Published on July 22nd, 2013 | by Luis Acosta
Review: The Sims 3 Island Paradise
The Sims 3 Island Paradise
By: Sharon Blackman
July 22nd, 2013
Island Paradise is the newest expansion pack for The Sims 3, and Isla Paradiso is the new world that ships with this, the tenth EP in the franchise. The new world is, indeed, an island paradise, featuring sun-drenched beaches, elegant resorts, boats, mermaids, and all manner of watery activities.
There are beach activities galore. Your sim can sunbathe on a beach towel, pop up an umbrella and nap, or listen to tunes. He can windsurf or water ski. Snorkeling may yield your sim a shell or two, and after bumping up his snorkel skill a few ticks, he will be able to scuba dive. I had expected scuba diving to be a rabbit-hole type of activity, but was pleased to see that you can follow your diving sim to the depths of the ocean, and control his movements along the ocean floor. The various diving spots require differing levels of scuba skill, and each one is a little different. But watch out for sharks.
Sims can now live on houseboats. Just purchase an empty port, select a barge size, and build your floating palace. You can relocate your houseboat permanently, or just move it to your favorite dive spot for a while. Sims have boats they can use to cross any water required to get wherever they need to go, but if your sim is flush with simoleons he can upgrade to a paddleboat, a sailboat, a speedboat or a jet ski.
Your island sim can join the Lifeguard profession, which is a pretty good gig—hanging out on the beach scanning the scenic horizon, and saving a drowning sim every day or so. The other new profession is Deep Sea Diver, which involves collecting marine life and other undersea goodies. Both professions come with a related Lifetime Wish.
Mermaids are the new life state. You can spot a mermaid on land by her (or his) multi-colored legs. A mermaid (or merman) has a special need for hydration, which can be sated by a dip in the pool, the ocean or the shower (rain doesn’t hurt, either). (Bad news, cross-breeders—only a non-occult sim can become a mermaid. No ghost/vampire/werewolf/mermaid combos allowed.)
Your sim can spend his life searching for the various uncharted islands in Isla Paradiso. There are several, and each is unlocked a different way. An entrepreneurial sim can become a Resort Owner, building and operating his own resort empire. Choose the amenities, pricing and quality of your resorts. Operate a chain of cheesy one-star fleabag motels, or build your own five-star resort palace! Do you want to include room service, spa service, a swim-up pool bar? Be prepared for bad reviews from your guests if you don’t have a firewalk or a nice toasty hot tub. Guests may be harsh in their online reviews. No gym, bad food, unchlorinated pool, or (God forbid) bugs? No stars!
There is plenty of new gameplay in this EP, and a boatload of new objects, décor, island togs and hairstyles. There’s even an almost-cute port-a-potty, where sims can fulfill their hygiene and bladder needs in one fell swoop.
I have the Seasons EP installed, and in this world, I turned off Winter and Fall, doubling the length of Summer and Spring. Snow and autumn leaves seem out of place in a tropical paradise. (I also turned off rain—I’m tired of sending my sim out for a great time with his pals and having it all ruined by the infernal eternal downpour. Please, EA, give us control over the amount of rainfall, and send us an umbrella that doesn’t break every other day.)
So what’s the downside of this EP? Well…travel is a bit cumbersome. If you have child or teen sims, it may take them quite a while to get to school if your houseboat is parked on the other side of the world, requiring them to cross two islands and three waterways. Also, relocating your houseboat may be an all-day (or all-night) project for your sim. The community lots are spread across different islands, but if you find yourself having to island hop to do your shopping, just edit the town and pop in an extra grocery store or diner. Or move the school to your own private island. The sim world is yours to command!
There are so many new things to do and see in pretty, sparkly Isla Paradiso that I would rank this as the most entertaining EP in the Sims 3 franchise, second to University Life. They seem to be getting better as they go along. Buy it, and enjoy. But beware the Kraken. (What’s a tropical paradise without a sea monster, right?)