The Seasons expansion brings the rain, snow, heat and more as you can finally experience dynamic weather – and so much more – in The Sims 4.
Title: The Sims 4 Seasons
Developer: Maxis, The Sims Studio
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platforms: PC (version reviewed)
Release Date: June 22, 2018
As I sit here in the sweltering heat of a Florida summer, I’m jealous of my sims who are sloshing around in the winter wonderland in The Sims 4. With the arrival of the newest expansion, Seasons, fans can now experience winter, spring, summer and fall in The Sims 4.
As is the case with most of The Sims expansions over the years, Seasons is what you make of it. And with a $40 price tag, that can be viewed as quite the gamble. Thankfully, EA has loaded this expansion with a ton of new content, giving you plenty to do.
When booting up the newest expansion, you’re given the chance to choose your starting season: spring, summer, fall, or winter. While there ’s, unfortunately, no new world introduced in this expansion, each of the existing locations are affected by the seasons in their own way. Like the real world, different areas have different climates and are affected by seasons differently, so don’t expect snowfall in the arid desert of Oasis Springs.
Perhaps the coolest aspect of seasons is how the weather actually impacts your everyday sim life. Spring, for example, brings fairly cool weather and the potential for thunderstorms. A scary thunderstorm may force your sim into hiding. Alternatively, you have the option to go out and play in a puddle; just be careful of lightning.
In summer, you have to be careful of heat waves. This means changing into weather appropriate clothing and spending as much time indoors as possible. A thermostat also helps regulate temperatures inside as well. Of course, there are dozens of other ways to keep cool including lounging in the new kiddy pool. One “feature” removed in this version of Seasons is the ability to tan or get sunburn. While I don’t mind that I can’t sizzle under the scorching sun, I could understand if traditionalists are a bit bummed by this news.
With fall comes the season of colorful leaves and Harvestfest, the game’s version of Thanksgiving. With this new celebration comes the ability to now prepare “Grand Meals.” Fall also sees the return of gnomes and they require more attention than usual. If you don’t keep them happy, let’s just say bad things can happen. Personally, I didn’t care for this aspect of the season, but it did create some amusing moments within the game. A more appropriate mascot for the season, in my opinion, is Patchy the Strawman, a scarecrow that can help around the garden. As most things in The Sims, it’s a silly, but useful addition.
My personal favorite, as in real life, is winter which brings about the most changes in the world. Cold weather, gentle snowfalls (or sometimes raging blizzards) can bring about a nice layer of white powder. This change in aesthetic is easily my favorite part about the season, and it allows for some fun activities as well, including making snow angels, having snowball fights and building snowmen (now called snow pals since I guess we are avoiding gender?). Unlike past expansions, snow in The Sims 4 no longer accumulates to various degrees of depth which means it all kind of looks the same. Again, not a deal breaker, but it might bother a few players.
Winter also brings about Winterfest, a celebration of the winter season. Although there were plenty of holiday decorations in the game prior to this expansion, there are even more items to choose from now – and the added weather effects and actual celebration event just make it a more magical time of year and provides some actual context to your decorations. While you can decorate inside to your heart’s content, outdoor lighting is handled automatically with a simple nondescript bin of decorations. I would’ve personally like to have been able to decorate the outside manually as well.
Like fall, Winterfest also has its own mascot, Father Winter. This new NPC is absolutely hilarious, not only delivering gifts but also allowing you to live out any sort of Jolly Old Saint Nick fantasy you may have. Sure, it’s a little creepy, but to each their own I suppose.
All of the seasons come together in a simple-to-use calendar interface. This allows you to keep track of the time of year and even create your very own holiday. The Sims has always been about creativity and freedom and this new holiday creation tool allows for some incredible fun and silliness. The ability to make your own holiday and select what traditions to celebrate is a ton of fun, even if it is limited in what you can choose from. Hopefully, they continue to expand on this in future updates.
As expected, The Sims 4 Seasons packs a ton of other content as well, including over 200 new pieces of cosmetic items. This ranges from seasonal clothing, hairstyles and accessories. You can create seasonal-appropriate outfits that your sims will change into depending on the temperate and time of year.
Another major change in this expansion is with gardening which has gone from a hobby to a full-blown career. You can now choose to become a botanist or floral designer depending on your ambitions. Botany was a little boring for me as you research plants and publish papers (snore). Personally, I preferred designing custom floral arrangements with different vases, scents and emotion-altering qualities. Whatever you choose, gardening is a much more streamlined and simplified experience now – meaning it’s actually enjoyable. With all of these flowers come bees, another silly side distraction that offers some more gameplay opportunities.
With the Seasons expansion, The Sims 4 has taken a major step forward. It’s easily one of the more robust expansions the game has seen in its four years. From the new cosmetics to the weather effects to the seasonal celebrations, Seasons finally brings some much-needed context to the world of your sims.
A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purpose of this review. All scores are ranked out of 10, with .5 increments. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.