Let’s be frank: in a game with virtually infinite hours of gameplay available to the player… it is incredibly easy to miss the occasional thing or two. Different careers, unused traits, and unique combinations of circumstance and a keen eye can draw out several easter eggs, hidden items, and comedic references laying about that may go unnoticed by even the most serious of players.
The Sims 4 is essentially a skeleton product in which the player can use as they so wish to construct and live out their wildest daydreams (or dizziest nightmares). The ways in which the game can be played is relatively infinite. I have logged well over nine hundred hours on this game since it was released and there are still things that I discovered while researching this article that genuinely shocked me.
The moment that this piece is completed and sent into my editor, I can guarantee that I will be spending the rest of my night doing my best to search out each and every hidden gem for myself so that I can be so lucky as to witness them first hand. But there is no need to worry; if you do not have the time to hunt out each and every single hidden item we won’t leave you out in the dark. Allow us, the good people of TheGamer, to take you through twenty-five hidden details from The Sims 4 that continually go unnoticed by fans and players alike.
25 Literary Cross-Overs
The next time that bookworm bites your Sim, take a moment to read through the titles contained in that bookshelf. for they may strike a familiar chord. The in-game bookshelf is absolutely brimming with books whose titles are parodies of real-world classics and hit novels/television shows such as “How I Dumped Your Father,” “Atlas Hugged,” “The Lord of the Swings,” “The Sauntering Dead,” and, my personal favorite, “Lucas Dark and the Increasingly Unlikely Series of Coincidences.” The blurbs which accompany the titles contain comedic descriptions of the parodies as well.
24 Congratulations... Or Not
Just like in the real world when an unexpected pregnancy crops up, not every Sim is going to be excited about it. The pregnant Sim (fun fact: both male and female Sims now have the ability to either carry or create life) must exercise caution when telling their partner about their big news for they may not get the reaction they were hoping for. Based on the partner's traits, mood, relationship, etc. their reaction will range from excited to absolutely devastated.
23 Grilled Cheese Brain
One of the greatest additions to The Sims series has been the introduction of ambitions or life goals. It gives players something to structure their Sims' daily activities around and strive for (or attempt to sabotage… I don’t judge.) The Sims 2 introduced the “Grilled Cheese Aspiration” which made the selected Sims yearn to spend their mortal life dedicated to the holy grilled cheese sandwich.
And due to popular demand, this aspiration has been brought back to The Sims 4 but it is hidden. Eat three or more grilled cheese sandwiches in one sitting and the option to dedicate your life to the cheese may appear.
22 Down The Rabbit Holes
One annoying thing about The Sims 4 is the fact that restaurants, movie theatres, and even some work venues are now active locations rather than the traditional rabbit hole. But players might be relieved to know that rabbit hole events have found their way back into the game. Every now and then your Sim may receive an invitation to attend an event that does not exist in any of the known active locations in the game. If accepted, your Sim will be sent to a rabbit hole for a few hours and will return once the event has concluded.
21 Come Back To Life
Though some players dedicate their playing hours to ending the life of their poor Sims in the most creative and questionable ways possible, we have all accidentally ended the life of a beloved Sim and have done everything in our power to bring them back. In The Sims 4, there are now plenty of ways to revive said Sim. If one’s writing skill is high enough, a living Sim can create a book dedicated to the life of the fallen Sim. If the ghost reads it, they may be revived. Skilled gardeners may also be able to bribe the grim reaper with the coveted “death flower.”
20 Be Kind To The Robot
If you have ever had a Sim in the Scientist career, you will know that the Invention Converter is more than what it sounds. This giant mechanical device can talk to your Sim, respond to its inquiries, and seeks its approval during the process of building whatever item we have requested it to construct. The ways in which the machine responds to your active Scientist Sim are so lifelike that I wonder what type of AI is powering the robot and if it will be kind to us when humans are no longer at the top of the food chain.
Sims are not picky when it comes to many things. They will, more often than not, flirt with whomever you’ve directed them to, eat whatever food you demand they consume, and will write with whatever hand feels most comfortable to them.
