Celeste Dobropolski On August 7, 2013 at 11:41 am

The Sims 3_islandparadise_launchday_4Sims 4 may be on the horizon for 2014, but the team over at EA isn’t going to abandon loyal fans of the Sims 3. The latest expansion release, Island Paradise, makes a splash with some of the most comprehensive and venturesome features yet. Want the luxury of a tropical home but hate all the sand in uncomfortable places? Island Paradise has you covered.

The newest town of Isla Paradiso features a rich cast of diverse townsfolk with a strong focus on native inhabitants. Island life is different in many ways. Boats of several types are a preferred method of travel when visiting different islands. More romantic Sims might choose a paddle boat, while sporty Sims can opt to zoom around in speedboats. Sims can also live on houseboats, or houses on stilts over the water. House boats can be moved from port to port, and houses can now be built directly on beaches. Houseboats are limited in space, so you might want to install one of the new all-in-one bathroom stalls, able to fulfill your Sims’ hygiene and bladder needs simultaneously (and maybe even their Woo hoo needs later on.)

There are new island-inspired hairstyles and clothes to choose from, though a good chunk less than some of the other expansions. You can also choose the new traits of Loves to Swim and Sailor, which will help create a stronger affinity in your Sims for diving and boating. Diving can be pursued by those who want to be self-employed and make a mint off of finding treasures in underwater caves while scuba diving. Snorkeling and diving are skills that must be leveled, and in the amount of time it takes to level the skill, players may find themselves wishing there was a bit more variety in the diving places to explore. Sims obsessed with marine life can become a part of it by consuming a special kelp and transforming into a mermaid. Mermaids are capable of living on land with scaled legs, but they really shine underwater where they never run out of breath and can even sick sharks on other divers. Death by shark attack and drowning, along with dehydration for mermaids, are the new forms of fatality.

If you’d like to follow a new career path, you can choose to swimsuit up, grab a whistle, and be ready to save lives as a Lifeguard, no slo-mo required. Savvy to sail the high seas? There are plenty of hidden private islands to discover, though each is found by accomplishing different goals through gameplay. One of the new lifetime Wishes involves owning all the uncharted islands in the game, which might prove to be one of the biggest challenges issued in the game to date. The physically largest entity found in the release, however, travels all the way from the darkest depths of the sea, attacking boats and scaring the heck out of boaters and house boaters alike. If you see the kraken, you’ll probably want to row or sail away as quickly as possible to avoid taking your boat home in tiny pieces.

The islands are also open to those with aspirations of becoming resort moguls. Beautiful locations draw in all types of visitors, and as the owner and manager of these resorts, you get to decide how much they enjoy their experience. Take a run-down rut and flip it into a waterfront wonderland. Start with large tasks, like upgrading resort towers and adding new features and food carts. Hire, fire, and choose uniforms for your staff. You can run the resort while your Sim handles another career, home life, or they can decided to stay at the resort often and get hands on with employees and customers. Resort management bears a close resemblance to other simulation style games. The result is an organic blend of Sims and resort simulation that might keep you just as hooked as the organic kona blends your barista sells.

While resort management is seriously ambitious and has a payoff that’s highly worth the risk, there are a few bugs that might need some ironing. Keep a close eye on your resorts to make sure everything is running smoothly. Make sure your employees are showing up to do their jobs, and figure out if it might be an issue with the game (where the forums will come in handy) or just an issue of needing to hire better employees. Enjoy offering poolside bars (where patrons can order drinks from stools inside of the pool) and offer them the musical stylings of the new Beach Party and Island Life radio stations.

Island Paradise might not offer as many traits or new clothing items as previous expansions, but it is one of the most gameplay-extensive expansions available for Sims 3, allowing players to head down many paths, all with their own objectives and rewards. The inclusion of Sims-style resort management gives the game an entirely new angle. If you prefer quality over quantity, this is an expansion you’ll want to consider.


While diving, mermaids, and lifeguards are all fun, resort management and island discovery really take the fishcake here.


Underwater worlds are beautiful portals of mystery, but the character item additions and dive spots themselves seem a bit bare at times.


Two new stations that allow your Sims to get into a festive mood.


Expanding the mode of gameplay, Sims Island Paradise gives Sims 3 fans more reason to enjoy the game, as well as new areas of the game to explore. This expansion offers less in way of items and Sims customization, but more on the wavelength of transforming play-style and Sim development

One Response

  1. Nugsar says:

    I can’t stop playing The Sims 3, I get bored one one expansion and another one comes out. Thanks for the review.