The Sims 4 – Island Living Expansion Pack
The Sims 4 Island Living expansion has delivered a ton of new content that promises even more for future Sims 4 content development. Blown away by how much cultural and environmental awareness Island Living brings to the minds of everyone who plays I genuinely appreciate how The Sims 4 team continue to break molds, shine spotlights where they seldom are and highlight traditions in a unique, respectful Sim translation. Sulani is beautiful, water life is way more exciting and respect is overflowing. Where Island Living falls short is Sulani itself is very empty which beckons to the builders to take care of but it would have been great too be able to partake in a luau, see canoe’s on the water, watch fire dancers or do a fire walk, interact with temples, shop at local markets – just to name a few. Sulani is also the perfect setting to expand elderly content, for the first time ever I am enjoying playing an elderly sim but when it comes to youth (especially teenagers) the tropical island attire doesn’t compliment casual youthfulness especially for the males.
Let me emphasize that trying to create extended families in the Sims 4 is a nightmare so thank the Sulani stars that creating a mermaid sim is super-easy! Just check the occult drop down menu where you also have the ability to create a vampire or alien. New cosmetic choices are shimmering tail palettes, along with ocean orientated chest pieces and mermaid-appropriate eye shadow. You also get additional options to swim, skinny dip or even sleep in the water as one might expect of a “merperson,” with an ability to summon a special Azure dolphin which I was so looking forward to but sadly there wasn’t any ritual or fanfare for such a momentous ability. There are also two new traits including “Child of the Ocean,” allowing your sim to change the weather at the blow of a conch shell. Followed by “Child of the Island,” that grants the ability to summon an Island elemental who will let you know if you are keeping in touch with your culture. Should your connection to Sulani waver you can increase it by taking part in activities such as eating traditional Sulani cuisine or drinking kava.
This is where I really begin to appreciate that the Electronic Arts (EA) Sims 4 development team are genuinely invested in paying homage to actual island cultures just like they have done for many other cultures and identities around the world (and beyond.) Just as I relax down memory lane in my island immersion, I then get jolted back to Sims 4 reality with encounters like when my Sim was able to “mermaid kiss” an elemental, making his wife very angry. Or my new neighbors showed up with kava, in place of the traditional welcome fruit cake. It is a potent relaxant and not recommended at all for large or frequent consumption, causing it to be banned in some countries. So like the dolphin summon I can’t help but think that maybe a more profound reason for kava would be more appropriate for a game enjoyed by many ages and nationalities? The “Sulani Volcanic BBQ Searer” makes me a little homesick. I miss food cooked underground but my wistfulness was soon replaced by endearment when neighbors show up randomly to share spare food they have just like my old neighborhood! Other awesome details that tug, my Polynesian heartstrings occurred straight away in the creation screen where you can apply more tribal tattoo’s and adorn a sim with big “Polyhair,” making me want to immerse in Island Living even more prompting thoughts like – “I wish there was a fade/size slider for tattoo’s’” so elders could have them look as aged/authentic and well-loved as they are. Or “I wish there was multiple hair bands, braid and styles of “Polyhair,” for us no cc or mod players. That’s how Sim 4 works, it reels you in and gets your imagination hooked craving more!
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