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Easton Green
Easton Green

The Sims 3: World Adventures

The game is reminiscent of previous expansion packs The Sims: Vacation and The Sims 2: Bon Voyage as players can take their Sims away to vacation destinations. The three vacation destination sub-neighborhoods in World Adventures are inspired by real-world countries, though the locations themselves are fictional. In addition to visiting exotic locations, Sims can engage in a number of adventures, make discoveries and explore hidden parts of each sub-neighborhood.

The Sims 3: World Adventures

The Main Feature: TravelThe biggest addition to The Sims 3 brought by World Adventures is the ability to travel to three destinations in the world. This feature acts a bit like a vacation. You'll go home after a set amount of days based on your traveling Sims' combined VISA levels. These VISA points add up and eventually unlock new levels. Having a higher level, combined with lifetime rewards and certificates of partnership with those countries will eventually extend the time frame you can stay in a country from three days to a full eighteen with a single Sim. Other members of your Sim's family who come along will also add their travel days to the tally, bringing it up to a potential of 72 days in a foreign land.

The New Travel DestinationsSimmers can travel to three places from around the world. In travel destinations, you can meet with the locals and form new friendships, experience an entirely different map to explore and pursue adventures. There is a specific skill associated with each area, which will be detailed in their associated guides. The new locations are:

Old Skills' Involvement in World AdventuresThankfully, if your Sim is stuck at home in between adventures there's still plenty to do. Work on the old skills, namely fishing, cooking and charisma, in order to get new options when adventuring. It'll help a lot when you're tasked to convince villagers or fish for a particular catch if your Sim is already skilled in those areas. You'll also need a way to make money quickly if you want to be able to afford all those trips. The base price for a 3 day stay starts at $1300 for for China, $1600 for Egypt and $1900 for France. There is a nice discount for longer trips as you improve the VISA level. The new jetsetter lifetime reward provides a discount of around 20% for all trips.

There are of course new traits to augment the new skills and travel itself. Sims with the Adventurous trait will experience less downtime in between adventures and be happiest when they are off exploring the exotic destinations. Disciplined Sims will find Martial Arts an easy skill to master, and be better at it in general. Photographer's Eye will increase the rate a Sim learns Photography and create higher quality pictures they can sell. There doesn't seem to be any trait for Nectar Making, although gardening is always a good to accompany this skill, as Green Thumbs will raise perfect plants faster than other Sims, making some very fine Nectar indeed.

Additions to Existing SkillsThere's a ton of new content out there for players who love the fishing, collecting, cooking and gardening skills. There are several new types of gems, gem cuts, and metals like Mummitomium. Players who find the rare tiberium rocks can save them until they turn radioactive and sell them for a hefty sum. Frogs, Crawfish, Crocodiles, Mummy Fish, Dragon Fish and Koi are all caught out in the world. Recipes for each region have been added to the recipe book.

All these changes to existing skills have led to tweaks in the way the challenges for those skills work. For example, at one time you needed to catch all fish in the game for one fishing challenge. Now you need catch only 20 of those types. This isn't hard, but most of these challenges will require your Sim to travel to one of the new locations to find the next new thing. This is good, as it lends a more adventurous tone to the world with plenty of exploration to be done.

Luckily, exploring pyramids and burial grounds are just a small part of what World Adventures is all about. There are plenty of shops to visit and lots of new friends to make, and many of those elements are incorporated into the adventures. Having to convince a family to let you into their home to search for a hidden book in their basement, or trying to get three random people to give their honest opinion about a local business, reveal more of the evolutionary gameplay that attract so many players to the series in the first place. At one point, we were asked to play matchmaker for two Sims but wound up falling in love with the girl ourselves and, in the midst of it going oh-so-right, found ourselves confronted by male members of the household and being asked to leave amid a flurry of bright red minus signs. In addition to coming back with memories, the discoveries you make will also find their way into your Sims' homes. Whether you put a priceless relic you looted from a tomb on your coffee table, set up a fortune cookie machine in your garage, or even invite foreigners over for a cup of nectar, the designers have done a good job ensuring that you're not simply leaving all the adventure behind when you come back to your regular world. You can even add basements to your houses now and create your own little mini-tombs complete with traps, puzzles and complex triggers, which are sure to break the ice at naughty parties.

