The Sims 3: Island Paradise Review – Doing Flips and Sh… Overused Reference

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When it came to The Sims expansions (and it’s still partially prevalent), you had to be wary of which you were going to actually buy. There were either tacked on additions you wouldn’t want to spend the money on, or it was a golden idea that really expanded the gameplay. Luckily with The Sims 3, the expansions have mostly opened up the game in ways that really push how you play. It’s no different with The Sims 3: Island Paradise.

With this expansion, you get a whole new town that’s basically a tropical paradise for your sims. Complete with docks to house your new boat homes, you’ll be able to own resorts.

The resorts are welcomed by the management sim lover in me, but it’s not as robust as, say, a normal resort tycoon game would be. However, it’s pretty fun to make the resorts up and Sims fans that love to work with interior design will have a blast. It works a lot like the already existing property renovation of parks; you buy and build upon the resorts to increase how good they’ll be. You have to balance workers, food, and the quality of pretty much everything you place. Like I said, it’s not very expanded and complicated, but that’s not a bad thing considering the scope of The Sims 3 already. My only complaint is that it seems so easy to make it profitable. Or maybe, I’m just that badass at business. Eh? Eh?

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You can be on a boat now and overuse The Lonely Island references every single time you play. I did. I so did. If you prefer not to have an actual boathouse, no problem. You can just live like a normal plebeian around town but still own a small boat. Ranging from paddle to motorized, your new boat will basically act like the car does whenever you want to go somewhere in the ocean.

And you’ll want to, as there’s so much more to explore around and away from the main land. Actual uncharted islands will wait for you to discover them and build resorts or even your own getaway mansion. Not to mention the dive spots. Which frighten me to no end.

Ocean levels in games scare the crap out of me. Still happens, even in The Sims 3: Island Paradise. First, you’ll need to snorkel around to reach level three or so of the new scuba skill. It’s all easy and typical from there. However, once you’re able to actually use the dive spots (because you’re now experienced enough to), the skill bar moves way too slowly. Annoyingly so, for me. But I’m sure fans won’t mind as there’s plenty of ocean to explore, treasure chests/ messages in bottles to find, and fish to catch. I just get so nervous down there because of the damn sharks.

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A huge hallelujah moment, which I don’t even know if it was actually introduced with this expansion or an update: instant property money collection. You can just go on your laptop and check out the real estate section to instantly collect the funds from whatever properties you own. Resorts are big ballers, shot callers, by the way. Very useful for the affluence lovers. Another interesting addition is the ability to buy another house. You can either move to it or turn it into a resort, but I suspect this will change and later allow you to even just rent out the house. My guess is they’re moving towards that already with the inclusion of “roommates,” which aren’t playable but will live with you and pay part of the rent with you. At least, I hope that’s the next step. I want to literally own every single building. Every. Single. One.

So is it worth it? As I said with The Sims 3: University Life, if you’re a fan, yes. Definitely worth it for the added gameplay of underwater exploration, resort management, and new form of housing.

Oh, and you can do a mermaid.

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 [Final Breakdown]

[+New town] [+New homes] [+New skill] [+Underwater world] [+Resort management] [+Instant property money collection] [+Uncharted territory, oooooh, mystical!] [+Mermaid woohoo] [-Resort management isn’t very robust] [-Resorts very easy to run] [-Scuba diving takes a long time to level] 

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(Founder/ Publisher/ Youtuber)

Yami is Founder and Publisher of this fine establishment. When not ranting about video game advertising, she's trying to make the gaming community less cynical. You can find her on the Youtubes.