With the release of the new Sims 4 game pack Realm of Magic, spellcasting has finally come to the game. Magic has been a staple for the Sims franchise since the very beginning. The first Sims game gave us Makin Magic, while Sims 2 introduced witches, wizards, and spellcasting in the Apartment Life expansion. Finally, in Sims 3, we gained witches along with a host of other occult lifeforms in the Supernatural expansion.
Every since Sims 4 was released players have been clamouring for magic to be added to the game. It's said to be one of the most requested themes and now, after 5 years, it's finally here. So, does it live up to the hype? Has splitting up occults into individual packs benefited the game or do we need to cast Obliviate and pretend this game pack never existed?
Here are 5 reasons why you should run out and buy Realm of Magic and 5 reasons why you shouldn't.
10 Should Buy: It Has Two New Areas To Explore
The pack comes with the town of Glimmerbrook, a small 5 lot town that contains 2 occupied houses, 1 bar, 1 empty starter home and a blank lot. Once you explore the area you'll also discover a secret portal, which will transport you to a second area, the magical realm.
The magical realm comprises 4 separate areas. You'll arrive outside the magical HQ and can then use portals to explore Casters Alley, the Gardens, and the Dueling Grounds. Each area of the realm can be traveled to with no loading screens and offers different and useful things for spellcasters.
9 Shouldn't Buy: The Pre-Built Lots Are Terrible
As seems to be the case with many recent expansions the pre-built lots are awful. One household of 4 flatmates contains only 3 bedrooms, with what appears to be a master bedroom on the top floor containing a rug in the space I'd expect a bed. The same house also has stairs in the back yard, which go up into the wall.
While this is less of an issue for PC users, who can replace the lots using the gallery, console users don't have this flexibility due to the limitations of the console library feature.
8 Should Buy: You Can Fly A Broom (Or Mop)
Spellcasters can buy a broom from the store in Caster's Alley and then take to the skies for a new, quick and cool looking way to get around.
When flying your sim will mount their broom and zoom into the sky before quickly landing at the site of your choice. This is possible in any world with any of the different brooms available.
From mops to blingy brooms, you're sure to find an option to suit you and then you can enjoy quick travel across your game.
7 Shouldn't Buy: There Are a Lot Of Bugs And Glitches
One of the biggest disappointments in this game is the number of bugs and glitches. Firstly there are a lot of clipping errors. Sages will teach you by waving their arms through your body and one of them has hair which appears through his hood. There are also glitches when two sims read near each other, with the books sitting inside one another.
Alongside this are some more serious bugs such as one which puts you into the wall when you venture to the basement. There's also a major one that crashes the entire game if you try and exit create-a-sim while your spellcasters sparkling animations are playing.
6 Should Buy: Spellcasting Is Fun
The new spellcasting system is a lot of fun to play around with. There are 21 spells to learn and 18 potions to master, which gives you some great choices for solving problems or causing mayhem.
The spells fall into 3 schools of magic, practical, mischief and uncontrolled. Each one groups spells together and allows you to master a specific area. Your talent tree will also support these branches.
There is a range of customization options and you can learn as many spells as you like, regardless of what your talents are. Then you are free to duel, cast spells and have a blast, often quite literally.
5 Shouldn't Buy: Everyone Is A Spellcaster
Can you spot the odd one out in this picture? Not only does Keala Hoapili belong in Sulani but she even copied my sims outfit. She's not the only interloping townie either. Almost all of the pre-made sims will appear in the magical realm and begin casting spells. It's like discovering that your entire town of muggles has suddenly become proficient in magic overnight.
It appears that you can prevent this immersion ruining the experience but it's a pain to do. It requires making sure every pre-made family in the entire world is marked as played. Not an easy task by any means. If you can't be bothered to do this then expect to encounter Bob Pancakes stirring a cauldron.
4 Should Buy: There Are New Gothic And Bohemian Fashions
The pack comes with a range of new fashion items. These include some bohemian and hippy looks, some traditional looks and some gothic ones. There is a reasonable range and unless you love capes, robes, and pointy hats you'll find something to suit your style.
While some are very occult like others are more versatile and could fit in with existing items. The Strangerville clothing especially will match well with this selection. However, it should be mentioned that the create-a-sim items are only for teens and above, although this is sadly not uncommon for game packs.
3 Shouldn't Buy: The Swatches Don't Match
Why does this two-piece suit have swatches that don't match? Both are black but yet for some inexplicable reason, they aren't the same shade of black so you can't match them together. There are also major issues with many of the other colors, with very few actually matching.
You might assume that the logic is to mix and match but that doesn't work either as the white trousers clash weirdly with the white shirt. This suit looks great but only for those who like to clash their color choices.
2 Should Buy: Build And Buy Items Are More Versatile Than Expected
In such a limited themed pack you'd expect the build and buy items to be difficult to use but with this pack that's not the case. While some things, such as the cauldron and wand case, are obviously occult others are much more versatile.
There are Art Nouveau style doors and windows in different sizes, some chairs, a table, wallpaper and flooring all of which would look at home in a regular house. The pack even includes a new kitchen, something which is desperately needed.
1 Shouldn't Buy: The Kitchen Comes With A Catch
In good news, this kitchen comes with an island. In bad news, there are no wall cabinets, something which is especially annoying if you want to put the units in a large high ceilings occult-themed room.
Kitchens are a longstanding joke at this point. Is it too much to ask for a kitchen that has matching base units, islands and wall units? Apparently so, since most of the kitchens in-game are missing either one or the other. It's a huge disappointment since the units are really nice and very unique.