World Adventures fixes that - it's a smart response to the problem of your Sims stealing too much of your fun, and to justified accusations that The Sims 3's open world failed to shake up the venerable formula as much as had been hoped. Whilst on holiday, your Sims can take on quests. Maybe it's getting two other Sims to fall in love, maybe it's picking up pieces of rare metal scattered across certain bits of the landscape or maybe, and most appealingly, it's raiding an underground tomb.

The Egyptian tomb we entered was well lit with torches and consisted of equal parts stony walls and watery pools that could be navigated by swimming. Just like in the original version of The Sims 3, you can still use your mouse to give movement commands and other orders to your sims, but World Adventures has a new fog-of-war system that enshrouds unexplored areas. Fortunately, it's not that hard to see most secrets (unless they've been cleverly hidden). So aside from making sure your sim has lots of provisions, such as plenty of dried food and a portable tent for sleeping (and possibly a few of the handy new "shower-in-a-can" items to deal with personal hygiene issues), exploring a temple is really more about trial and error, sniffing out hidden triggers and playing around with them to figure out what they do.

We carefully explored the ruin by taking a series of branching paths and peeking into every nook and cranny we could find. In World Adventures, it's likely that you'll find yourself using The Sims 3's camera controls more than you have in just about any other Sims game because you'll want to make sure you can locate any hidden goodies, as well as position yourself to interact with objects that are jammed into tight corners or located behind other roadblocks. Diligently searching is usually rewarded with bonus treasures and other goodies, such as special adventure-only coins, which can be used to purchase adventure-specific items from the merchants back at the three different campsites, and money bags (which are full of cold, hard cash). Producer Grant Rodiek suggests that adventuring can actually be profitable enough to be used as a full-on source of income that keeps your sims well fed and well stocked with possessions to make them happy. In fact, the new portable tent item actually, and at long last, makes it possible for your sims to be homeless, property-free itinerants who don't need a house. They can bum around with other sims as long as they like and then pitch a tent when they get sleepy.

In many cases, in the easier tombs that ship with the game, rooms will be laid out in a way that encourages you to poke around. While we didn't find any mummies to leap out of sarcophagi and attack us (the physical body skills of your sims will help you get the upper hand, as will the new martial arts skills you can learn in the Chinese ruins area), we did find plenty of harmless-looking rooms with only a few apparent interactive objects--a trap here or there, a pressure plate, or a sliding statue. You can pull or push statues by lining up your cursor with the direction you want to push or pull, and leaving a statue on top of a pressure plate will keep that plate "triggered," which is a state you may need the plate in to solve the next part of the puzzle. Once we triggered the plates or pressed buttons, we'd find any number of other results--other hidden plates and triggers popping up, traps activating or deactivating, hidden treasures and keys popping up, and stairways going up or down to the next levels. Yes, ruins can have multiple floors and can be created to be absolutely huge. They can be so huge, in fact, that in order to ease your transit time from deep in the dungeon to back to the campsite, you may also find, if you're lucky (or put in yourself, if you use the editing tools), a diving pool your sims can use to instantaneously route back home.

And like with dungeon-crawling RPGs, it's hard to tear yourself away from the tomb raiding once you've started. The actions you take during your subterranean jaunts aren't complex: pull a lever, examine a strange-looking wall, stand on a plate to trigger a door, and so on. However, the moment-to-moment balancing of your sims' needs (such as energy or bladder) enrich the exploration, and the loot you find sweetens the deal, because it affects you outside of the adventure. You'll find relics that you can sell or display in your home, ancient coins that you can use to purchase cool items from a specialty merchant, and more. Additionally, completing adventures raises your visa level, which in turn allows you to take longer vacations and get access to better items from the specialty vendors, among other perks. Yet while the rewards are the biggest part of what makes adventuring so involving, the exploration is entertaining in and of itself. You may need to navigate a hedge maze while retrieving artifacts, look for secret doors, or pray to the statues adorning the area. And, of course, you'll want to take a tent, some morsels of food, and the charmingly illogical "shower in a can" to keep your standard needs met while you trudge about the dim dungeons. 041b061a72

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