With vampires, bots, imaginary friends and other strange beings brought into our Sims 3 communities thanks to previously released expansion packs for EA's game, it's hard to imagine things getting any weirder around the neighborhood. And then comes Supernatural, an expansion pack that unleashes a few new types of beings into the world, giving the player new ways to play the game, and new powers for their Sims to use and abuse at their discretion.
The following review contains spoilers, details and screenshots from the Sims 3: Supernatural expansion pack. It is based on game-play with a Macbook Pro with OS X Mountain Lion. This game is an expansion pack and requires the base game in order to play.
Getting started on all of the supernatural fun offered in Supernatural is as easy as creating supernatural Sims in the Create-A-Sim (CAS). In addition to creating human Sims, you can create vampires, werewolves, genies, fairies and ghosts in CAS. There are ways for your Sims to be turned into all (or most - not sure about genies) of these types of beings within the game, but those who don't want to spend the time to make that happen can set it up from the start in CAS. And a couple of the supernatural beings have added features. For example, fairy wings can be modified in shape and color. Werewolves have different body hair options. And ghosts can be modified by death type, which affects their glow color and style.
CAS also has a number of new clothing and hairstyle options. It's become a rare thing that I actually like the new hairstyles that come with an EP, but there are a couple of decent ones with Supernatural, and some fun new outfits. There are also a number of new traits added to the mix, including Proper, Brooding, Supernatural Fan, Supernatural Skeptic, Night Owl and Gatherer. The Brooding trait allows the Sim to sit around pondering things, but it also makes them cry at random times. Night Owls obviously love to stay up late. As I have a tendency to ignore day and night when my Sims aren't bound to a daytime work schedule, it's nice to see a positive moodlet when they're up late at night tending to their garden or fishing into all hours of the morning.
Moving into the actual game, there are new objects to enjoy, including a bee keeping box, which provides Sims with edible (and cookable) honey, and maybe a few bee stings. There's also a LLAMA transporting box, which allows Sims to zip to other locations where a LLAMA is set up. I personally think it looks best in blue as it resembles the Doctor Who TARDIS that way. There's also a Fairy House (with all sorts of fun features if your Sim is a fairy), a rocking chair, a magic mirror, a flying broom (new transportation!), and numerous fun games, including a claw machine, which delivers actual prizes (toys and sometimes simoleons, gems and other loot).
For those Sims who want to master alchemy (the new skill), there's an alchemy table to build that skill and create elixirs, if your Sim has gathered the right ingredients. Elixirs can be used to cure Sims, boost their careers and relationships, and do other things. I had one Sim who managed to build his skill and find the ingredients to make an elixir that turned him into a fairy (he was previously a witch). So those who want their Sims to have the ability to switch from one being to another might invest in an alchemy table.
The moon has become relevant in Supernatural. Sims now keep track of the various phases of the moon. But watch out when there's a full moon. Zombies crawl up out of the ground and supernatural Sims will be on edge. The zombies are fun to watch, but I recommend putting a fence around your garden, as they like to attack plants. Werewolves transform (they can transform manually at any time but they do it automatically during the full moon). They howl and have a tendency to destroy furniture if left to their own devices. The moon is viewable in the sky, and the new world (Moonlight Falls) has numerous places that offer nice views of it. The world also includes some creepy, old abandoned houses (not livable but cool to look at), and the ruins of a house. I still haven't explored every corner of the Moonlight Falls, but it's a spacious world with mountains, waterfalls and numerous scenic spots.
Fairies and witches have magical abilities, though their magic supply diminishes as they use it, so keep an eye on their magic meter! Fairies can influence Sims moods with various auras, and witches can cast charms and curses (including turning human Sims into toads!). Werewolves can develop a hunting skill that allows them to sniff out metals, gems and insects, much in the way dogs do. They can also run in packs, and bite people to spread the curse.
The new job offered is the Fortune Teller, for the Sim who wants to make their living either scamming people with fake fortunes, or forming a genuine connection with the psychic realm (the career splits off at a certain point and your Sim chooses which direction they want to go). This adds a new social interaction for Sims in that profession, as part of their job is performing personal readings on people.
I don't know that I've ever played a new Sims expansion pack and not experienced one or two glitches or issues (especially one that follows a recent Mac OS update). In this case, there was just one notable snag during my game-play. My Sim was part-way through completing an opportunity to become a fairy, which is a multi-step process that involves a lot of collecting. I got the option to send the adults away on vacation for two days, leaving my teen Sim home alone. I took it, and when my Sim came back from vacation, the opportunity was still in his control panel, but the option to deliver the collected items had disappeared. Restarting the game didn't fix it. I've dealt with worse glitches, but given the amount of time it took to fulfill the first couple steps of this opportunity, added to the randomness of the prompt for the opportunity to begin with, it was a disappointing loss. Beyond that, things were smooth sailing, which is a plus. I'll just think twice about accepting that vacation opportunity in the future when I'm working through a big opportunity.
So far, I'm really enjoying Supernatural. Those hoping for a few new, fun ways to play The Sims 3 should like what Supernatural has to offer. The werewolves hunt and howl. The witches charm and curse. The vampires stalk and bite. The fairies fly and make mischief. And much in the way the previous expansion packs have given us new ways to engage our Sims (and ourselves), Supernatural builds onto the base game, offering new options, objects and challenges. Grab a wand, keep your eye out for the full moon and sprinkle a bit of fairy dust on the old PC because Supernatural brings the magic to The Sims 3.
Developer: EA Play/The Sims Studio
Publisher: Electronic Arts