The Sims 4 added a new type of extra content, game packs. These packs are a middle ground between stuff packs and expansions. While they don’t include as much as an expansion, they are less expensive and add much more to gameplay than stuff packs.
Some of the game packs contain the strongest content currently in The Sims 4. They allow a focus on one specific area, which has proved to be successful. They’ve also allowed for some more unique types of content, which we’ve not seen in the franchise before. So which are the best? Here are the 7 current game packs, ranked.
7 Outdoor Retreat
The very first game pack, Outdoor Retreat, has not aged well. It added a vacation world and new skills, traits and aspirations, centered around outdoor activities. While the idea of a national park type world is great, many players don’t use it on a regular basis, if they even use it at all. There’s also the issue that if you do want to go on vacation and you also have Jungle Adventure, then Selvadorada offers more unique adventures.
While the new skills are a nice addition, they are too tied to Granite Falls, the pack’s vacation world. You have to spend a small fortune going on holiday in order to complete most of the collections and aspirations. This makes the pack more limited than others and earns it a place at the bottom.
6 Dine Out
Dine Out adds interactive restaurants to the game, allowing you to build, customize, run and visit your own unique restaurants. It should have been sitting high at the top of this list. The idea is fantastic and mostly it works well, the problem is that often it doesn’t work at all. Restaurants are one of the glitchiest features in the game. There is so much potential in them but for some reason the bugs have stayed in the kitchen. Squashing one only seems to lead to another. Some of them are mildly irritating but others will leave you frustrated and annoyed if they kick in causing many to steer clear of restaurants entirely.
It’s these bugs combined with the fact that it takes hours and hours of in-game time to go to the restaurant, order and eat, which means that this pack is a great idea but often left untouched by players.
5 Spa Day
Spa Day jumps above Dine Out due to a strong build and buy catalogue. The range of simple tiles for walls and floors often make this a staple pack for builders. When it comes to gameplay however, the pack is less enduring. It’s fun to build and even visit a spa but that fun doesn’t last. Spa Day feels very much like a novelty pack in terms of enduring gameplay. While players with less than wholesome intentions may enjoy having a sauna in their house, to deal with unwanted visitors, most of the gameplay doesn’t work outside of a spa environment.
The only skill commonly used separately is the wellness skill, which allows you to teleport at later levels, making it very handy. However, once it is maxed, many players won’t revisit those yoga mats any time soon.
The Strangerville game pack feels like an experiment in itself. It's the first time a game pack has been used to tell a story within a story. The mystery of the town is incredibly engaging and the story is well thought out and fun to play. The problem is that once you’ve played it there’s no real reason to do so again, although you can if you choose.
This pack ranks slightly higher due to the inclusion of Strangerville itself. The dessert town is interesting and unique and offers a different setting for your own stories. Even if you don’t touch the main storyline again, there's a lot of potential to build your own stories based off its events. Strangerville is quite a divisive pack but for fans of Strange Town from The Sims 2, this feels like a fantastic flash back, allowing you to recapture some of that mystery.
3 Jungle Adventure
At first Jungle Adventure seems like it will have no longevity, just another vacation pack. However, thanks to little touches based around new skills and the world’s culture it’s far more than that and sustains your interest for much longer.The world is stunning to explore but there are also many dangers. Exploring the temples is fun for longer, due to the presence of treasure and the variations in layouts. Navigating the hazards also adds a new dimension to exploration.
If you visit the town area you can also engage with the locals and learn about their culture and customs, including new dances and food. The archaeology skill is also a nice touch, although is limited by its location in Selvadorada.
If you're into gothic architecture or occult sims then this pack is a must. It introduces the fully rounded out occult life state of vampires. As a vampire, you will grow in power and strength over time. There is a skill tree which enables you to add different abilities, powers, and weaknesses. This means you can truly customize the type of vampire you want to be. There’s even an option to be a vampire who never drinks plasma from sims.
While the world of Forgotten Hollow is small, it perfectly fits the occult vibe and the gothic build buy and create-a-sim items are very versatile. The only downside of this pack is that it sends vampires into your other neighborhoods at night, something which you can currently only prevent with mods.
If you're looking for a game pack which gives you the best value then Parenthood is it. It adds a behavior and personality system to all children, meaning they can become good or bad, depending on how you parent them. The pack also adds some fun additions such as cursing, phases, acne, rebellion and even school projects.
Combined with a good range of create-a-sim and build and buy items this game pack is the stand out so far. Being able to shape your child’s manners and other similar traits means that your sims can have a lasting effect on their children, who will gain traits based on their childhood skills and interactions with others. Parenthood is an absolute must for anyone who plays with families. It will allow in-depth, realistic and engaging gameplay in every family you create.
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