The Sims 3: Supernatural - Limited Edition|
The original The Sims 3 may have been released almost six years ago, but the game is still going strong, if the advent of this seventh add-on—and the promise of an eighth seasons-related expansion on the horizon—is any indication. Based on the analogous Makin’ Magic expansion for the original The Sims, I initially expected some new content along the lines of witches and spells, but The Sims 3: Supernatural really throws in the kitchen sink. Supernatural adds a slew of creatures to the roster of playable Sim types, including the expected witches, and also fairies, genies, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, and enhanced vampires (sparkling optional). Each of these new Sim types have their own quirks, special interactions with objects and other Sims, and advantages.
Fairies, for instance, have delayed aging and can cause plants to bloom, exude beneficial auras that can help Sims learn skills faster, or play “fairy tricks” (similar to pranks from Generations) on others. Genies can magically instantly clean Sims, make Sims vanish, and conjure group meals out of thin air. Witches, meanwhile, can cast helpful or destructive spells, duel other witches, and learn alchemy faster. Other supernatural types have their own unique traits that I won’t spoil here, but most have some sort of hidden skill that improves with use over time.
The Create-A-Sim options are now greatly expanded. Not only is it possible to start off playing one of the supernatural types (which can now also be created as children), Supernatural introduces new skin colors—including every color of the rainbow—for all Sim types, body hair for female werewolves, a secondary appearance for werewolves’ transformed state, wing colors and shapes for fairies, death types for ghosts, new customization options for creating pointed ears, and a smattering of new hairstyles, outfits, personality traits, and lifetime wishes. The new customization options add a lot of value to this expansion pack and are one of its strongest features.
Supernatural also includes a new town, Moonlight Falls, with a misty Pacific Northwest feel, as well as new lots that fit with the theme, such as an elixir consignment store for buying alchemy ingredients and a supernatural hangout. Some items from Makin’ Magic make a comeback in this expansion, such as the beehive and bone maid, and it also introduces a variety of new items, such as sliding bookcase secret doors, planters for indoor gardens, arcade/carnival games, a magic eight ball, flying broomsticks (and vacuums), a talking magic mirror, a gem cutter, and an alchemy station for the one new skill introduced in Supernatural, just to name a few. Your Sims can also embark on the new career path as a fortune teller, which has two branches and functions much like existing career choices.
Alchemy is a great addition to the game, allowing potion-inclined Sims to brew up elixirs with a surprisingly wide-range of beneficial or detrimental effects, from a flask of angry bees to a draft that transforms the imbibing Sim into a clown, zombie, or supernatural type. Crafting failure is no less amusing, in the classic Sims style: one of our Sims turned himself into a toad, curable only by a “special kiss” or a spell from a witch. An adjustable lunar cycle is also new to this add-on, and the full moon increases the magical abilities of some of the supernatural types, as well as triggers zombie attacks. These can be amusing at first, as your zombie neighbors rise from the ground, eat your gardens, and attempt to zombify other Sims. It turns out, though, that zombie invasions aren’t nearly as fun when your Sims can’t fight back or interact much with the shambling dead. The limited edition includes the Plants vs. Zombies peashooter, which helps a bit, but there’s little else you can do about the zombies, and it doesn’t look like you can toggle zombie invasions off at the time of this writing.
Other than that, the only real issue with Supernatural is, by now, familiar to Sims players: as can be expected from a game that tackles the daunting task of imitating human life, there are bound to be glitches here and there, with Sims getting mysteriously stuck while walking, a whole fridge full of food suddenly going bad, nonstop zombie generation, and Sims becoming unresponsive. Luckily, these glitches don’t happen so often that it detracts seriously from the game, and EA is generally good about releasing patches.
Overall, this expansion adds a lot of fun and humorous new character options, interactions, animations, items, and storytelling potential to discover in the game and continues in the franchise’s high standards as far as style and sound and graphics quality. It’s true that The Sims 3 Supernatural is not for everyone; it definitely shifts the game atmosphere heavily toward the utterly unrealistic, and while most of the supernatural Sim types and the lunar cycle can be turned off under options, as I mentioned, zombies cannot be individually toggled off at the time of this writing. Otherwise, though, at the suggested retail price of $39.99, this is the meatiest add-on yet, and it adds enough content to refresh the Sims 3 experience and entice players back to the game for many hours.