I, by no means, am an expert in The Sims. With that said, Island Living is the latest expansion for The Sims 4 and the idea of a gorgeous island getaway was definitely what I needed. What I found is that being a mermaid isn’t as freeing as I thought.
Thankfully, my sister Samantha is this incredible expert in all things Sims and not only did I get her to sit down and help me figure out just what I should be doing but she also nabbed some incredible pictures for me. In fact, you’re going to see real quick just which ones are mine by a brief scan of them. Seeing as how I tinkered with both the PlayStation 4 version and the PC version, I wanted to check out just which place was a good fit for me to dip my toes in the cool teal waters of these new Sim islands.
I know that I’m absolutely ZERO PERCENT good at playing The Sims, but I think I’m getting better. Typically, I take a look at how my sister plays casually and I then attempt to do something similar, yet flawed entirely. See, Samantha does these lovely challenges and I think that’s pretty easy for her since she’s already mastered the basics and even the advanced levels. Yet, I have meltdowns when a vampire comes and knocks on my door. When I was setting up to try this expansion out, I wanted her advice on what to do and where to start because if you set me off on my own in a game with this level of micro-managing, I tend to get overwhelmed quick. Thankfully, the point of Island Living is to re-freaking-lax. Something I definitely need to work on.
When I first wandered about the Islands, I was doing so as my Mermaid. Again, I’m not the best at this entire thing but I definitely maneuver the UI like a geriatric turtle so when I would decide what I wanted my Mermaid to do, I would’ve already lost her on the screen. Glancing down to the left I would notice quickly that, once again, she dove into the water. Trying to get my Mermaid out of the water was actually proving far more difficult than I figured and what’s funny was that she was doing WHAT SHE WAS SUPPOSED TO. She’s a MERMAID, for heaven’s sake. Yet, when your Sim is very definitely distracted by water and you’re trying to get them a job and to get them to eat — it can sometimes lose its charm for panicky types like myself.
One of the really beautiful aspects of this game is its attention to detail within the islands and the culture of them. Building a culture that has its own people and seems to pay homage to working and living within their community is pretty great when you look at how sometimes the other areas in The Sims are rather cookie-cutter. Island Living feels fully realized and impressive with its scope. Sure, you can be a Merfolk but what I enjoyed the most was my little accidental clone of my buddy Sabai who became a deep sea fisherman and a master gardener on a gorgeous island that opened its arms to him living on it.
Eventually, I decided to try and make a human that wouldn’t go half-fish whenever they touched water. Through a complete accident as I went through the clothing and aesthetic of an island dweller, I made my buddy Sabai. So, I named him Sabai and went about his brand new island life making him a deep sea fisherman who studied fish and ethical means of supporting fishing for the island communities. When he was at home, he read books, studied cooking and put together a garden that let him supplement his groceries with his own vegan meals.
That’s another neat thing I saw, that Sims could actually be vegan and it showed when food items were such. Sabai made himself a friend thanks to the awesome little island welcome wagon that showed up on his first night in his new house and they would hit up adorable events together. Honestly, I was loving just sitting back and seeing what he would get up to without my interference once I set him up. Well, that was until the ‘Birthday Party’ situation…
You’re wondering about the Birthday Party, right? Well, after awhile my Young Adult Sabai eventually was old enough to have a birthday and age up into an adult, right? If you’re unaware of why this situation could get sticky, please scroll back up and remind yourself that I’m terrible at this game. I was playing alone, no Samantha to help guide my hand and definitely in a soft and quiet zen space. Sabai was currently busy at an event when the game let me know that I should set up a birthday party for Sabai, because it was time for him to be an adult. I hit the icon, he aged up to an adult and then I set up a party. Inviting his friends and his BFF Crush over, they danced and ate a lovely dinner which was going great. At the end, I brought out the birthday cake and let Sabai blow out the candles.
…and then Sabai turned into an elderly man. He went from a Young Adult to an Elderly Man in a single day. When this happened, I panicked, gasped and then forced him to walk away from his party and run into his backyard in the middle of the night so nobody would see him. Would it matter? Nope. I just panicked. I force-closed the game because I wasn’t aware that you could age up your Sim THAT EASILY.
Things were so much easier when I was just fussing with Mermaids and building sandcastles and now, well, I have to go back and protect the mortality of my friend. I promise I’ll get better at this game or age-up trying. For the meantime, I just want to go back and enjoy the gorgeous islands, the relaxation and perhaps, well, I can appreciate those things even more now that I’ve danced with Sabai’s mortal coil. We can hope.