The Sims 3: World Adventures First Impressions - France
As The Sims isn’t the kind of game you can fully absorb in one sitting, rather than throw together a rushed review of the Sims 3: World Adventures expansion pack, I’ve compiled the screenshots I took from my first experience with the game.
Before we get to the photos and my impressions on the expansion, I should mention that I hit a couple of snags after installing it. I set the game up on my Mac, so it’s possible this first thing is a platform issue. After registering the expansion pack, I attempted to download and install the free “Explorer’s Loot” set from TheSims3.com. I’m not sure if it’s because my preferences are to download to The Sims 3 app rather than The Sims 3: World Adventure app or something else but when I check the launcher, I’m not seeing any new downloads to install. The old downloads are still there, so it could be a preference issue. I have no idea how to change the download preferences to the site but changing browsers didn’t do the trick so that’s something I’m going to have to mess around with.
The other issue I had was a save error that appears to be a new problem with the expansion pack. After playing for a while, I attempted to save the game, I got an error message. I found that EA has that issue posted on their site. The fix is simple enough. If you’re getting a save error, opt to “Save As.” You’ll have to save it as a new game but after that clicking “Save” works without the error (so if you’re a save-freak like me, you don’t need to keep saving as a new game until EA fixes this problem).
Ok, that’s it for the problems. As for my impressions of the game, like when I first installed The Sims 3, starting up the WA expansion pack, I felt like a kid in a toy store. I didn’t know where to look first as I loaded my neighborhood and opted to stick with Celia, the Sim I’ve been playing for a while. She lives in a tiny cottage by herself, had a little money tucked away and no other commitments other than her cooking job. The game loaded and the first thing I noticed was… nothing. At first glance, it seemed as though everything was normal. So I grabbed the little guide-book that came with the game to figure out how to travel. That was easy enough. Just pick up the phone and click “Travel!”
Celia had a couple of days off, so I thought I’d have her spend some Simoleons and jet off to France. First, I made the mistake to get her vitals up but when I sent her on her first trip, I learned two things. The first is that vitals appear refresh to almost full green when they’re on vacation. (When she returned, her vitals were back to how they were when she left). The other thing I learned was that time away is like time on another dimension. It didn’t matter if she had work the next day, her time away wouldn’t inflict on her work schedule. So that’s a bonus as she’s just one good day of work away from becoming a Five Star Chef and fulfilling her life goal.
So Celia dipped into her savings and headed off to France. The music playing has that sort of French accordion-esque feel to it and the countryside is just gorgeous. Celia visited one of the shops in town and quickly spent some money buying herself a vase.
She then jetted off on a scooter (it appeared much like a taxi does in Sunset Valley) and headed off for the cemetery:
After picking up a some treasures (including a new gem: Jade) by exploring the catacombs, she spotted something between two of the tombs out back:
She was able to gain access to one of the tombs and the treasure within (coins and money, if I’m remembering correctly).
After spending some time wandering around, she headed back to Base Camp. Apparently each “Land” has one of these. It’s basically a home away from home, with plenty of beds, a full kitchen and full bathrooms, so your Sim can refresh and be ready for the next day.
Celia wanted to check out the Nectary, which as it turns out, is a vinyard of sorts where “nectar” can be purchased or made.
After purchasing a few bottles, Celia decided to make some of her own. I figured out quickly that fruit was necessary to make the nectar and fortunately, there was a harvestable garden out back.
She gathered a couple different kinds of grapes and some apples before returning to the building to use the nectar machine. She got to choose which fruit she wanted to use from her inventory. As Celia didn’t have any of her own fruit, she used what she harvested, though I’m curious to know if she’d be able to use produce from Sunset Valley. I’m guessing so as one of the bottles she purchased was a Life Fruit nectar. Anyway, she put the grapes and apples in and then climbed into the barrel thing to crush up the fruit.
But this apparently takes Nectar Making skill, of which Celia has none (yet) but she’s learning. Still, she fell down a few times.
She slept at the Nectary that night (there was a bed upstairs and no one complained when she settled down on it and went to sleep) and when she woke up, her nectar was ready.
As she was enjoying a glass, a French gentleman named Gerard joined her and they had a chat while they drank.
As they were chatting, Celia got a phone call offering her her first official adventure. She was asked to go to the Celtic ruins to find a lost object. Before she found the ruins (which were marked on the map, thankfully), she stopped at the store to purchase a tent, some dried fruit and some showers in a can. Because when you’re exploring, you can’t be rushing back to Base Camp to take care of your needs, right?
