The Sims 3 has released many expansion packs since the game first came out, and at full retail value they can be quite pricey. Thankfully many retailers offer different kinds of discounts and sales, especially on digital copies. Though I haven’t played all of the expansions for the Sims 3, I have bought and played quite a few of them. Looking at the expansions I have played, none of them are quite perfect and I would rate them all a 4/5 Stars, but they each have their own unique charms that make the base game infinitely more enjoyable.
The Late Night expansion is one of my favorites. This expansion adds the Shy and Star Quality traits, the Film career, a ton of new clothing and furniture, allows Sims to form bands and play venues, and adds new community lots like bars and dance clubs. Late Night also adds Celebrities and a Celebrity Level to the game, and celebrity Sims may find themselves stalked by Paparazzi. Certain events and actions can also cause celebrity Sims to become publicly disgraced and cause them to gain a negative moodlet. This expansion also comes with a new city, ‘Bridgeport’. Bridgeport is unique because it is mostly comprised of high rise apartment homes and clubs. However this is also a little frustrating as the game doesn’t seem to take the height of the homes well. When using the level changer to view a Sims apartment, and especially in build mode, the camera sometimes goes shooting off in random directions or cuts off half the screen (almost as if it doesn’t recognize where the living space begins and ends). Sometimes Sims also have trouble finding their way up to high rise clubs and lounges. In particular, getting up to the top floor of Aquarius is always a pain. Sims can’t seem to find their way through the awkward stair layout or where the elevator is actually for the building (and this is a premade lot).
This expansion also adds Vampires to the game. Why it randomly comes with the Late Night expansion, I have no idea. The busy city must be a favorite hunting ground for Vampires (or something). One of my favorite skills, Mixology, also comes with Late Night. Mixology allows Sims to become freelance Bartenders and learn to make drinks that can give your Sim a skill boost or influence other Sims.
Generations makes the child stages of a Sims life much more fun. Children are able to play pranks on family and friends, and teenagers have random rebellious mood swings that tempt them to act out and skip school. However, young Sims that act out are also scolded by their parents, and they will gain a temporary negative moodlet. Young Sims are also able to sign up for afterschool clubs like ballet or music, which helps raise certain skills. If the parents decide to go away on a vacation, teenaged Sims can choose to throw a huge house party while they’re gone (hopefully they don’t get caught!). Or if you’re still not interested in raising your Sims kids, you can send them off to boarding school and they’ll come back ‘A’ students and graduate to the next age without incident.
Generations also adds some fun events for adults such as the ability to have bachelor/bachelorette parties and a real wedding with a cake and arch. In addition to the new activities and events, Generations adds two new traits, Rebellious and Nurturing. The Nurturing trait allows adult Sims to ground their children and discipline them more effectively. The expansion also allows adult Sims to run a daycare out of their house and adds new toys for children, such as waterslides and see-saws.
The Pets expansion is great because it makes the game more realistic, adding horses, dogs, cats and small animals like birds and turtles to the game. Personally I’m kind of conflicted when it comes to the designs for the dogs (they’re not really that attractive) but the cats are adorable and the new horse skills are tons of fun. Cats and dogs can be trained to hunt and aggressive dogs will even attack home burglars, but horses can be trained in racing and stunt jumping. Horses can also be bred and sold for profit (if you’re into that kind of thing), and there is even a Unicorn that can be found and bred. Horse lovers can also join the newly added Jockey career path and create a family to live in a new horse oriented town, ‘Appaloosa Plains’. Pets comes with several new traits (of course); Animal Lover, Cat Person, Dog Person, and Equestrian. These traits all improve the effectiveness of interactions with the indicated animal.
One of the best things about this expansion is that it adds three new challenge wishes, ‘Adopt a Cat’, ‘Adopt a Dog’ and ‘Adopt a Horse.’ Each has a lifetime happiness payout of 1500 and all three usually appear at the same time. If all are fulfilled, that’s a total payout of 4500! The only thing I’ve found to be frustrating in Pets is how difficult it is to change the colors and markings on pets in ‘Create-A-Sim.’ The system is very confusing and it is hard to see what exactly is being changed.
Ambitions is great for players who are a little obsessed with designing Sims and their houses (players like me). Ever walk into an NPC Sims house and shudder at the sight of their awful wallpaper? No longer! Sims can now become home designers and makeover rooms and houses in a profitable career. It is very content heavy, adding professions in home design, hair styling, ghost hunting, firefighting, tattooing, and private investigating and allows for Sims to become self-employed. There are several new traits that go along with the new professions; Eccentric, Perceptive, Dramatic, Eco-friendly and Savvy Sculptor. The professions added by Ambitions are unique in that they require the player to actually control the Sim at work. For example, the player must design rooms according to a client’s requests as an Architectural designer, and as a Ghost Hunter must go out and exorcise spirits. Ghost Hunters even get to run around in a ghost busting suit and carry a vacuum that sucks up ghosts.
Being self-employed is also great because as Sims progress through each level of the career skills become essential to advancement, and gaining certain skill levels can actually boost an off-duty Sim to a promotion. Ghost Hunters, for example, can improve their job performance by gaining levels in the Logic skill. Ambitions also adds a ton of other content, such as washer/dryers, new furniture, clothing and décor, a new town named ‘Twinbrook’, and the Inventing and Sculpting skills. Sims can now carve wooden furniture and clay sculptures and become mad-scientists.
If I had to choose one expansion, Supernatural would have to be my favorite. It works very well in combination with the other expansions and has my favorite new town, ‘Moonlight Falls.’ Moonlight Falls features more of a gothic/colonial/Victorian style of architecture, and most of the houses are three stories high (some even have basements too). The actual landscape isn’t that great, and there isn’t a real beach (the beaches have tumbleweeds and aren’t that pretty) but considering that it’s a supernatural town full of Zombies, the scenery fits in with the darker nature of the town. Yes, I said Zombies. Supernatural adds Zombies, Fairies, Witches, Werewolves, Ghosts and Vampires to the game (if you don’t have Vampires already). Each Supernatural Sim can be customized and comes with its own special set of skills. But being a supernatural being doesn’t protect Sims from becoming a Zombie, they just become Zombie Fairies (or other zombie supernaturals). It’s also important to protect your gardens by fencing them in and utilizing a ‘household only’ setting on the gate, as Zombies are savage vegetarians and love to destroy your plants. The Zombies in this game are also just plain creepy. If your Sim decides to get up in the middle of the night for a late night snack, it is not uncommon to hear a frustrated moan from a Zombie who can’t get into your house or backyard. Thankfully, Zombies and other supernatural transformations are only forced during full moons.
Supernatural is also pretty content heavy, adding tons of themed furniture and clothing and several new traits, such as Supernatural Fan and Night Owl. Supernatural also adds the Alchemy skill, which allows a Sim to create potions and elixirs to cure Zombies or other supernatural Sims if they choose to forsake their supernatural powers. Players with the Pets expansion will find their Witches get a bonus for having a cat ‘familiar,’ or if Late Night is installed, humans or other supernaturals who ‘Whoo-hoo’ with opposing races of supernaturals will find themselves with the ‘Publicly Disgraced From Whoo-Hoo With Occult’ moodlet. Overall the expansion just complements the others very well, and I find myself playing in Moonlight Falls more than any other town.
Well those are the ones I’ve played. What are some of your favorite Sims 3 expansions? Which expansion do you think I should play next? Comment below!