While right-handed Sims are the default, many Sims will actively show preference towards their left hands.
The best ways to view these difference are during meal times as well as when younger Sims work on their schoolwork or at the activity tables.
18 Find The Sea Monster
Each and every world contains a hidden easter egg. Some worlds contain magical and mystical hidden locations (which will be expanded upon further below) while other worlds simply contain creatures of legend standing (or swimming) about. The European styled city of Windenburg contains none other than the infamous Ogopogo which can be seen by lucky Sims while standing on the cliffs of the Bluffs. Sneak away from the nonstop parties that litter the island and try to see if you can catch a glimpse for yourself.
17 Dominant Traits
Though players remain annoyed about the fact that the Sims in the fourth installment of the series are only allowed a very minimal number of traits, they may be delighted to know that these traits impact their Sims' daily lives in ways that they never before have. A Sim's every interaction with the world, their pets, and the Sims around them will be coloured by the selection of traits that you have given them. The difficulty of skill acquisition, the moods which your Sim experiences, their likelihood of connecting with another Sim… it all comes down to their traits.
16 Extensive Medical Procedures
Since the fourth installment in The Sims series is the first game to allow the doctor career to be an active location, the developers had to make sure that they did the career justice.
And judging entirely from the extensive nature of its everyday medical procedures, I can attest to that effort.
From basic checkups to baby deliveries, each and every aspect of the doctors interactions with the patients are detailed, intense, and tailored specifically to the nature of the ailment. Sparks will fly, stars will be seen, and expecting mothers will never be the same.
15 Mood Changing Lasers
One of the coolest and tiniest details included in the game is the fact that the mood in which your Sim is currently in while interacting with their cats will affect the colour of the laser they can use during playtime. The colour of the mood which highlights your Sim's avatar in the bottom left corner of your screen will be the exact colour of the laser beam your Sim will cast when playing with their feline friend. Playful Sims will use a magenta laser, happy Sims prefer a green shade, confident Sims will select a blue laser, etc.
14 Childish Displays Of Art
No longer will parent Sims have to choose between discarding the art which their children create on the play table or hanging it up on the walls for the world to see. With the addition of the Parenthood expansion pack, children will be able to display their own drawings on the family bulletin/chalkboard. Grown-up Sims will also have the ability to display their own art, photos, and even write notes for other family members. This board also gives parents the ability to set a curfew for their children but note that the children need not follow it if they so choose.
13 Affect Of Phases
One exciting change is that the beloved Parenthood expansion pack added to the game was the concept of phases. Young sims will go through temporary emotional states which will affect every interaction and action they have in-game until the phase passes. Some examples of the phases your Sim may spontaneously enter are picky eater, mean streak, rebellious, and clingy. Grown-up Sims may ask the child about their specific phase to better understand it and can choose to either support it or simply ignore it and push through to the other side.
12 Keep An Eye On The Shadows
If you fill your home with windows in order to create a calming ambiance and plenty of natural light, keep an eye on the shadows as well as the light itself.
The light will be colored/tinted by the time of day in-game.
Early mornings will be darker and cooler while midday will be strikingly bright and the evening will be darker with a warmer shade to mimic a real-world sunset. The shadows cast by the in-game sun will also change throughout the day based on the sun's placement. The shadows will continually shift to match the sun's movement through the sky.
11 Natural Flora And Fauna
Since each world found within the Sims universe is so incredibly unique and diverse, the flora and fauna found in each world reflect its unique climate. The desert world of Oasis springs is filled with insects, cacti, and palm trees. The green world of Willow Creek is filled with lovely willows, creeks, and cherry blossoms. The woodsy world of Brindleton Bay is filled with pine trees, birch trees, large hikeable rocks, and stray pets. It’s not much but these little details truly add to the overall immersion levels of the game.
10 Act Normal, Be Normal
Sometimes you have to let your freak flag fly. But be warned, doing so in the public world of The Sims 4 will have its consequences.
NPC sims in this installment of the series are far more likely to acknowledge your behaviour than ever before.
