The Sims 3 launches the first expansion pack, World Adventures, which features adventures in China, France, and Egypt. Different locales and new items/actions within the same interface make this installation yet another must have expansion. Begin the adventure by choosing a vacation party (usually your immediate family and other Sims you have the strongest relationships with; toddlers and pregnant women not included). Players can easily coral the party (even better when "free will" is turned off) and maneuver through fun hotspots for food, culture, shopping, and, of course, adventure. The adventures open up an expanded role playing experience – a welcome addition to the already deeply involving Sims 3 game.
Vacation accommodations are always important. In this installment, length of stay depends on the goals and adventures players complete. Completing them can increase one's "visa" for longer stays. Vacations longer than three days are ideal and eventually progress into 15 day adventures in the vacation home, a definite step up from the initial “base camp” settings. In the beginning, players peruse a display board and choose base missions while experiencing secondary and special missions along the way.
New skills include martial arts, nectar (a sim beverage) making, and photography, which yield profession tracks like disciplined, adventurous, and photographer’s eye. New items exist in shops and various Sim interactions. Players can buy several great items while also selling items they find.
New activities include treasure hunting in Al Simhara, Egypt; fireworks in Shang Simla, China; and nectar-making in Champs Les Sims, France. These activities will even follow you home as you practice them with others and share and/or display your unique items. The activities incorporate various difficulty levels while chaining together with other activities. For example, Sims can not defeat mummies until they learn martial art skills.
Incorporation between Sims' travels and their home life represents the strongest game element here. Sims can bring souvenirs home and continue interactions with Sims they meet on the road. Players can also bring home a new basement building option from Egypt. Basements offer up to four levels for that special architectural masterpiece or “man cave.”
Hidden stairways, object “foggers,” floor switches, wells, portal connection, and traps ensure this underground area excites and surprises. The traps and other danger-filled objects open up expanded puzzle play. Many solutions incorporate common sense but the real appeal here is the creation of the special areas. Players can evoke Indiana Jones-type logic to maneuver through elaborate set ups.
Each destination offers common elements like lifetime happiness points, which can eventually lead Sims to zero cost rewards and shorter sleep times plus more unique properties like inappropriate behavior without consequences and “stone hearted” emotion deletion.
Players can expect similar experiences in the three Sims 3 World Adventures areas as in real life. Egypt also has snake charming, pyramids, tombs, and secret chambers and pathways. China offers fireworks, Terracotta soldiers, gardens, peaceful settings, fortune cookies, and an appealing oriental style. The martial arts gameplay including sparring and great take home training items like a training dummy, special books, and a board breaker. France offers great food, cafes, medieval culture, scooters, and mysteries to solve.
The high content and replay value make this expansion worth the price. Loading times can slow down the action, so make sure your computer is prepared (check minimum requirements). Future updates will help smooth some existing issues but planning play and thoughtful management skills can eliminate minor frustrations.
This game features a great Simlish song soundtrack featuring real musicians, including Nelly Furtado, LeAnn Rimes, and Fefe Dobson, plus Sims sing songs at home that they learn on vacation. Register the game to get the Explorer’s Loot item group plus 1,000 SimPoints ($10 worth) for use at The Sims 3 Store.
The new The Sims 3 Create a World Tool – BETA allows new environment creation or modification of the base Sims 3 communities of Sunset Valley and Riverview. This tool also lets players combine objects and items from The Sims 3 World Adventures.
Requires The Sims 3 or The Sims 3 Collector’s Edition on PC/Mac to play.
The Sims 3: World Adventures is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB for crude humor, sexual themes, and violence. This game can also be found currently on Mac, as well as iPhone and iPod touch in early 2010.