Game Background Information
Basically in the beginning of the game, you see a house on a hill and decide that it would be a wonderful place to "raise" a family. The house starts of with just a few rooms because all the other rooms are either incomplete or damaged in some way (toxic contamination, fire damage, bug infestation) and you have to renovate the house.
The gameplay is the same as the original Virtual Families. You drag the little people around to influence their actions and either praise them or scold them to encourage or discourage them to do certain things such as praising them for making a meal and scolding a child for jumping on the bed. You have to buy groceries for them when they are hungry and buy medicine for them when they are sick. There are also random events that occur every so often in the game. Also, the game keeps going in the background even when you're not playing. Basically, people live their lives, get promotions, children grow up, and a host of other things even while you're gone. It makes the game feel close to real life.
How It Differs From the Original
There are several notable changes in Virtual Families 2 from the original Virtual Families.
The Characters' Appearances
This is the first thing you notice once you start playing the game. The "little people" definitely look a lot different in this game. The eyes are bigger, the colors are brighter, and their bodies have more shape to them. At first, I thought it looked odd, but when I went back to the first Virtual Families, I realized that the new look was a HUGE improvement. It's changed, but not in a bad way.
Buying and Rearranging Furniture
The new game is definitely more customizable than the last game. You can buy furniture and place it anywhere you want! You can make your home as lavish or as threadbare as you choose the be! The one downside really is that the "Decorate" tab is still visible all the time even when you close the bar. Even though it has never really gotten in the way, I still get annoyed at it sometimes when it's just there even though there's a "decor" button that does the exact same thing.
The Store Layout
There are a lot more items now, but that means you can't have all the items on the same screen anymore. Now, the store menu is listed in categories and subcategories to keep things organized. One downside to this is that since the store takes up the whole screen, therefore covering up your furniture and toolbars, you can't return any items to the store and you're stuck with keeping all of that junk you bought in the beginning of the game in the furniture bar.
They have awesome new upgrades to buy in Virtual Families 2! For each individual adult family member, you can buy all sorts of things to upgrade them and influence their personalities. There are also general upgrades that apply to the entire family like the gardening and maid services for weeds and cleaning the house. You can even adopt a child if you're either too busy or unable to have one of your own. I find that the time warp is really useful in a couple's later life when the kids have moved out and there's really nothing left to do but leave the house to a future generation.
It's Free! And Released on Mobile First!
The biggest difference of all is that the game is completely free, although they do offer packages of coins, higher bank interest rates, etc. for real money). Also, it was released in the Apple App Store before being released on PC (though a PC version is in the works). This is huge! You can see Last Day of Work really going the "Freemium" route which is when you offer a game or software for free, but also allow users to pay for extra features or content with real money. They've done this with several of their apps, converting them from PC to app, but this is the first one released for mobile first. Either way, you can have fun and play this game without spending a cent and the artwork and music is really nice and high quality, exactly what you'd expect from Last Day of Work.
A Final Word
This app is worth every penny ($0.00) and anyone with an iPhone or iPad should download it. It's a nice game to play on the bus or waiting in line because you can just quickly check in with your virtual family whenever you have some free time. The game keeps going while you're gone so you can encounter new surprises every time you come back. It's a wonderful open-ended game that really has no end, but stays entertaining for generations, virtually.