The open-endedness of the game was fantastic, personally I love those open games where there's really nothing to do or goal that's handed to you as soon as you start up the game. I prefer the ones (like this) that you can decide on your own if a relationship is worth missing work for, if your kids should be studious or slobs, if you want to advance your career, or if you just want to take the slow and easy route to a monstrous house.
Unfortunately, the lack of variety of types and variety within types of items let me with a feeling that there was a very narrow path that you could take while designing your house and furnishing it. (the future expansions/online downloads helped this tremendously.) There was also a lack of variety in jobs I felt...although you could pick jobs ranging from subway musician all the way to military recruit...but there's really only a dozen or so careers you can really choose from which also narrows the "open-endedness" of the game.
+player decides goals
- - lack of variety of items and variety within types of items
- few career choices
- fairly narrow considering the small changes that would have made this a very open-ended game