits that determine their overall personality.

More active traits like hunter or prowler will give pets a separate set of actions they

can perform, either on their own or if your sim asks them to do so.

If they decide to obey, that is.

Your pets are such appealing little floofballs that even when theyre being stubborn uncooperative

punks its hard to be critical of them.

But lets do it anyway!

Pets in this pack cannot be controlled directly, at all.

You can click their icon at the bottom of the screen, but all itll do it center the

camera on them.

And you know what?

I like it this way.

Not only is it a more realistic approach than being able to control them directly, but it

provides a little more of a challenge in taking care of them.

And as someone whos been yearning for a bit more challenge and unpredictability in

The Sims 4, I welcome the change.

What I dont quite agree with is the fact that there is no way to quickly and precisely

check the current status of your pet.

There is a total lack of a dedicated user interface for pets, meaning that things like hunger

level, tiredness, or bladder status are a mystery on a moment to moment basis.

Which, okay, thats fine if youre going for realism.

I dont know the precise status of my cats bladder in real life either and frankly I

dont want to. Like I said, I appreciate some extra challenge here and there, and I don't

mind having to pay extra attention to my pet to find out what their bodily needs are.

But the part that really bothers me about this is that you also cant even do something

so simple as look up how old your pet is!

Assuming that the interface in The Sims 4 is a representation of what your current sim

is aware of at any given moment, this infers that my sims dont care enough about their

own pets to remember their birthday or what kind of personality they have.

Even The Sims 2 had this as a standard feature, along with plenty of other useful information

that Id expect a pet owner to keep up with, like what skills they have

or who theyve met.

But nope, in The Sims 4 Cats & Dogs, youre left with a lot of guesswork for everything

from learned skills to their current freaking age.

Another reason I wish there was an information interface of some kind is due to the addition

of quirks, which go beyond the traits that you can see in Create A Sim.

Quirks are charming little behavioral habits that range from being afraid of computers

to being enamored watching TV.

Sometimes youll have a dog thats just obsessed with the pool.

They swim in the pool, they dream of the pool, they are at one with the pool.

Other times youll have a cat that flips his lid every time someone opens the oven,

which is entirely believable as a lifelong cat owner.

While its nice to be reminded of these quirks as they happen, Id really like some

way to look at them in a list of some sort, but again: nope, not an option.

Another thing that would be useful would be to be able to check your petstraining

level and habits, both of which can be addressed

by sims with or without the new pet training skill.

Whether by specific training exercises, on-the-spot scolding, or positive reinforcement, pets

can be taught to do things like roll over, stop scratching furniture,

and stay out of fights.

You can also put your pets to the test by creating obstacle courses, pitting them against

each other for a fast time and tasty treats.

Speaking of tasty, I also like that sims skilled in cooking can opt out of store-bought kibbles

and bits and whip up their own special meals, from squishy bone casseroles

to fishy carcass treats.

Youll need all the pet fuel you can get too, because dogs and cats can go into heat

and start feverishly looking for a mate at a moments notice.

When they find one either by chance or by you guiding their gonads, a quick nose rub

and some floating hearts can lead to a pregnancy.

Now remember kids: always wear a muzzle.

Before long youll have fresh new mouths to feed and the whole adorable process

starts all over again.

And finally, there is the veterinarian. A new career in the Cats & Dogs pack

that isnt actually a "career" at all.

What I mean by that is that its not a job you earn a salary for, like a doctor or a

cop, but instead its more like owning a restaurant in the Dine Out pack.

So if you have enough money to buy your own vets office, then presto:

youre an instant vet!

No experience needed, just open up the doors and let the sick animals waltz on in to get

treated by your complete inadequacy.

Granted, the more you heal pets the more experience youll earn in the veterinary skill, but

it still seems a bit silly to me.

But whatever its The Sims 4, things are dumb and dumb can be fun, and man

can this be dumb fun.

For example, a cat comes in with a runny nose?

Time for surgery!

Yep, nothings stopping you from neutering the entire world against their will,

or for some real chaos UN-neutering the entire world,

so go for it if you feel inclined.

Or hey, maybe you actually want to play it how it wants you to, and in that case its

pretty similar to the doctor career from Get To Work.

Pets come in with an unknown ailment, so you inspect their symptoms and come up with a

diagnosis that it hands to you on a silver platter without much effort at all.

Sometimes youll need to take a pet into the surgery chamber or mix up a special serum,

but yeah, since pets cant die from this stuff it never feels like it holds much weight.

And that is The Sims 4 Cats & Dogs expansion pack.

Or at least the stuff that I find most noteworthy and interesting contained within.

So the question remains:

Is it completely worth the $40 asking price?

I mean, this game has been out for three years now,

is the addition of pets enough to keep it fresh?

I don't know.

I mean...

Its a fun pack and I enjoyed it well enough, but that price tag is steep

for the actual new content on offer.

A lot of it only slightly rehashes what weve already seen, or

falls short of providing what we've seen in previous pet packs.

And then the legit improvements are sometimes held back by things like the

lack of player feedback for pet statuses.

On the other hand Im entirely aware that for many simmers, having animals in the game

*at all* will be enough for you to hand over your money.

If having cats and dogs that you can pimp out for Simstagram followers is your thing,

then this is the pack for you.

It provides plenty of enjoyable gameplay, cute moments, and happy sims.

And personally, its tough to explain the ability to bring back a lost childhood pet

in some way.

Somewhat recently I lost my cat of 17 years and... well, just seeing her again in virtual form

is enough to make me uncontrollably wistful.

The Sims games have always had a special way of bringing about wish fulfillment,

making them really something special, unique, and awesome in that respect,

and the Cats & Dogs pack makes that clearer than ever to me.

But in an objective sense, I still think the initial asking price should be slashed in

half for what you actually get. The more I played it, the more it felt like a

bite-sized Game Pack than a fully-fledged expansion.

And that largely has to do with my expectations coming from having played

the larger Pets packs of the past.

But even more than that I miss having an easy way to look at simple information

like when my pet will age up.

If this was a $20 game pack Id recommend it completely,

no doubt about it. But,

as a $40 expansion, I think your mileage may vary depending on expectations.

And yet I also truly understand if those expectations dont go beyond wanting to

have some fun with an animal friend one more time,

even if it's just virtually.

And if you enjoyed this look at this pack from this thing,

then perhaps you'd like to see some of my other videos here on LGR.

Or you maybe wanna stick around, there are new videos every Monday and Friday

so subscribe if you would like.

And as always, thank you very much

for petting LGR!


Actually maybe don't do that, that's a little weird.

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