"The Sims 4: Island Living" Expansion Pack Review

Updated on July 23, 2019
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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: Island Living"

Today was an exciting day for Simmers everywhere. The new Island Living expansion pack was released this morning. I know I couldn't wait to get my hands on it, so I pre-ordered a digital download for my PC. I've only just started playing, but already it has become one of my favorite expansion packs yet.

Island Living has a beautiful new world for your Sims to live in⁠—a tropical paradise with a new culture, new build items, new career options, and wardrobe items.

The big buzz about Island Living, however, is that it has brought mermaids into The Sims 4 universe!

New Mermaid Characters in "The Sims 4: Island Living"

Now, your Sim can have a human and a mermaid form. Can you imagine the mixes between humans, aliens, vampires and mermaids now? Life is getting pretty exciting in the Sims universe.
Now, your Sim can have a human and a mermaid form. Can you imagine the mixes between humans, aliens, vampires and mermaids now? Life is getting pretty exciting in the Sims universe. | Source

Get Yours!

The Sims 4 - Island Living [Online Game Code]
The Sims 4 - Island Living [Online Game Code]
As of this writing, this expansion pack came out today, and I am already loving it! The mermaid Sims have such exciting powers that open up so many story line opportunities. The new world is a beautiful place, and thankfully—unlike some other exotic spots in "The Sims 4" universe—your Sim can actually live there! I haven't finished exploring every aspect of this expansion pack yet, but it's quickly becoming one of my favorites.

CaS (Create a Sim) Mode

Maybe it's because I love mermaids so much, but I can't tell you how much fun I had in the CAS (Create a Sim) mode just to start. For a regular Sim, there are beautiful new hairstyles and clothing options, but it's the options for mermaids that got my creative juices flowing. You get your choice of tails, scales and can even sport some cool new mermaid eyes.

I also noticed the new aspiration "beach life" under "location," and new "child of the ocean" and "child of the island" traits.

New Options in "Island Living"

I really enjoyed creating my first mermaid.
I really enjoyed creating my first mermaid. | Source

One Annoying Thing

One annoying thing I found out off the bat as well when creating my Sim is that every time I tried to create a new outfit for her, they put that darn island headdress on her head. Even though the island headdress is not part of her everyday attire, I tried on a headdress—once. Since then, no matter what outfit I selected for her to try on, no matter what hairstyle she started with, it switched her hair to include the island headdress. It was very time consuming to keep going back to change her hair for every single outfit in every single category.

I hope it's a glitch, and if it is, they need to fix that.

If not—okay, I get it, game makers. There is an island headdress option. I'm impressed. Can we move on?

Welcome to Sulani

This is a Hawaiian-inspired exotic world with its own culture in the game.
This is a Hawaiian-inspired exotic world with its own culture in the game. | Source


The new neighborhood in The Sims 4 world, Sulani, is spectacular. Reefs, waterfalls, a volcano, crystal clear ocean, and verdant sandy coves—the artists truly did a magnificent job. There are a lot of beautiful new build mode items as well, including lounge chairs, water sports activities and a new island wedding arch for those looking to tie the knot in this beautiful world.

The tropical paradise gives you the option of five new residential lots. Some are fully built for you and range from luxurious seaside homes to modest beach hovels. There are a couple of lots that are bare and ready for you to build your dream home on them. A couple of lots are even "off the grid," so beware of this lot trait—you won't be able to access your computer or phone if you take up residence on these spots!

For recreation, you have the Ohan'ali public beach and The Sand Bar, a nice little pub with indoor and outdoor lounging areas.

I hear rumors of secret hidden areas as well, but so far I haven't found any. Have you?

New Things to Do

There are lots of new activities and interactions for your Sims with the Island Living expansion.

  • Swimming as an activity is vastly improved and even regular human Sims can do new things in the water. Swimming has now been updated to be a fitness skill, and Sulani offers plenty of places to get exercise through water sports.
  • Your Sim can buy an Aqua-Zip, a sort of Waverunner vehicle, or can purchase her own boat!
  • For Sims who like Gardening, they'll find a few new things to plant—kava roots, coconuts, taro roots, and pineapples.
  • Sims who love Fishing will love the new Admiral's Fish Trap. There are new fishing interactions, rewards, and new rare item fishing spots.
  • New careers are available in this extension pack as well. Your Sim can become an environmentalist, or take a part-time job as a lifeguard, fisherman or diver. The latest The Sims 4 game patch also made it possible for adult Sims to get part-time jobs, and they can have more than one.

New "Island Living" Careers

The new part time careers will surely give your Sims a lot of variety for living in the tropics.
The new part time careers will surely give your Sims a lot of variety for living in the tropics. | Source

Also . . . Dolphins!

Interacting with dolphins is probably my favorite new feature!
Interacting with dolphins is probably my favorite new feature! | Source

Interacting with Dolphins

Probably my favorite new feature so far is that you can interact with azure dolphins. Even humans can have a dolphin encounter when they are swimming in the ocean, but mermaids can call over dolphins and befriend them.

You can talk to the dolphins, feed them, play with them or ask them to do tricks. Of course, like with pets, you'll want to be nice to the dolphins or they may not like you.

The Scenery Is Really Breathtaking

This expansion pack really has me psyched up for summer and hitting the beach!
This expansion pack really has me psyched up for summer and hitting the beach! | Source

Playing a Mermaid (Spoilers Warning!)

From what I can tell, playing a mermaid is going to be fun. As mentioned, there are a few interesting options in the CAS mode so that you can make your mermaid the gorgeous aquatic goddess-type, or something sinister and scary. Your mermaid gets a human form as well, which can look as much or as little like his or her mermaid form as you wish.

Little ones who are born mermaids will look very human and won't get their fins until they are teens.

If you have an existing Sim you want to become a mermaid, you can do that as well—but you have to have them find and eat mermaid kelp. Good luck with that; this stuff is exceedingly rare!

Mermaids have mostly the same needs that human Sims have, except instead of "Hygiene" they have a "Hydration" bar. They need to stay hydrated, either by swimming, bathing or drinking water. Hydration is the source of their power; the more hydrated they are, the better their powers will work.

Yes, you read that right—powers. Mermaids get a whole slew of powers, such as changing the weather, messing with the moods of other Sims, summoning island elementals or charming people with their voices.

The kind of powers your mermaid has depends on if he is good or evil. Evil mermaids can even kill human Sims much in the way mermaid myths say—they sing a haunting tune to lure some unsuspecting person, then drown them.

Is It Worth It?

Of all The Sims 4 expansion packs, I can see how they might appeal to some and not to others. I honestly can't imagine someone not liking something about the new Island Living expansion pack. Of all the expansion packs, it's quickly becoming a favorite of mine. It offers so many unique things, and even if you never want a mermaid Sim, just the beautiful world of Sulani and all the water play makes it worth it to me.

This is one you won't want to miss!

What's Your Opinion?

What's your opinion of "The Sims 4: Island Living"?

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© 2019 Kenzie Cartwright


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