Sul sul, Simmers! The latest Game Pack – StrangerVille – will be released on Tuesday, 26 February. We were fortunate enough to be provided a review copy of StrangerVille by EA Game Changers, and so we’d like to share some thoughts about the pack!
The biggest part of the pack is the story, and so I have brought in a special guest to assist me: Tank Grunt.
You may remember Tank from Strangetown in The Sims 2. Tank and the rest of the Grunt Family do not seem to be in The Sims 4’s StrangerVille, and believe me, I looked, but if you would like them to be, there are several versions in The Gallery. I used nax33’s version, which can be found here.
Also assisting me are the “Men in Black”, who are agents for…something. They’re being very secretive, which is to be expected.
11:20 am, Spring Day 4, Agent X Reporting
Finally got a lead. General Grunt’s kid has a girlfriend, and he’s been sending her texts and emails. Finally, we might accomplish something other than taking pictures of weird plants and sitting in the van and listening in on boring conversations about hair and clothes and the latest styles of fences and walls and doors. Just look at these galleries of images we’ve compiled from the conversations we’ve intercepted!
Attached are transcripts of an email and several text messages we intercepted between one Tank Grunt and one Olivia Specter. Mostly it’s just gossip, but there’s some intel in there. The kid knows something.
Begin Transcribed Text:
Hey Liv, what’s up? Here’s an email, as promised. I’ve included some pictures that you won’t see on my Simstragram, because The General said he’d kill me if I posted anything from StrangerVille on there, and I think he’s not kidding. I probably shouldn’t be sending them to you,either, but what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him. I know he looks on the PC, but hey, this is my laptop that I bought with my money, and besides, he can’t look on it if I keep it with me, right?
Anyway, StrangerVille is different from Strangetown. Lots greener, for one. They have a creek, though, which we didn’t have back in Strangetown. Some weird plants, though. The base is bigger, too, so I guess this is a promotion for The General. You’d think he’d be happier about it. Mostly he looks worried.
They have a plateau here, where all the ritzy houses are. The mayor and his wife live in one, the Roswells. He thinks he’s a cowboy…or something. He complains a lot about “those hippie kids” in one of the other mansions. They say they’re artists, but as far as I can tell no one is painting or sculpting anything. Must be nice to be rich and let mommy and daddy pay for you to live in a nice house and not have a job. Srsly, though, look at these houses!
The rest of the town is more like Strangetown. They even have a trailer park.
Oh man you should see this one guy. Total conspiracy theorist. He has a colander on his head and everything. He has this little kiosk outside the trailer park. He calls it a curio shop, but it’s really about everything that is gonna get us.
Lot of alien stuff, lol! If he only knew, right? He’s not the only one, though. There are conspiracy theorists everywhere. There’s even this one guy who lives in his wrecked plane, or that’s what he says, anyway. I bet he’s got a bunker under there, because there are bunkers all over this town. People here are seriously paranoid.
I gotta bail for now, The General must be working late, gotta get dinner on for Buck. And Ripp too, I guess.
Texts from later the same evening:
TankMan: Liv, you there?
Livvy: What’s up?
TankMan: The General still isn’t home.
Livvy: What? It’s nearly midnight!
TankMan: IKR? He’s not answering his phone, and he ALWAYS answers his phone if it’s one of us. And ppl are acting weird.
Livvy: Weird how?
TankMan: IDK, just weird. Big eyes and big smiles and they’re walking funny, and when you try to talk to them they just say stuff about The Mother, in this creepy voice.
Livvy: Dude, that is just not right. What are you gonna do?
TankMan: I am gonna go talk to conspiracy theorist dude. He’s nuts, but this whole deal is nuts. Maybe you have to be crazy to fight crazy.
Livvy: Be careful, Tank. I miss you.
TankMan: Miss you too, Liv. I’ll check in when I can.
End Transcribed Text
So, as you can see, the kid has noticed something and is investigating. The thought that General Grunt has been subverted or captured is… disturbing, but we have no evidence of that at present. We will continue to monitor the situation and take action as necessary.
I won’t go into any detail, but going through the story took a significant amount of time, and there’s an in-game way (no cheating needed!) to replay the story without resetting the neighborhood. This is good, because there’s a new aspiration that involves playing through the story, so you can have future generations experience the strangeness as well. There’s also a new trait, Paranoid, which seems to have some interesting effects on their behavior. There are no new collections, but there is one new harvestable. The harvestable is story related, so I won’t say what it is.
The good: I’m thrilled that the military career has returned. I of course put Buzz in the new military career, but I have only been able to get him to rank 4 as yet, so I can only say that the career is a full career of the same type as the Gardening career, with opportunities to work from home. It also has the classic humor that Maxis has been known for for the last two decades – Buzz is currently a Sergeant Minor, for example. I’m also glad to see a desert world, as Strangetown is hands down my favorite world from The Sims 2. There are also some good buy and build mode items, and some nice Southwestern style clothing in CAS.
The less good: The trailer park is mostly decorative. There is one small lot that has a building on it that looks reasonably like a trailer/caravan, but the rest of the trailers are part of the neighborhood and are not inhabitable. I am also a bit disappointed that none of the Sims from Strangetown seem to have appeared in the pack, but given that the Pleasant family was recently posted by Maxis on the Exchange, I am hopeful that a Maxis version of the Grunt family will appear.
TL;DR: I would buy this pack and consider it money well spent. The story is fun, the military career is one that I have felt has been missing, and I like the style of both the buy/build mode items and the new CAS items.