Sims will go swimming with the fishes, and sharks, in The Sims 3: Island Paradise.
The Sims 3 Island Paradise, the next expansion pack for The Sims 3, allows your Sims to explore the wondrous new world of Isla Paradiso, an island surrounded by tranquil seas and smaller islands for you to discover.
Isla Paradiso is a tropical haven and hide-away, a place for relaxation and recreation, a place where your Sim can let down their hair and be spoiled in the beauty of this stunning paradise island. You can choose to be the tourist hopping back and forth from the various ports via a yellow speed boat, get around with a wind surfing board or take your home with you by building a houseboat. Either way, your Sims life on the islands will be both relaxing and filled with adventure.
My experience with the new expansion pack gave me the choice of touring the islands or becoming a holiday resort manager. I chose to begin by having a look around and exploring, mainly because I wanted to know more about what was lurking in the deep ocean. Once you’re on the island, you can choose to purchase a houseboat, regular home or drop straight into owning a resort. I picked a house at random, threw my Sims stuff in the kitchen and headed straight out into the glistening ocean. My Sim needed no encouragement, and jumped straight in to swim to the first area of exploration.
It’s hard to chose which port to investigate first because there are so many of them scattered around the main island. Beginning my journey, my Sim swam a fair distance to Hobart’s hideway, a diving area marked with just a buoy bobbing away on the surface of the water. To begin with, you can only swim and snorkel in the area. Diving has to be unlocked and you have to gain snorkel experience before you can explore under the sea. However, once you’ve gained this experience, you can dive to the bottom and explore the sea bed, collect fish and gather shells.
There are a wide variety of ocean fish to collect, and the first fish that I caught was a goldfish. At this point I laughed to myself, as I had expected my first catch to be a sea bass or something of a more sizable proportion. However, the goldfish had to suffice and it went straight into the inventory. Maybe my Sim will cook it later, or sell it on before it starts smelling.
Exploring the oceans of Island Paradise is an exciting experience, mainly because you’re not quite sure what you will encounter along the way. The sea bed has a selection of objects embedded in its golden sands, from ship wrecks to treasure chests. Swimming along the bottom of the sea bed, maneuvering in and out of the glowing pink coral reefs, you’ll find fish that swim close by and sharks lurking in the deep caverns. Nothing quite prepares you for a shark attacking your Sim from out of the blue. My Sim’s first experience with a shark involved a punch up, leaving my Sim with stars circling around her head. Yes, She had escaped the perils of the shark and hadn’t been eaten, but I wasn’t sure why my Sim hadn’t been swallowed whole.
Dizzy and slightly confused, my Sim swam through the water and in the distance, a movement sparked my interest. Curiously, She swam forward and there, swimming in front of her, was a mermaid. With her dignity intact, she had the familiar mermaid tail and two stars plastered on her curvaceous breasts. Unfortunately when approached she disappeared, but later returned in the game to greet my Sim at her home.
The mermaids are an exotic sea creature, and have obviously adapted to life on land very well. Mermaids like to eat regular food, but they do prefer items from the sea, like fish and kelp. Luckily kelp can be harvested on the dive lots, so there’s never a lack of resources for them. However, the one thing to remember is that a mermaids skin can easily dry out, so it requires constant hydration. If you decide to become a mermaid yourself, make sure that you have a fair amount of kelp, take regular showers and spend plenty of time in the ocean. If a mermaids hydration motive drops too low, they begin to dry up and will get a visit from the Grim Reaper. The mermaid’s natural habitat is the ocean and they are required to swim regularly or they will eventually develop a salt water deficiency. If this occurs, it will result in them losing their scales and tails, and transform them back into regular Sims.
Choosing how to spend your time on the island is down to you. You can build a houseboat and hop from port to port. Windsurfing, fishing or just chilling out in the many island resort facilities available. The choice is yours, there are many options to explore with this expansion and players will always find something new and interesting to do.
If you wish to become a resort manager and own your very own holiday resort, the tools made available to you are highly extensive. Resort management gives players the opportunity to build their very own island haven from scratch, take on a pre-designed resort or work with a selection of blueprints. Customization is a key feature to this new expansion pack and creativity is one click of a mouse away.
Available in the blueprint preview mode are; lobbies, guest rooms, gyms, resort dining areas, bars and lounges, ballrooms and wedding chapels, outdoor party and pool areas. At the end of the day, whether you want your hotel to reach a five-star status or you’re happy to have a modest resort to call your own, Island Paradise offers different options for everyone.
Once I had explored the island, I set up my own hotel called ‘Turtlegirl’s Tavern’, which was just a couple of minutes walk from the beach. Resort management can be very hands-on and you owe it to your customers to get it right.
At first, I hired someone to handle the front desk, while I explored the deeper layers of business management. Firstly, once you’ve hired staff, you can assign them a resort uniform, whereby you can customize everything from the hair and make-up to the type of attire they will be wearing. After customizing the staff look, you can then set their shifts. Shifts are set from 9am to 5pm, 5pm to 1am and the graveyard shift from 1am to 9am. All of these shifts require upkeep and maintenance for a price. Everything about running your own resort will cost you Simoleons – whether you choose to select low, medium, or high quality, everything costs. The resort finances are set around each section of your building and you’ll have to work with amenities type, operational costs and wages, and it’s up to you to find a good balance.
Customers will leave their reviews about your hotel, giving their final verdict, whether they will stay longer or visit again. They will also let you know if they disliked the resort or if it needed something else to entice them back. It’s useful to read their reviews, because it gives you some insight into what your customers need to make it the perfect holiday destination.
But my time at the Island Paradise had come to an end. There was still so much more to do, from designing the perfect houseboat with multiple floors and an all-in-one bathroom, to the new career of being a lifeguard and saving Sims from drowning. Oh, and did I mention the Kraken?
Pack your bikini and snorkel, The Sims 3: Island Paradise will be available from June 25th and can be pre-ordered now.