Explore Life in a Tropical Paradise in ‘The Sims 4: Island Living’

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‘The Sims 4: Island Living’ Image via Electronic Arts.

What Is The Sims 4: Island Living?

The Sims 4: Island Living is an expansion for the Sims 4 base game. A popular life simulation game, The Sims franchise allows players to play the life of people known as the “Sims.” A Sims expansion tends to add a large chunk of gameplay options including new areas, actions, clothing, building objects, skills, and career choices. In this newest expansion, Sims get to explore the island of Sulani, a tropical paradise of “sun, sand, and endless fun.” Sims can become conservationists, lifeguards, divers, or get by with a series of odd jobs. Sulani has its own culture including pit barbecues and the ability to talk with island ancestors. One of the most exciting features is the introduction of mermaids. New island-themed clothing and build items are also available along with the ability to build lots over water.

What Rating Is the Sims 4: Island Living?

The Sims 4: Island Living is rated T by ERSB for Crude Humor, Sexual Themes, and Violence. You can see the GeekDad break down of the reasons for this rating in this article about the base game. Teen Sims can “mess around,” adult Sims can “woohoo” or “try for baby,” but none of these acts are shown explicitly and occur behind other objects. When Sims are unclothed (such as in a shower) they are blurred. Some clothing items are more revealing than others. Sims can die in a variety of ways other than old age and can get into very cartoonish “fights” with other Sims. These types of actions carry over into this newest game pack as well.

Can I Watch the Trailer for The Sims 4: Island Living?

Yes, you can watch it below:

Gameplay and Verdict

Visually, the game is absolutely stunning. In Sulani, you’ll notice fish moving beneath the waters as well as beautiful landscapes. I don’t think any other expansion has added such stunning views as this one offers.

Some of the stunning details in the ‘Island Living’ expansion. Image via Electronic Arts.

My first order of action was to pick a family to test out in this new paradise. There are four lots with pre-created families, five lots of homes ready to move your own Sims into, and two empty lots if you want to start completely from scratch. I tend to like playing families and that left me with two household choices: Ngata and Kealoha. I chose Kealoha because Dad (Makoa) is a Conservationist and that’s the new career I wanted to check out. Makoa was also featured in the game trailer. Makoa is married to Lilliana and they have a toddler named Nani. Also living in the household is a teenager, Duane Talla, who appears to have no relation to the Kealohas, which could be representative of a foster child sort of situation. Duane has a lifeguard job and that’s another new aspect I wanted to check out, so the Kealoha Household would be the one I start playing with. I also took a peek at some of the new clothing options.

Players may wish to note that there are two other households that mark a first for the franchise. The Hoapili Household has a transgender character, Lia Hauata. The Ngata Household has a married same-sex couple, Oliana Ngata and Leila Illes (the blond woman in the game trailer). While players have been able to create same-sex couples and transgender characters before now, this is the first time a Sims game has included these characters as part of the established households.

I soon learned that the Lifeguard Career is one of those that sends your character off to work jobs, but Conservationists are more hands-on. Each day you work from home you get tasks like taking pictures, cleaning litter, planting, or getting water samples. This lets you explore Mua Pel’Am, a lovely area that includes a waterfall. Look closer and you’ll find some rock art next to a cave entrance. When you explore the cave different things happen, and if you get lucky you might turn up with Mermadic Kelp. Eating the kelp lets your Sim turn into a mermaid. The more times I explored the cave, the more filled in the rock art became, and I’m curious to see what happens when the picture is complete.

I let my two adult Sims consume the kelp and turn into merpeople. Once your Sims become merpeople, you need to let them spend time in the water to keep up the Hydration Need that takes the place of the Hygiene Need. You get new actions too, including special socials with other merpeople. Dolphins are easier to befriend too. Your Sim will be also sad at the idea of fishing or consuming fish. Since Duane has a Fishing Aspiration, I didn’t turn him into a merman.

Sims turned into merpeople. Image via Electronic Arts.

There are lots of fun activities on the island. Diving and snorkeling are options (and can sometimes turn up collectibles) and there are little boats that just hang around free for anyone to use. You might even get to interact with dolphins! Sims young and old will enjoy making sand sculptures on the beach. The water areas are an open swim area for Sims, and toddlers can splash in shallower sections. Keep an eye out for lots with decorations where celebrations occur, these are fun events for Sims to attend.

I am enjoying this expansion a lot more than its Sims 3 counterpart. With households based in other worlds, I bounce between worlds more, but with my Sulani Household, there’s too much to do to feel the need to jump worlds. More than the other worlds, it feels like being part of a new culture. I do think Sims from my other household might enjoy a day trip to Sulani here and there, and overall, I do enjoy it more than, say, the Game Packs where you take a vacation somewhere. I feel like when it’s a world and not a vacation destination it’s easier to keep up with the collectibles and skills of the region, so I’m more likely to look into them. Island Living is a worthy addition to the franchise.

What Formats Is The Sims 4: Island Living Available In?

Currently, The Sims 4: Island Living is available in PC/Mac, but often expansions release on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 at a later date.

What System Specifications Will I Need to Play?

*The Sims 4: Island Living is an expansion, so players must have The Sims 4 base game to play.

The following system advice is recommended by Origin, The Electronic Arts online store.

PC Minimum Specs:

  • OS: 64 Bit Required. Windows 7 (SP1), Windows 8, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10
  • CPU: 1.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, AMD Athlon 64 Dual-Core 4000+ or equivalent (For computers using built-in graphics chipsets, the game requires 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2.0 GHz AMD Turion 64 X2 TL-62 or equivalent)
  • RAM: At least 4 GB RAM
  • Hard Drive: At least 3 GB of free space (15 GB if installing with The Sims™ 4) with at least 1 GB additional space for custom content and saved games
  • Video: 128 MB of Video RAM and support for Pixel Shader 3.0. Supported Video Cards: NVIDIA GeForce 6600 or better, ATI Radeon X1300 or better, Intel GMA X4500 or better.
  • DirectX: DirectX 9.0c compatible
  • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c Compatible
  • Input: Keyboard and Mouse
  • Online Requirements: Internet connection required for product activation

PC Recommended Specs:

  • OS: 64 Bit Windows 7, 8, 8.1, or 10
  • Processor: Intel core i5 or faster, AMD Athlon X4
  • Video Card: NVIDIA GTX 650 or better
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Hard Drive: 18 GB of Hard Drive space

MAC Minimum Specs:

  • OS: Mac OS® X 10.7.5 (Lion)
  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz Processor or better
  • RAM: At least 4 GB RAM
  • Hard Drive: At least 3 GB of free space (15 GB if installing with The Sims™ 4) with at least 1 GB additional space for custom content and saved games
  • Video: NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT, ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro or better. Video RAM of 256MB or better.
  • Input: Keyboard and Mouse
  • Online Requirements: Internet connection required for product activation

MAC Recommended Specs:

  • OS: Mac OS® X 10.9 or later
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 or better
  • Video Card: NVIDIA GTX 650 or better
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Hard DriveE: 18 GB of Hard Drive space

Where Can I Buy The Sims 4: Island Living?

The Sims 4: Island Living can be purchased as a digital download via the Origin store for $39.99.

Do you play the Sims games? Is this an expansion you’ve played or are looking forward to? Let us know in the comments.

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