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5 New Gameplay Features On The Sims 4: Island Expansion That You'll Be Salty AF To Miss

Electronic Arts officially announced their upcoming expansion pack Sims 4: Island Living last Saturday during the EA Play presentation at E3 2019.

This expansion pack has some similar elements with The Sims 3: Island Paradise, Vacation Island from The Sims: Vacation and Twikki Island from The Sims 2: Bon Voyage.

Island Living lets your Sims escape from the bustling city and live on the laid-back island of Sulani. Your Sims will have a beach house to live in, based on your chosen location of the island. And yes, you can even have your Sim stay close to an active volcano.

But all that aside, what would it be like to actually play it?

We’ve watched quite a few gameplay videos in anticipation, and here are five things that you need to know about the upcoming expansion pack for Sims 4.

1. Have your very own mermaid Sim

You might never get to be a mermaid, but at least your Sim can be one.

In the Create A Sim, you will get the opportunity to vicariously transform a Sim into your dream mermaid. Special traits of your mermaid Sim include hair colour in different shades, extraordinary mermaid eyes, feisty teeth, colourful mermaid tops, and tails with scales and shimmering lights. Or, if that’s not your fancy, why not a merman, or an evil siren?

Your mermaid Sim will only be able to transform when they go into the water—this includes bathtubs. And if you’ve read a few mermaid stories, you’d know that your mermaid Sim won’t be able to stay away from the water long as they’ll need to maintain their Hydration levels (this replaces the Hygiene meter).

If you have a pre-built Sim, you can transform them into a human (or vice versa) by making them eat sea kelp.

Mermaids have special powers to lure the human Sims­—singing lullabies and giving mermaid kisses being among them. These require Hydration points to initiate the actions.

For those with a darker side (and don’t pretend you don’t), evil siren Sims can drown other Sims by using a deep sea entity.

The big question on everyone’s mind: Yes, you can make your Sims ‘Woohoo’ and have mermaid kids. Kids and toddlers do not transform into a mermaid state until they are in their teens.

In the sea, your mermaid Sim will be able to call a dolphin friend (requires 30 Hydration points) and interact with it, such as petting, doing tricks, belly rubs, and asking the dolphin to fetch items.

More options become available as your mermaid Sim’s relationship with the dolphin becomes closer.

Note that normal Sims can also befriend dolphins.

2. Dip, swim and splash in the ocean

Unlike the earlier expansion packs, your Sim actually gets to have fun in the ocean.

By heading over to the buoy area, activities like fishing, sailing boats, chilling on the floating tubes, swimming, and snorkeling become available.

An exciting addition to look out for is riding the aquazip (basically, a jet-ski) across the ocean. You can make your Sim pull off awesome tricks on water, complete with fireworks and streamers. Add-ons such as changing the aquazip’s colour require you to pay Simoleons.

But be careful not to stay out in the sun too long. Sims can get tanned, and even sunburnt, though we’re not sure what the penalties for that are yet.

3. Earn more Simoleons from part-time jobs

There are now three part-time jobs to choose from—diver, fisherman, and lifeguard.

Similar to the previous expansions, your job levels depend on the fit with your Sim’s skills and traits. For example, swimming in the ocean and working as a lifeguard is part of the revamped fitness skill.

Also, there are now 2 new traits, and your chosen Sim’s traits many not be compatible with the job you want. The Sims with a “Child of The Island” trait enjoy fishing. However, the Sims with “Child of The Ocean”, who loves marine animals, cannot work as fishermen.

Another option for Sims to earn more Simoleons is working in odd jobs. Each job provides details such as suitable for the Sim’s skill level, amount of Simoleons earned, working hours and timeline (either start as soon as possible or to have the job done by a particular time).

At times, your Sim may be asked to work outside the island for a few hours. Or you can go fishing to earn some Simoleons, too.

As a fun new addition, there’s also a new aspiration: Beach Life. Basically, a Sim with this feels fulfilled by a simple life on the island.

4. Get your hands dirty by cleaning the environment

A lot of mass media now sees fit to sledgehammer you with environmental messages, and this expansion is no different.

Inspired by the lack of awareness of preserving the eco-system, the development team came up with the conservationist—environmental manager and marine biologist—as one of the career options for users.

As a conservationist, your Sim is required to do research and clean up the garbage around the island. The tasks begin with working from home and surveying the island. As you advance your Sim’s skills, they will join the team and clean up the island together. The conservationist’s main tasks will be available at Mua Pel’am district.

By doing more tasks, you will be able to see more luscious greenery, sandy beaches, clear waters, and even butterflies, according to the developers.

The tasks are available on certain number of days and hours so your Sim will have their own free time to do other part-time jobs.

5. Embrace local Polynesian-esque culture

Local festivals and activities are held every night at the main square. This is where your Sim can join in the fun and learn about the culture.

Activities include cooking mouth-watering feasts, performing fire shows and traditional dances, and having a Kava (a traditional peppery root) drink party. Your Sim will get to learn how to make Kava drinks and have their own party, too.

Whileinteracting with the locals, there is an option where you can listen to thestories about the island of Sulani.

Getting closer with the locals and neighbours, means that they will come to the rescue whenever you are in trouble. One of the situations to look forward to is when they come to extinguish your Sim immediately after you curiously touch the lava rock (remember the active volcano?).

Your Sim will also have interactions with the Sulani spirits who appear from time to time at different parts of the island. These spirits will give missions which tell the Sims how they should take care of the island. Some of them may punish you severely if your Sim made mistakes, or doesn’t care for the environment.

And as a reward, if your Sims are very “in touch with the land”, they can use the special trait to unlock some new behaviours.

Sims 4: Island Living, priced at RM228.32 (USD54.90), will be coming to Mac and Windows PC on June 21, and to Playstation 4 and Xbox One on July 16. Learn more about the game by visiting their official website.

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