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"The Sims 4: City Living" Expansion Pack Review

Kenzie needed a quick escape from real-life pressures, and found "The Sims 4." She now enjoys playing, writing, and YouTubing the game.

The Sims 4: City Living Review

I grew up in one of the biggest cities in the world and lived there until my late twenties. The hustle and bustle on the streets, food vendors on every corner, apartment living and even noisy neighbors all give me a very homey, nostalgic vibe. I love street fairs and festivals and big, lush parks with the city skyline towering over the trees.

Because of this, I pretty much knew I was going to love The Sims 4: City Living expansion pack before I got it. I was right. and here is why you'll love it, too.

This Is One Pack I Couldn't Wait to Get

"The Sims 4: City Living" was released in November of 2016. It was created to take some of the more beloved features of city living that originated in "The SIms 2" and "The Sims 3."

"The Sims 4: City Living" was released in November of 2016. It was created to take some of the more beloved features of city living that originated in "The SIms 2" and "The Sims 3."

This Pack Has a Lot Packed In

The Sims 4: City Living expansion pack sure has a lot packed into it. For that alone, you get a lot of bang for your buck. The pack offers a whole, new, unique and beautiful world to explore: The City of San Myshuno.

The pack also offers some awesome new activities, skills, and careers. Let's take a look at them, one by one, and consider the benefits (and drawbacks) of living in San Myshuno.

Welcome to San Myshuno

Honestly, I wish I could move there in real life. It's a beautiful city design.

Honestly, I wish I could move there in real life. It's a beautiful city design.

San Myshuno

As I said, I'm probably partial to the big city because of where I grew up, but I love the city of San Myshuno. The design for the city was based on some of the most beautiful cities in the world, and you can see a little of New York City, a little of San Francisco and a little of Tokyo in it. Like a lot of big cities, it also has the feel of a real ethnic melting pot.

I think the city is stunningly beautiful, especially when watching the sunset or the moon rise over the skyline.

San Myshuno offers four distinct neighborhoods:

  • The Spice Market is what seems to be the budget area with some bargain homes available. You can pick up some interesting food here.
  • The Fashion District is also a fairly affordable neighborhood, though a little more upscale. It has a distinctly Asian flair.
  • The Arts Quarter, not surprisingly, is the part of the city that offers that quirky artsy vibe. There's a great art center there where your Sims can hone their talents in all things creative.
  • Uptown is the swankiest area with the most expensive real estate and the fanciest place for date night.

Though not an official neighborhood, there is a special lot called Myshuno Meadows. It's got a Central Park vibe and is a really beautiful spot to spend a day out. It's also got a very romantic wedding area.

A New Way to Live

Apartment living has its ups and downs, just like in real life.

Apartment living has its ups and downs, just like in real life.

Apartment Life

City Living, as of this writing, is the only world in The Sims 4 that allows your Sims to rent an apartment instead of making them buy a home. Just like in reality, some ups and downs come with apartment living.

Benefits of apartment living:

  • There is a very communal feel with so many neighbors in close proximity. They're always dropping by and you seem to get to know them faster.
  • There are some super-cheap starter residences with cheap rent.
  • Small apartments may be easier for your Sim to maintain that big, spacious homes.
  • Lots of exciting things right outside your door; sometimes you don't even have to travel to leave the house to enjoy activities.
  • Amazing views of the city.

Drawbacks of apartment living:

  • Lots of neighbors in close proximity. I know I listed that as a plus, and it can be sometimes, but at other times neighbors are just too close for comfort. They may barge in at all hours trying to mooch off your Sim.
  • The city is noisier than other Sims towns. You'll hear the traffic or sirens at all hours of the night. Neighbors can get quite noisy too, arguing or blasting music. Your Sim could get negative moodlets from noisy neighbors.
  • The lack of space can be frustrating for those who like to spread out. You can't expand apartments the way you can expand houses.
  • In some cases, you can't even remodel by changing the size of the rooms inside the apartment. Your space is fixed and you have to work with what you have.
  • The more luxurious and spacious apartments can be quite expensive.
  • No yard space. Some apartments have nice balconies but if you were planning a garden, it'll have to be all in pots.

