The Sims 4 has been routinely more and more improved by new expansion and game packs since its initial 2014 release. Sometimes, this add-on content is centred around one big feature, like the StrangerVille storyline which saw simmers enter a new storyline based gameplay, the Vampire addition, or the Get Famous expansion which allows celebrities to enhance your realistic gameplay. However, the newest expansion, Island Living, is different, focusing less on a mechanic, and more on the feel of a specific place – a brand new tropical island.
This new expansion pack feels more optional than some of the other The Sims 4 upgrades, however definitely packs a punch with an influx of new acitvities and content. The new content is heavily concentrated on Sulani and creating the perfect island getaway. Much like the previous urban-based expansion City Living, Island Living is centred around executing a core concept in as many ways as possible. The question is merely whether a player is interested in engaging with that fantasy. If you do find the idea of a perfect island oasis intriguing, then Maxis has done an excellent job crafting Sulani and its inhabitants. The island that can be impacted by the locals and the unpredictable weather. Sims clean up pollution over time, and its unique climate includes sunny skies and monsoons alike.
Island Living also gives us some poolside chaise lounges, something I’ve always wanted in this game and which I’ve seen plenty of people approximate through the creative use of ottomans. One of the most exciting things you’ll see there though, is a genuine glass floor tile, which means no more approximating that effect through dance floors. But now it’s real, and so that means it’s fully animated and rendered with the smoothness that only official products can manage.
What exactly will you find on the island? According to Sims 4, the vibe on Sulani is laid back.
Wave Away: Like getting out on the crystal-clear water? Set sail in your island canoe, swim to your heart’s content, and explore the surf on an Aqua-Zip. When you need a beach break, build a spectacular sandcastle or lounge out and catch some rays. You might even meet a mermaid!
Live Like a Local: Sulani traditions define the island, and your Sims wouldn’t reach real island heights if they didn’t experience as many as possible. Immerse Sims in their newfound lifestyle by bonding with neighbours at the fiery Island Celebration, taking part in local culture, tasting tropical delicacies, and pleasing ancient spirits from the island.
Dress the Part: You don’t want Sims to be sweating with the big sun beating down, so dress them in tropical outfits perfect for the beach, diving deep, or frolicking in the ocean. Just watch out for those tan lines! You can also decorate their very own rustic paradise with home objects or unwind at the tiki bar.
If all that wasn’t enough new content for your liking, a brand-new sim type should add all sorts of storytelling potential. The Sims 4 has now introduced Mermaids, allowing for all sorts of weird alien/mermaid romance or whatever it is those interested in those sorts of things get up to. The Mermaid comes with its own powers and two forms: it will be fun to build some mermaid homes that incorporate water in a more extreme way than what you can do with boring old humans.
Finally, the Sims 4 has introduced a number of new and exciting careers, including part time jobs for your teens to make a little extra pocket money with. There’s a new work from home career, the Conservationist, with two branches and unique reward traits. The fishing skill has been completely overhauled, along with new island-related part-time jobs and side gigs like dive instructor and lifeguard. There are new cosmetics. Sims can tan. Houses can be built atop stilted foundations. And players can learn about a Sulani-specific culture and its customs and traditions. Sims who take the new Child of the Islands trait gain moodlet buffs by participating in Sulani-specific activities.