The Sims 4: Island Living Review

The Sims 4: Island Living has to be one of the most beautiful expansions that EA has put out. What’s better than taking your Sim on a permanent vacation on a gorgeous and bright island full of vibrant colors, quirky locals, and the ability to become a mermaid? On top of that, Sims will have access to 4 new jobs, gender-neutral bathrooms, and cool new Island appropriate attire to be worn. Aside from all of that goodness, Island Living in general just has better and more in-depth gameplay and I have to say, it was incredibly hard to stop playing this as there’s so much you can do and explore.

Getting Started with Create a Sim

As you’ll be living on the tropical island of Sulani, the Create-a-Sim portion is now focused and geared towards more warm weather clothing. While there’s a ton of clothing pieces and combinations you can pull off, it did feel as though the warm weather clothing articles were a bit lacking; however, I was very excited to see the new array of t-shirts, shorts, sarongs, and swimsuits. While the increased quality and amount of clothing for our adult Sims have passed my expectations, our younger Sims seem to be lacking a bit in the clothing department. Particularly our toddler Sims.

Once you’ve got your Sim all ready, or perhaps you’re moving your Sim family to Sulani, be prepared for an immediate welcome wagon as neighbors will come in and offer Kava as a hello instead of the usual and typical fruitcake. Once that’s all done and taken care of, here you can finally go and explore. You can prepare a big feast in a fire pit that can take several hours to cook or perhaps your Sim enjoys sunbathing on one of the many floaties that can be purchased. You can also set up fishing traps, beach-comb along the shore or even build a sandcastle by yourself or with a friend.

The Sims 4

Island Living is the Life

One of the new gameplay elements that is offered in Island Living is the ability to be a mermaid. To become a mermaid you can either select this option during the Create-a-Sim or you can do it in game by finding a certain mysterious cave and eating some questionable kelp. Once you’ve become a mermaid, you can swim into the open ocean and from there new options will pop up for your Sim to do. As a mermaid, one of the many things our Sim can do is befriend the local Dolphin. By feeding and playing with them, you can have a cute new friend for life and it ups your happiness, so it’s a win-win. On top of that, once you’ve become a mermaid, you’ll notice that the hygiene meter has now been replaced with a Hydration level. In order to maintain a decent hydration level, players will need to make sure that their Sim is properly replenished with water in simple ways like having a bath or even just taking a swim.

The Sims 4

Mermaids can also use a certain amount of Hydration points to perform certain actions such as calling your Dolphin, performing a Siren’s Call, Changing the Weather (If you have the Seasons expansion pack installed), Fishing Lure and much more.

And even without becoming a mermaid, a regular Sim can now explore the open ocean unlike before. I have to say, while I’m a bit disappointed that you can’t have the camera go underwater to view the coral reef while your Sim scubas (think of the cute selfies you could take!) it’s still a huge step forward and makes me hopeful that EA will possibly bring this in as a feature in the future. However, I was super happy with the fact that toddlers and even dogs, could enter the ocean and have fun as well.

The Sims 4

To Work or Not to Work?

While many of us wish we could escape the harsh adulting life of working a steady full-time job, we can now give our Sims the opportunity to work part-time jobs. Your Sim will now have the option to become a lifeguard, fisherman or a diver. If you still find yourself strapped for cash, you can now find Sims who will give you odd jobs for a quick buck.

For Sims with a passion for the Island and the environment, you’ll have a new career of being a Conservationist. By going this route, you’re Sim will be able to explore the island educating the locals, picking up trash on the beaches and surveying the local flora and shore. As Sulani requires three states of requirements that need to be met, by implementing this career choice, it’s an incredible way to be able to move through these needs. The reward, in the end, is very much worth it as more sea turtles will begin to appear, butterflies surrounding pristine beaches and even luminescent algae lighting up the water at night.

The Sims 4

All in all, The Sims 4: Island Living has blown me away. The Island of Sulani is simply beautiful and the implementation of the new jobs and career path, as well as all of the other fun things your Sims can get up to, has really made me fall even more in love with the Sims. With beautiful visuals, an impressive upgrade to clothing as well as objects in the build and buy sections and new gameplay features, I honestly feel like this will be one of the best expansions to the series yet. Plus you get to live as a freakin’ mermaid, and I mean, who doesn’t want that life, right?

***PC Code provided by the publisher***