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The Sims 3: Island Paradise
Score: 97%
Publisher: EA Games
Developer: The Sims Studio
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Simulation


New Location:

Your new town for The Sims 3: Island Paradise is Isla Paradiso. Itís actually a town that covers several different tiny islands, most of which are not connected by bridges. This means your Sims will take boat taxis or their own boats to island hop. I love this new town. Iíve very large, at least as big as Dragon Valley, with a lot of landscaping. If youíve ever been to Hawaii, I really think thatís what these islands were based on. The terrain simply isnít even on an island and theyíve done a perfect job copying this. Of course, that means that you arenít going to be able to build houses as easily as you used to, but they have also added stilted foundations to help you deal with this bumpy terrain and to make it possible to build your house directly on the water.

Along with building your houses directly on the water, you can also have your family live in a houseboat. There are pre-made families to choose from that cover all of these options. There are also choices for you to move in or create a household on any of these new options. It feels to me like Island Paradise lends itself more to using a pre-made family. They start with a lot more money in Island Paradise than pre-mades in the other games. There is one household that is a single bachelor who starts with $90,000! You can still create one or move in another household, but I found when I did that, I spent a whole lot more time just trying to get the family established rather than enjoying all the fruits of paradise.


New Hopes, Dreams, and Even Sims:

First off, there is a new Sims "Life State," the Mermaid. You canít create a mermaid, but you can choose to play as one on some of the pre-made families or marry a mermaid. You can also turn your Sim into a mermaid by eating a special plant. Mermaids have some special requirements. They donít have a hygiene meter. Instead, theirs is a hydration meter. A mermaid must stay in the water enough to keep this meter up or they will die of dehydration. Pools will help, but salt water is best. They will have to go to the ocean from time to time or it will affect their mood. Something to note is that woohooing in the shower will not restore a mermaidís hydration as it will a humanís hygiene. Mermaids also will not get full on normal food. You will need to feed them fish or kelp. You can use a green dragon to increase their hunger to full.

There are some new lifetime wishes and rewards. One of the new lifetime wishes is Grand Explorer, which is a bit more difficult than some of the previous lifetime wishes, but it also has a higher reward. Plus, it requires you to comb beaches, dive underwater, search resorts, and more to find pieces of maps, which is a lot of fun! Another is Presenting a Perfect Aquarium Lifetime, which requires you to collect 15 perfect fish for your aquarium(s). 15 fish is easy, but catching 15 perfect ones will take you some time. As far as the lifetime rewards go, Friend of the Kraken is pretty cool. The Kraken is a giant sea beast that attacks boats. If you are his friend, not only will he not attack you, but you can also send him to attack other peopleís boats.


Own Your Own Resort:

Newly added is the option to run a resort. Your first resort is free. You simply go to your phone or computer and choose Become a Resort Owner. The town will give you their failing resort to take over. It definitely isnít as grand as anything else around, but you can make it so if you try! Resorts can be a lot of work if you want to improve them quickly. Of course, you can leave them as they are and gain a small amount of money each day if you want. Personally, I recommend improvements as they are a great source of income.

You can improve your resort just as if it were a house. You can construct the area and buy everything. You wonít do much with the guests rooms as they are all part of the resort tower. To upgrade them, you will simply click on the tower and choose upgrade. What you really need to worry about are the common guest areas including pool (which I recommend you build first), restaurant, and any other extras you can buy. You will find the resort items easiest if you sort by function. Resort is the last option as it is the newest. Once you place buffet tables, you can control what your kitchen is serving and how good the food is. Itís relatively cheap to upgrade the food and will make your guests very happy, so I recommend that early on as well. Just keep going and you will have a 5 star resort before long. You can also use the Hotel Mogul lifetime reward to get more money out of your resort which is always helpful!


Swimming with the Fishes:

Your Sims can now go diving at dive spots, once they learn that skill. They need to start with snorkeling first. Once you can dive, you can watch your Sims as they are underwater and control what they do. You are watching them through the water so itís not clear like on land, but it looks perfect for the setting. You have to be careful under water though because you will run out of oxygen before too long, unless you are a mermaid. Underwater there are treasures to be explored, which will let you find pieces of the uncharted island maps, gems, and other treasures. You can fish while you are underwater just by catching the fish, but you have to be quick. Youíll also meet mermaids and mermen underwater. You can talk to them and maybe theyíll go on land with you, if they like you enough.

My final thoughts are that The Sims 3: Island Paradise is, by far, my favorite Sims expansion yet. I love that you can see underwater and I really love the new resort management. I found that it added a whole new level to the game where you are worrying about building and managing rather than just playing with your Sims. Of course, if you donít like the resort addition you donít have to play with it at all, which is also nice. Itís a feature that is added but not forced on you. If youíre looking for a world where you donít have to worry about money, a world where you can just goof off and be on a permanent vacation, Island Paradise is the place for you. If you want to own your own resort, The Sims 3: Island Paradise is also the place for you. I highly recommend any fan of The Sims 3 go pick up Island Paradise today!


-Cyn, GameVortex Communications
AKA Sara Earl
Minimum System Requirements:

2.4 GHz P4 processor or equivalent, 1.5 GB RAM, 128 MB Video Card with support for Pixel Shader 2.0, Microsoft Windows Vista Service Pack 1, at least 6.1 GB of hard drive space with at least 1 GB of additional space for custom content and saved games
  Test System:

OS: Windows 8, CPU: Intel Core i7-3630QM 2.4 GHz, RAM: 16 GB, Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M, Hard Drive: 400 GB free

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