On February 26th 2019 EA Games released a special expansion pack for the fourth base installment of the Sims series. This expansion was entitled “Strangerville” and was unlike any other expansion created for the Sims universe ever before. This is because this expansion exists as a more traditional plot based game rather than simply adding a new look and/or element to the existing life simulation.
Players were met with a new town containing a mysterious plague afflicting its residents, a deep secret surrounding a science lab outside of town, and a conspiracy loving man who runs a gift shop near the trailer park — who knows everything that the others won’t talk about. The gift shop is filled with unique items called “Curios” and this article will tell players everything that they need to know about it.
8 Reveal Insider Town Information
Though the Curio Shop is run by a constantly changing stream of conspiracy theorists (which might spark a conspiracy of its own) including Erwin Priers who “interrupted” the second trailer for the game, each and every one of them is privy to the same information about the town.
Other townies may require a bit of bonding before sharing the towns darkest secrets with a new comer; however the Curio shop owners will reveal almost all of the information about the town to any player curious enough to ask. Higher relationships are needed to unlock certain items from the store but information comes free.
7 Special Decor
Amongst the necessary spy gear and mystery related items available at the Curio shop, there are also several new decor items. Lava style lamps, western/illuminati/conspiracy themed pastel posters, armadillo statues, spy themed books, and special branded t shirts are amongst the non-mystery related items available at the shop for a small fee. These unique items are a welcomed addition to any home and all players visiting or residing in Strangerville should give the shops regular inventory a gander while poking around for town secrets.
Note: the description for the lava lamps does imply that they could be alien beacon devices but they pose no danger to playable Sims. The description is simply a playful pitch for the product.
6 Spy On The Citizens
Among the fun spy themed items, there are also items in the Curio shop that are related to attempts at solving the Strangerville mystery. One of the most important items available for purchase at the Curio shop in their regular inventory is the bug devices.
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These devices are small listening devices that, when implanted on suspicious townies, will allow players to listen in on their private conversations from the comfort of their own home. Information taken from the bugging can be used to assemble the evidence dossier or to blackmail bugged townies into helping players solve the mystery.
5 Bring The Theorists Along
One fun little tidbit about the Curio Shop is that players can become friends with its owners through social interactions and, once a relationship (platonic or otherwise) has been established, the Curio Shop owners/workers can accompany players around the town as they attempt to solve the Strangerville mystery.
But, be warned, the Curio Shop owners/workers are not invincible and are vulnerable to the spores in the Science Lab, just as any other citizen is. They will not equip a hazmat suit when exploring the lower levels of the lab and will become quickly infected and possessed if brought along for the first exploration.
4 Unlock the Secret Inventory
Any (good mystery solving) Simmer knows that repeated social interactions will get you exactly where you are wanting to go. And the same is true for unlocking the Secret Inventory at the Curio Shop. While they do maintain a conventional inventory filled with spy items and mystery themed products, they also possess a secret inventory which contains specialized items related to the Strangerville case.
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Gain a high enough relationship with the shops owner, provide them with evidence gathered on the case, and prove that one is a trustworthy source seeking to end the plague afflicting the town and the secret inventory will be revealed and available.
3 Do Not Eat The Bizzare Fruit
It is incredibly tempting but one should avoid eating the special fruit available at the Curio Shop at all costs. Though the fruit is necessary later in the mystery as it helps the player create a cure against the infection plaguing the town, ingesting it is ill-advised and should not be done. However, if players have created a playable family with more than one member, having another (non-mystery dedicated) Sim ingest the bizarre fruit could help the player understand the depths of what is happening in this town and how it truly is affecting its citizens. The interactions and animations available for playable Sims who have ingested the fruit are equally comically and nightmare inducing.
2 Sell The Evidence
The only way to solve a mystery is with evidence. Players can gather evidence through exploring the Science Lab outside of town, photographing the evolution of the strange plants popping up everywhere, interrogating and bugging townies, questioning military personnel as well as local scientists, interacting with the Curio Shop owner, and by exploring the Archives at the local library.
Once enough pieces of evidence has been gathered, players can create a secret dossier and sell that information to the Curio Shop owner/worker in order to gain their trust and access to the secret inventory.
1 All Employees Are Bugged
Bugged Sims have a pulsing white circular orb emanating from their torso so that they can be easily identified to the player. While playing through the expansion, this writer realized that every single Curio Shop owner/worker has this orb. Meaning that they are all bugged.
Who bugged them? Do they bug each other due to their paranoid nature and conspiracy theorist label? Or are they bugged by those trying to shut down any attempt to save the town? Can they be trusted? Truly? Who is listening in on their conversations and will people who interact with them become the next target for the mysterious federal agents that lurk around the town and steal fridges?