City That Never Sleeps

Everything in "The Sims 4" universe is open 24/7 of course, but it's nice to be able to just go downstairs from your apartment and be in the center of the action without having to travel.

Everything in "The Sims 4" universe is open 24/7 of course, but it's nice to be able to just go downstairs from your apartment and be in the center of the action without having to travel.

Festivals Are Fabulous

Festivals are a great place for meeting people, going on dates or just exposing your Sim to fun new activities.

Festivals are a great place for meeting people, going on dates or just exposing your Sim to fun new activities.

Festivals

A new, fun thing for your Sim to do is to attend some of the various festivals that take place in San Myshuno.

  • GeekCon will excite any gamer or fanboy/‏fangirl. You can find interesting tech gadgets everywhere. Sims can join a video game tournament, take a ride in a rocket ship or spy on neighbors with a high-powered telescope. You'll love the cosplay, too.
  • The Humor and Hijinks Festival is great for a laugh. Your Sim can choose to side with mischief or comedy. If you ever wanted to try a little Voodoo, this is the place. The night ends with a fabulous fireworks display. Any player will go home with great rewards if he is on the winning side at the end of the evening.
  • The Romance Festival will get any Sim into a very flirty mood, if not from the festival vibe then perhaps with the powerful aphrodisiac tea. A Romance Guru will answer your Sim's questions, but you might not always like the answer you get. Impulsive Sims might want to get married or renew their vows at the wedding arch in the center of the festival.
  • The Spice Festival is an exotic street fair that offers lots of cool new dishes to sample, but be careful! They're all very hot! Sims who garden or cook will love this festival where they can pick up some new ingredients. Your Sim can also relax and socialize around the bubble machine.
  • It's not exactly a festival, but there is also a Flea Market every two weeks where your Sim can pick up some excellent bargains, and even purchase furnishings that are otherwise locked as career rewards. If your Sim wants, he can even sell his wares at the Flea Market for a quick buck.

At every festival, there will be a variety of food options and swag, in the form of things like t-shirts and keepsakes, that your Sims can purchase.

Working from Home

The new careers are highly interactive due to the option to work at home.

The new careers are highly interactive due to the option to work at home.

New Careers

  • With the Critic career, your Sim will get paid for his opinion. Sims start at a mere 21 simoleons per hour delivering papers but can work their way up the ladder as an art or food critic and earn over 400 simoleons per hour. Critics can work from home, and a lot of job assignments involve opportunities to get out and have some fun and socialization.
  • Politicians are Sims who fight for a favored cause. They choose their cause and fight for it throughout their careers. Your Sim can choose the branch to become an elected official and work his way up to become a National Leader, or your Sim can opt to pursue the career branch of Charity Organizer. It's not the highest-paying career branch, but for humanitarian Sims, it can be very rewarding.
  • The Social Media career is very relevant in this day and age, so it makes sense that Sims are offered this opportunity. Your Sim can choose between being an internet personality, or working behind the scenes in public relations. At $540 per hour, the Internet Personality Branch is the highest paying career path in The Sims 4. You also only need to work three or four days per week.

Get Yours Today!

Is It Worth the Money?

The answer to this, as with every expansion pack, depends on the player. Ultimately it is a matter of taste, but I honestly can't think of a reason why someone wouldn't want to have access to the wonderful city of San Myshuno, no matter how they like to play, so I highly recommend it.

For me, The Sims 4: City Living is definitely worth every penny and it is a must-have expansion pack. Even if you don't want to live in an apartment, the city just offers so much to explore. Imagine what the real world would be like without Chicago, Paris or London. Even if you don't live in a major city, almost everyone wants to visit them once in a while and enjoy the excitement. For me, The Sims 4 without San Myshuno would be like America without New York City: a little depressing.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Kenzie Cartwright