Game Rant's Elliot Volkman reviews The Sims 3: Barnacle Bay
Lower the sails and prepare to drop anchor; we've spotted a new island! The Sims 3 has officially released a new world located in the Simuyan Sea called 'Barnacle Bay'. The island was first founded by pirates and still shows the remains of their lifestyle. There is booty to be found (treasure and new love), a secret pirate hideaway, a wrecked ship turned bar and great new items to decorate your home with.
In the 'Barnacle Bay' add-on you get 18 exclusive items which include either character clothing or items to decorate your homes. From the 18 items, the only one to really make good use of is the Pirate apparel. The rest of them are just pirate-themed decorations and sadly, there is no wrecked ship you can use to create a home. On the other hand, you can eat at Hogan's Deep Sea Diner, a wrecked pirate ship turned restaurant, or purchase it as a partner. Although it would be nice to see what it actually looks like from the inside.
Keep in mind that 'Barnacle Bay' is not a full expansion, but a new official Sims 3 world. Given the size and scope of 'Barnacle Bay', the cost of 1650 SimsPoints is quite reasonable. SimPoints cost $10 USD for 1000 points, so this add-on will cost close to $20 (unless of course, you win it for free from our contest detailed below!). You also have to purchase them in 1,000 point increments, similarly to Microsoft's Microsoft Points system. According to The Sims 3 Exchange, some furniture sets cost just as much as Barnacle Bay, and they do not give you nearly as much bang for your buck.
As this isn't an expansion, there has not really been any additional pirate-themed improvements to the game. The Sims do not partake in any Pirate Simlish (the Sim's native language) interactions, but all of the new households living on 'Barnacle Bay' do have pirate names.
From the screenshot above, you can see most of the new items and apparel in the 'Barnacle Bay' add-on. The closest you can get to a pirate-themed house is with porthole viewing windows, the new driftwood door and a shell wall to protect your treasure.
The flags, statue and other items round out the package, but don't offer much in making the Sims feel better in regards to their environment. Yes, the Sims care about what items are around them. Their environment drastically affects their moods and what they feel like doing. For example, the blue teen girl, Riletta, is forced to sleep in the basement of that small red barn which also includes a tattoo parlor for her mom. Her unfavorable surroundings lead her to eat a lot, play with the only item provided - a video game console - and always want to speak with anyone that approaches her.
It would have been a bit more interesting for EA to implement some pirate-like features and attitudes, but the new items are worth the price if you are a fan of The Sims 3. This is also coming from a person who feels the items for your Xbox Live avatar that cost money are absolutely ridiculous. Overall, it's a great add-on and will hold you over until the Late Night expansion is released October 26.
Be sure to follow @GameRant on Twitter, as you can win one of three copies of the 'Barnacle Bay' add-ons by re-tweeting the following:
'Barnacle Bay' is currently available on PC or Mac in the Sims Exchange for 1650 SimsPoints. You must have the latest game patches and The Sims 3 to use it.