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After spending more hours than I care to admit having my Sims explore tombs and search for treasure in the Sims version of France, Egypt and China, I was eager to see what The Sims 3: Ambitions expansion pack had to offer. I had a Sim prepped and ready for this EP. To those of you who read my First Impressions run through for World Adventures, you might consider this look at Ambitions as something of a sequel.
Spoiler Warning: This article contains screenshots and descriptions from Sims 3: Ambitions. If you’re planning on getting the expansion pack and want to be surprised, read no further!
Prior to installing the EP, I had to install an update to my game, which took a few minutes. With no issues there, I went on to install the expansion pack (another ten minutes) and then I was ready to go.
Allow me to introduce you to Karen Ari, great-granddaughter to world traveler Celia. Thanks to turning the aging off, Celia’s still alive and kicking, though she’s retired now and has spent countless hours of her elder years tutoring young Karen in the many skills offered in the base game as well as the World Adventures EP. Karen was at Level 10 in all of the skills except for charisma when I installed Ambitions.
Karen started out living next door to her parents and great-grandparents. I furnished her new loft with a mixture of decorations, appliances, and furniture offered in the base game, High End Loft, World Adventures and Ambitions.
In addition to some fun new objects, including lighting fixtures, decorative items and other furniture, Ambitions also has a fireman’s pole, which works great for lofts. Just remember to put a staircase in as Sims can slide down the pole but there’s no way to scoot back up it!
I even caught the maid using it.
Among the new appliances are washers and dryers. I had some issues with this initially as Karen put a load of laundry in the washer and after the time ran down (It takes somewhere between half an hour and an hour for a cycle to complete), I didn’t have the option to move the laundry to the dryer. Re-purchasing the washer didn’t fix it but when I reloaded the game, I noted that the problem seemed to be fixed.
Sims leave laundry lying around the house whenever they change outfits (or as I learned from a detonation mishap with Karen – more on that later – when they’re burned). I’m guessing neat Sims will automatically pick up the discarded clothing, however if you have a maid, you can rest assured that he or she will grab the random piles of laundry and get them put in the washer, if you have one.
One of the fun new items is the trampoline. Karen had fun jumping up and down on it but other than go up and down, not much really happened there.
Karen’s first order of business was to give herself a makeover. As she has a makeover station in her loft, no trip to the salon was necessary. (The salon was one of the lots I had to add to Riverview when I first started the game).
The makeover station is like the dresser and mirror combined. Karen was alone at the time so she only had the option to makeover herself, but she was able to change her hair, clothing and makeup. There are some new clothes and hairstyles to choose from. She decided on a messy sort of quaff to accentuate her blue-black hair. And for the ensemble, she went with an inventor-like outfit, complete with gloves and an apron.
Among the new gadgets in her loft are two tattoo stations. I only had her use the cheaper one, figuring she can upgrade to the nicer digital one later. She had great-grandma Celia over and offered her a tattoo. Using the tattoo chair brings you to a Create-a-Sims-like room where you can select from a number of pre-made tattoos that are customizable in size, location and color. Karen gave Celia a gnome tattoo on her belly and a funky character-like one on her back.
Karen couldn’t give herself a tattoo but since Celia was still visiting, she asked her to give her one (clicking the tattoo chair gives you the option). Remember back in The Sims 2 when they had the hair and makeup styling chair? Sometimes you got the option to choose what changes you wanted to perform on a Sim and sometimes the Sim doing the styling just made a big old mess of the person in the chair. That’s pretty much what happened to Karen as Celia went crazy with the needle. I had no option to decide what she got and in the end, she was covered in random doodles.
Not wanting to offend Celia, Karen left the tattoos alone and went to the salon later to have them removed.
Among the new traits is “eccentric,” which Karen adopted when she became a young adult. This trait is useful for inventors, which is what Karen’s into right now. She used her workshop to create number of toys, gadgets and widgets.
Inventing and building with the workshop requires scrap materials. Karen pulled the want to collect scraps, so she rode her new motorcycle to the junkyard (another added lot) to dig through piles of garbage for scraps. The workshop also gives you the option to purchase scraps, which is convenient for Sims who don’t feel like scrounging every time they want to make something. In addition to piles of metal, the junkyard also offers singed and dirty objects available to be salvaged. Karen got herself an old toy box to hold some of the things she invented.
When she got back home, she went back to work at her workshop and selected the option to invent (you also get the option to build items you've previously invented).
Some of the objects are just for looking at (or in Karen’s case, for clapping at, as she’s very proud of herself).
She also made a robot gnome and an air hygienator, which fits into the floor and adds a nice clean scent to the air.
Other objects perform a function. As her inventing skill built up, she made a miner, which can be placed outside and used to drill into the ground. So far, she’s found a magic gnome, some precious gems and metals, and scraps to use for more inventions.
And then there’s the airbender, which lets you blow stuff up. Karen used it to blast some of the things in her house. This resulted in her getting singed but it was worth it.
Later, she visited the swap shop (another added lot) and had the option to detonate things there. She blew up a sculpture-thingy in the middle of the room and got a warning (repeated destruction incidents result in a fine). She was able to salvage the scraps of the things he blew up, plus the explosion was cool, so that was a win, I think.
She took some time away from inventing to try out the sculpting tool. She started out with the option to sculpt with clay, which yielded a ceramic sculpture.
As her sculpting skill built up, she was able to work with metal.
It took her longer to finish this one but in the end she had this artsy looking chair, which is actually usable.
The drafting table can be used for painting, as well as drawing architecture and fashion designs. Karen didn’t gain any skill by using it as she’d already maxed out her painting skill.
That’s about where I left off with her tonight. I registered her as a self-employed inventor and she’s gained job experience through selling some of the items she’s invented. Sims can consign things at the swap shop (they’re notified if the objects sell) or they have the option to drop them in the sell-box in their inventory.
Over all, I'm having fun with the new EP. Unlike World Adventures, which gave you three set locations to visit, Ambitions is sort of scattered in terms of the new things it offers the game and it's hard to figure out which new job or hobby to try first. With that said, I'm eager to see what else I can get out of this EP as Karen continues to build her skills and perhaps, dabble in some of the other career options.
After saving the game, I saved a copy of Karen’s household and moved her over to Twinbrook. In the next installment, Karen will explore the new town featured in Ambitions, work on her inventor skill to see what else she can create, and perhaps, move on to working at one of the new jobs (firefighting sounds like fun!).
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