Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Review: The Sims 3 Island Paradise (PC)

Crystal-clear waters, beautiful beaches and warm and super sandy beaches. Just another day living in a tropical paradise. But this isn't a typical day for Sims 3 gamers, as The Sims 3 Island Paradise introduces a whole new boatload of gameplay features that makes this more than just the usual Sims 3 expansion. From running a resort, to decking out a houseboat and sailing around isles-a-plenty, to exploring the mysteries under the sea, Island Paradise has more gameplay possibilities than the normal expansion pack.

And what an amazing setting for the new gameplay. Escape the Sims suburbia and cityscapes for the sunny and sandy realm of Isla Paradiso, where every day is a vacation. Unlike the regular Joe working stiff, however, Sims 3 gamers can stay for as long as they want, and gamers will definitely want to, with so many things to enjoy.

Prefer the beaches? Those more inclined for landlubbing may enjoy running a resort. Build and manage a five-star retreat, and even improve the amenities offering based on guests' opinions after checking out. More into sailing searching for high-seas adventure? A houseboat will traverse the waters nicely.

That adventure can be just a dive away, with scuba diving and snorkeling skill-based gameplay. Building those underwater skills needs proper attention, too, as there is the occasional unfriendly "neighbor" lurking beneath the waves, big scary ones with dorsal fins and lots of sharp teeth and a penchant for chomping on unaware Sims in the water. Island Paradise isn't without its supernatural Sims touch, either, as you can become a mermaid with a steady diet of sea kelp.

While all this isn't revolutionary Sims gameplay, at least a few new under-and-above-the-sea and on-the-beach gaming elements provide more than the standard expansion Sims pack offering. So unpack the swimsuit, open up the sunscreen, go find a nice sunny spot on Isla Paradiso's warm beaches, order a margarita, and enjoy one of the last excursions into the Sims 3 franchise as it winds down with Sims 4 just around the next calendar year turn.

Lee Cieniawa

The Good:
‑ Plenty of new sea-faring gameplay additions in a beautiful setting

The Bad:
‑ While building up skills in scuba diving and snorkeling is fun, not as much free roaming under the ocean as one could have liked

Score: 8.5 / 10