The Sims 4’s latest expansion pack is called Island Living. It will finally introduce beaches, sunbathing, and a whole host of other tropical themed additions. From cabanas to lounge chairs, the pack has Simmers excited to head to tropical climes.
For those who have been playing The Sims for a while, there will inevitably be comparisons between this and previous tropical themes packs. So how does it compare? What are we seeing the return of and what’s completely different? Here are 5 things from The Sims 2: Bon Voyage which are making a return and 5 features of The Sims 4: Island Living which are entirely new.
In Sims 2, your Sims could plunder a pirate ship and gather beach collectibles. This is making a return, just in a slightly different way. We've seen that Sims can search for seashells, as well as gain collectibles from exploring caves on the island, scuba diving, and using traps in the ocean.
In total, there are 2 new collections to discover. These are seashells and buried treasure. There are also some new fish. We do not know if you will be able to collect butterflies, but they are present on the island.
You can also form relationships with dolphins. Simply go into the sea and find one. As you begin to talk to and pet the dolphin, more options will open up. Talking to dolphins will also increase your social need and can provide a happiness boost.
Once you've built up a bond, you can rub their belly, ask them to perform tricks, and even get them to hunt for collectibles. Other interactions include feeding, naming, and splashing them.
Swimming in the ocean is also back. The coastal waters of Sulani will be fully available to explore. All Sims (with the exception of babies) can enter the ocean. Even toddlers can splash in the shallows. This is currently limited to Sulani but may roll out to other worlds in the future.
As well as swimming, you can also snorkel, scuba dive, or simply float about. You cannot go under the water with Sims, though, as there is no deep sea diving view. However, there are sharks and other interesting creatures lurking.
For speedier Sims, there are also aqua-zips and boats available. These appear to have a hidden skill associated with them, as Sims who've been riding a while can perform tricks. You can also customize them.
The island has some danger with an active volcano in one of the neighborhoods. This can and does erupt, sending lava rocks into nearby locations. If your Sims touch the hot rocks, they will catch on fire.
Thankfully (or not, depending on how you play the game), neighbors are very helpful and often on hand with a fire extinguisher. Once the hot rocks cool, you can break them open and find metals or jewels inside.
Sandcastles are also back again. Sims can head to the beach and build a variety of different sculptures in the sand, including gnomes and even a cow plant. There is no age limit on the fun, with anyone from toddler age and up being able to play in the sand.
It’s also a group activity, with Sims able to help each other. Once done, you can admire your work. Just watch out for toddlers who can also have a spectacular tantrum and destroy it all!
For Sims who don't want a career, you can now have a more casual job. These include part-time jobs previously only available to teens. The new full list of part-time jobs comprises babysitter, barista, diver, fast food employee, fisherman, and lifeguard. You can even choose from a couple of different options for hours, with either morning or night-time shifts available.
Alongside these are new odd jobs: one-off jobs which you can do to earn some extra Simoleons. These include paid beach-cleaning volunteer work, taking photos, moving furniture, and helping hookup a TV. They are unique to the island and appear to function similarly to freelance career jobs, with some being rabbit holes and others being interactive.
Sims 2 allowed you to learn local dances and eat local food. Sims 4 is taking this to the extreme. The island has its own unique culture which includes new food, new ways of cooking, and new customs and festivals.
There are also island spirits who respond to you and how you treat their ancestral home. If you take care of the island, then the interactions are more likely to be positive. The island is a very friendly place and neighbors will be more on hand than they are in previous worlds. They’ve also stopped bringing 'round fruitcake, much to the relief of fruitcake-hating sims.
The off-the-grid trait is coming and appears to be for all players. This is a nice touch as it will work well for those wanting a castaway experience or playing related challenges. It will cut off your lot from the grid. This means no electricity and no running water. It also means no bills!
While you cannot use TVs, computers, or other electrical items, candle-based lighting works. You can also shower in the waterfall on the new island, perfect for a castaway story. However, you cannot deliberately pee in the sea. (Thanks, Deligracy.)
Sunbathing is also making a return. Sims can sunbathe in clothing or in the nude. Sims can get sunburnt and the white lines will reflect the clothing they were wearing at the time. If you choose the apply suncream action, it will allow you to tan instead of burn. You can sunbathe on the new lounge chairs or on the pool floats. Just watch out—passers-by can and will prank sunbathers, giving them crazy tan lines.
Sunbathing is not restricted to Sulani, but Sims will only be able to sunbathe if Island Living is installed. It also interacts with seasons, meaning Sims cannot sunbathe if the weather is cloudy and overcast.
Unlike the Sims 2: Bon Voyage worlds, the island of Sulani is not just a vacation destination. It’s a fully liveable world with community events and its own unique culture. It comprises 3 separate neighborhoods and 14 lots. Lot sizes range from a 20x20 up to a 50x50.
With its beautiful beaches and gorgeous cabanas, Sulani offers a different pace of life to other Sims 4 worlds. The sun is shining and the ocean is right outside your front door—quite literally for some lots. Just make sure you take care of the island by cleaning up the trash and removing graffiti—it will be worth it!