The third expansion pack and one that brought a major change to the mechanics of the game, the main one being the introduction of community lots and the concept of your sims leaving their lots (well they could technically leave to go to work in the base game)
Also included a nice jazzy soundtrack when editing or vising downtown lots.
Installing the game requires the original game CD, or the House Party disc if that expansion pack is installed, as the game will install the original audio files to the hard drive. Previously the game would stream the audio from the CD to save disc space at the expense of performance.
If installing over the Deluxe Edition expansion pack, the user will need to run the deluxe edition installer before they can play the game, this is because the deluxe edition was released after Hot Date.
No new neighborhoods have been included with this expansion, but if you are missing the created neighbourhoods from the House Party expansion (Hoods 5-8) then the installer will create them for you. They will be typical blank neighborhoods without any houses or premade sims.
Upon starting the game, new sims will be generated. These will be your townies that are used for downtown.
Downtown, a new sub-neighborhood. Each hood has its own version of downtown with its own generated set of townies. Sims cannot visit a downtown from another hood.
The user interface has been updated with new features
The house meter and the friend’s meter have been removed and have not been replaced. They were removed in favor of adding the inventory and interests panels.
The inventory panel shows objects that are stored by the sims, these can be gifts that have been received by other sims, or prizes won by various games.
A new sub-neighborhood, and the first to be included in the Sims engine. There are lots that your sim can visit with other sims.
You can have different themed downtown lots that cater to a specific
Restaurants typically have a podium, a kitchen with a commercial over, and a dining booth or dining table/seats
Shops generally have till’s and can have clothes racks that sims can browse and buy new clothes, or skins as they are referred to. There are also entertainment lots that have activities like pool tables, pinball machines and slot machines
The default lots for Hot Date make use of objects from the base game and the expansion itself, but not objects from other expansions. With this in mind, you can create new downtown lots using objects or themes from other expansions, like a nightclub using the DJ booth and dance floor from House Party. A spare downtown lot exists (23 Wright Way) for this purpose.
The buy mode catalog has been updated, and new sub-categories have been added to help classify items better. Downtown lots also have their own categories, depending on what type of lot you wish to build. Here objects are sorted into shops, restaurants, outdoor
Niagra Love Tub
A hot tub that can seat two sims, who can cuddle and
Dawnette Hooded Stove
An oven that occupies two titles, can be placed downtown and is required to operate a restaurant
Bachmeier Grand Piano
A more expensive piano, placing this downtown will spawn a dedicated piano player NPC
Boggs Home Canning Center
Allows your sim to make preserves at home to sell, also increases the cooking skill
Laguna Vista Instand Pond
A fish pond where your sim can feed fish and place boats, multiple sims can use this
Bel-Air Dining Booth
Sims will sit after they order a meal at the podium, works as part of a restaurant set otherwise function as a regular table and chairs
Items such as flowers, toys, chocolate, and a copy of the game itself are sold here and can be bought by your sim, A cash till nearby is required to order
Two exist, one for ice cream and another for burgers, bars also exist for drinks
New social interactions have been added, and the social system has been revamped for each sim to better handle interactions. Many have been grouped into one main social interaction, which then has a few sub-interactions. E.g. Talk has the ‘About Interests’, ‘Gossip’ & ‘Brag’ interactions. Entertain has ‘Joke’ and ‘Juggle’ interactions.
Hot Date was later ported to the Mac OS platform and was a Carbon application from the onset which meant support for older Mac OS versions was dropped. Only Mac OS 8.6 onwards and OS X 10.1 is supported.