Just in time for Christmas, EA Games have released their eight expansion pack for The Sims 3. Seasons allows players to experience all the highs and lows of spring, summer, autumn and winter.
Each season lasts for 7 Sim days. For every season, there’s lots of new things to do – you can pick wildflowers in spring, have water balloon fights in the summer, rake up the leaves in autumn and make snow angels and igloos in the winter. Active Sims can now go skating and snowboarding, play football and swim in the sea. Fun new items include tanning booths, snow cone machines and umbrellas. One particularly interesting new feature is the online dating. Using their computer, Sims can create their own profile to attract and check out potential love interests. You can send and receive messages and if you hit it off; you can set up a date and meet face-to-face. If that happens, let’s hope you didn’t lie on your profile!
Sims feel the full effects of the changing climate so make sure you check out the weather forecast before leaving home. Even if they’re just dashing to the mailbox to pay the bills, they’ll get soaked if they go out in the rain. They can enjoy the warmth on a summer’s day but just remember that tan equals good, burn equals bad. In the colder months, it’s advisable that Sims get a flu shot at the local hospital to avoid that yucky germy feeling that tends to go around every winter. Even with the flu shot, you should still wrap up warm before heading out in to the snow or you’ll risk frostbite. If your Sim does get too cold for comfort, they might freeze up completely – let’s just hope that someone will be concerned enough to defrost you in time…!
With every season, a new festival comes to town. You can get your face painted, take pictures in the photo booth and enjoy different food and activities which vary with the time of year. Avoid the garlic fries if you plan on puckering up at the kissing booth in spring; lick an ice-cream cone to keep cool in the summer, sip on some hot cider before picking up a pumpkin in the autumn and tuck in to gingerbread cookies throughout the winter months.
Every Thursday is a holiday so the little Sims get the day off school and the big Sims don’t have to go to work – hurrah! Love Day comes in Spring and Sims are encouraged to find their soulmates amidst the sudden showers and blossoming flowers. Leisure Day in the summer is a time for friends and families to fire up the barbeque, work on their tans and maybe even set off some fireworks! Autumn sees the arrival of Spooky Day. Carve up a pumpkin, explore the town’s haunted house or bob for apples. Kids and teens can also don a fun costume and go trick-or-treating (although the one time I tried to do this, it wouldn’t work – minor glitch which will hopefully be fixed soon). Last but not least is Snowflake Day in the winter. Turn on the holiday lights, gather around a roaring fire and exchange gifts with your nearest and dearest. If your Sim has a generous boss, they might even receive a holiday bonus! There are also four new types of parties to throw at any time of the year – feast, costume, gift-giving and pool. If you don’t want the pressure of entertaining, keep your fingers crossed and you might be invited to the neighbour’s do instead.
Undoubtedly due to popular demand, the alien are back! These guys were last seen in The Sims 2, whisking away the men of Strangetown and impregnating the poor unfortunates with little green babies! So far, it seems The Sims 3 aliens only take their victims to probe them. The taken are eventually returned to earth, a little shaken but otherwise unharmed.
This is definitely my favourite expansion pack for The Sims 3. The weather adds such a sense of realism to the game and provides fun new challenges. There are lots of new options for your Sims and so many different things to try out. There’s also plenty of attention to detail – for example, I love how the doors and windows frost over and my Sim’s breath becomes visible with the cold. There’s not really many new hairstyles, outfits or traits for your Sims but once you get in to the game, that really won’t matter because there’s just so much else to discover. The Sims games are designed to entertain and stimulate, and this expansion pack does just that. If you’re looking for a great new game this Christmas, I’d definitely recommend that you try Seasons.