If you invade their personal space, start a fight in public, or even strip down and start streaking through town… people are bound to notice. And they will react to your actions in a way that you may not like. Save the freakiness for your own backyard… unless you crave chaos.
9 Mischevious Droppings
Chosen traits will even impact the pets which are saddled with them. A lazy pet will not take kindly to your requests for physical fun. An aggressive pet may not always be in the mood to play. An affectionate pet will often interrupt your every activity to demand pets. And mischievous pets will begin their naughty antics immediately in the create a sim screen by dropping a large... umm... brown parcel for you as if they had UPS emblazoned on their fur coat.
8 Use The Snow Globes
Some decor items are meant to be used, not just simply seen. Sometimes you are meant to play with and engage with these items rather than just leave them on the shelf to collect dust. An example of this is the in-game snow globes. Each little snow globe contains a specific animation revolving around the theme of the objects contained within its orbs. View the snow globes. Play with the snow globes. Interact with the snow globes. Become a snow globe.
7 Build Mode References
Like the books which fill your in-game bookshelf, each and every item which can be found in buy mode (and occasionally in build mode) includes a little description which can be seen while hovering over the selected item. This little description is often filled with puns, anecdotes, stories, jokes, and funny little pop culture references.
I am not going to spoil any of these descriptions for you as they deserve to be able to speak for themselves.
Take a gander the next time you want to redo your living room.
6 Hidden Locations And Secret Locales
Would you like to travel to the candy-colored world of Sylvan Glade hidden within Willow Creek? Or what about the alien planet located in the stars above? Forgotten Grotto in Oasis Springs? Sylvan Glade is inside the magical tree in the Crick Cabana. Interact with the tree until you can explore. With luck, you’ll discover Sylvan Glade. To access the alien planet of Sixam, reach level 10 of the rocket science skill, buy a wormhole generator, and simply travel to the planet. Forgotten Grotto can be found by a canyon in the neighborhood park and is only accessible to Sims with a maxed out handiness skill.
5 Bustling With Life
Players have voiced their outrage concerning the lack of open worlds within the fourth installment of The Sims series. However, though we are playing in a closed world, the game has never been so filled with life. Look in the background and you will see Sims living their best lives, animals playing, birds flying, bugs and insects exploring the world, shadows dancing as the light changes, and Sims just trying to get through the day. You can interact with the world, stumble across random ice skating rinks and venues hidden from map view. Explore a bit and see how open the world truly is.
4 Sim Shower Idol
No longer will Sims simply step in and out of the shower. Sims now have the option to sing in the shower but depending on their personality and confidence level, some Sims may choose to sing without any player intervention. I usually play my game on mute so I have never experienced this firsthand, but the next time I load up the game I may connect my speakers and see what jaunty tune my Sims choose to belt out while scrubbing down.
3 Turn On Your Speakers
And maybe I should commit to playing the game with the sound turned on and the in-game sound levels maxed out because, according to some online forums users, it truly is worth it.
Apparently, the game is absolutely filled with life and noise.
Cars in the background, casual conversations, music from nearby venues, pets, children, windchimes, birds, wind, storms, etc. Everything makes noise and I personally think such lifelike and realistic sounds must add to the immersion of the game in an impactful way.
2 Mood Driven Art
Artistic Sims in the fourth installment of the series have more options than ever before. Size, genre, personality, and mood can all affect the type of painting that your Sims will create. If they are feeling a certain way and captured by a certain mood, a Sim will be able to make a special painting tailored to and influenced by that mood. That painting will retain the aura of the mood in which it was painted under and can force a sim viewing said piece back into that state of mind after completion.
1 Televised Parodies
Just like the in-game bookshelf, the television is also chock full of parodies and content. The first thing worth noting is the fact that each and every show and film that the Sims can watch was created using the previous installment's graphics. The second thing worth noting is the fact that these seemingly genre-specific shows are actually parodies of well-known bodies of work within those genres. Two parodies included in the rotation are a Top Chef-like show and a Tonight Show-like late-night program.