She headed off for the ruins and figured out quickly that in order to get down into the thick of things (underground), she was going to have to search and dig for secret doors and passageways.
Figuring out the tricks in this particular adventure wasn’t all that difficult. It was a lot of digging, pushing things around and standing on the clearly-marked spot to get through the next door.
But Celia’s a newbie traveler with no extra Visa points yet. So she didn’t have time to finish her adventure before her time in France was up and she had to return to her mundane life. This included dealing with her crappy dishwasher that she can now no longer afford to replace because she needs to save every penny she has so she can go back to France.
Celia had to recover from her first trip and was not able to travel for a couple of days. I had enough Lifetime Reward points to purchase the Midlife Crisis and did that to switch out her “Ambitious” trait for “Adventurous,” and her “Workaholic” trait for “No Jealousy.” The adventurous trait should not only make her more interested in travelling but it should also shorten the amount of time she has to wait before she can go away again.
While she waited, she enjoyed her souvenirs and called Gerard long distance to thank him for the brief time they spent together at the nectary.
And as soon as she was able, she set off for France again. Yes, I know there are two other places she can visit but she has unfinished business in France. She wanted to see Gerard again and she had an adventure to complete. Thankfully, everything was just as she left it and her adventure opportunity was still in play. So Celia went back to the ruins and continued to search for the lost item.
She was so far underground that she didn’t even notice when night fell. Fortunately, the area she was exploring had a ready-made campsite set up from another explorer, whose bones were resting not far from his tent.
The following morning, fully rested, she awoke and ate some dried fruit…
Then took a shower in a can…
She found a bunch of treasure down there and the hidden item (which turned out to be something silly but I won’t spoil it for you) and returned it to the man. In exchange, she got some Visa points (which means the option for a slightly extended stay on her next visit) and she asked him to teach her a song. You see, Celia has a little crush on Gerard and she thinks if she can learn a French song, he’ll fall for her.
She finds Gerard on the map. He lives right near town, so she scooters on over to visit him and finds that he has a girlfriend. Edith is her name and she doesn’t like Celia’s singing. Neither does Gerard at first…
But Celia knows that Gerard is a snob…
So after schmoozing him for a bit (the schmoozing trait is great for befriending snobs), she sings for him again…
He’s hungry but he likes it better this time…
Celia used the little camera she bought at the supply store to take a picture of Gerard and when she goes home, she mounts it on her wall near her bed so she can reminisce about time they spent together.
But the picture’s not enough. She needs to see Gerard and she wants him away from Edith. So she calls him up and asks him to come visit her. He does…
Celia gets right to the point.
Gerard is all too happy to respond to Celia’s advances and doesn’t even appear to be jetlagged from the flight as he and Celia engage in a bit of good, old-fashioned woo-hoo. Does he feel guilty afterward? No. It doesn’t count because Edith’s in a different zipcode.
While Celia has time to do what she pleases when on vay-cay, she’s back in Sunset Valley now and even with Gerard staying with her, she still has a job to do.
She leaves Gerard at home by himself. He’s fine with that as he’s a loner. He watches the cooking cable channel while his travel-gf is at work…
And when Celia’s off from work, she takes him to the park to show him that France isn't the only place where romance blossoms…
Gerard leaves that night and she doesn’t see him again until her next trip to France, which is a bit longer now that she has some Visa points. When she goes to see him at his house, they kiss and Edith isn’t happy with either of them. But Celia has the no-jealousy thing, so she’s unaffected by the tension…
She leaves Gerard for her next adventure, which takes place at a museum. While there looking for anything that seems fishy (that’s her first assignment), she donates a bottle of the “Grapple” nectar she made…
She discovers that the magic gnomes here are French. One of them even resembles Napoleon! (the gnomes appear to move around the museum as I saw two different ones in that same spot later on).
And she finds she can teach herself karate using some of the exhibits…
Gaining a karate skill point earns her a new belt and a sweet new gi…
Upgrading her skill again earned her a black gi with a yellow belt.
And that’s where I’m at right now. Celia’s still in France working on this museum mission, which appears to be a bit trickier than the ruins one. The museum is big and she’s reported her findings to the woman who sent her on the adventure twice already, only to be sent back to find more.
So far, I’m completely hooked on this expansion pack. The new traits and skills are cool but the adventures are what’s getting me to want to send my Sim back to France. I haven’t even begun to explore the other two places to visit yet. I also love that she’s able to form relationships with the people she meets on her travels and invite them back to visit her. We’ll see what trouble Celia gets up to next. In the meantime, so far, this expansion pack is definitely worth the time I spent testing it out.
CLICK HERE to read about her next adventure: CHINA!
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