"The Sims 4: Realm of Magic" Game Pack Review
"The Sims 4: Realm of Magic" Game Pack
"The Sims 4: Realm of Magic"
Magic and spell casting are finally part of the Sims universe, thanks to the release of the game pack The Sims 4: Realm of Magic. The game pack was released on September 10, 2019, and I spent the weekend binge-playing a new adventure to see all that it had to offer.
The game pack has brought an exciting new dimension for my Sims to explore. It's not the first time that magic has been part of The Sims; it was introduced in The Sims 2 and The Sims 3, but this is the first time you can play a full-fledged spell caster in The Sims 4 without a lot of game mods (fan shorthand for the modification programs made by players).
There is so much in this new addition that it's hard to believe Realm of Magic is just a game pack and not a complete expansion pack. I must admit that it isn't entirely without problems, but hopefully, these will be fixed by The Sims 4 creators in upcoming game patches.
Testing "The Sims 4: Realm of Magic" Game Pack
Welcome to Glimmerbrook
When you first load up the game, you'll notice you have access to a Glimmerbrook, a quaint new small town with a colonial vibe. The town has:
- two residential lots occupied by "townies"
- one residential lot with a small vacant home
- one empty residential lot
- one lot with a charming local pub
- a hidden lot
The townies seem wary of strangers (most of them disliked my Sim off the bat, without even meeting her). It's not hard for a cordial Sim to win them over, though, with a little chit-chat over a drink at Elixirs and Brews. The cozy little village can be a nice place to call home.
The Magical Realm
The Magical Realm
If your Sim follows the main path in Glimmerbrook up the hill, he'll come to a cliff with a waterfall and a mysterious-looking arch. If he goes through the arch, he will stumble upon the magical realm—a fantasy land made up of mystical islands floating in a universe seemingly outside of time and space.
I squealed with glee upon first entering the realm because the artwork is stunning. There is a strong Harry Potter series influence underlying the entire design. Mostly this is a very cool addition to the game, but there are a few things about it that stumped me.
Let's look at the areas one by one.
The headquarters (HQ) is on the largest chunk of land. It boasts a stately mansion that operates as a magical training center and comfortable hangout. Your Sims can't live at HQ or redecorate the place (the build mode is inaccessible from this world), but he can spend as much time as he likes there learning from and socializing with other magical Sims.
I was surprised to see that the run-of-the-mill game townies from the base game and other packs are regulars here. I felt like asking them, "You all knew about this place the whole time and never told me?"
This is a small area where vendors sell magical wares, such as wands, broomsticks, potion ingredients, and magical tomes. There are several buildings, but they're just scenery; you can't enter any of them. The three vendors operate magic walk-up stands.
The items for sale change periodically, both in availability and price. A lot of ingredients are common items found in other Sim neighborhoods, such as apples or frogs, so don't waste your simoleons unless you really need something and can't find it elsewhere.
This is a pretty place to duel, but that's about it. I don't really understand the inclusion of this area because you can challenge people to duel anywhere. Sometimes your Sim may get challenges to meet someone in the dueling grounds, but there is nothing there but a nicely-decorated open space. There are no spectators, no judges, no prize stands.
This is a small area where a few magical items are available to harvest for free. There is also a place to search for frogs and to fish. The center of this lot has a lovely greenhouse, but unfortunately, it is inaccessible.
I Love the New "Witchy" Kitchen Items
Overall, both Glimmerbrook and the magical realm look like they have more to offer than they actually do, which made me feel a little disappointed initially. Then I realized that this is just a game pack, not a complete expansion pack, and in thinking about it from that perspective I realized that the creators were pretty generous in what they offered.
You also have to take into consideration the very cool build mode items that you can use throughout the Sims universe. There is a lovely selection of stained-glass windows, rugs with runes and moon symbols, wall hangings for spell casters or potion makers, and fantasy-style furnishings.
Some of the items are functional, too, such as large, crystal-powered cauldrons, a crystal-heated fireplace, bookshelves with magical tomes and artifacts that can be bound to your Sim as familiars. Considering you can bring magic back with you to the other Sims neighborhoods, it's a good deal.
Interesting Fashions, Too!
Your existing Sim can become a spellcaster by finding another spell caster and asking them to perform the "Rite of Ascension." This rite will give your Sim magical powers.
On the flip side, you can create a spellcaster from the start in the Create-a-Sim mode by giving them a magical bloodline. This bloodline will help the Sim later in developing magical abilities. The option is at the bottom left of the screen where other "occult" Sims (such as mermaids and vampires) can be created. Spellcasters do not have an alternate form like vampires and mermaids, but you can give them pointy teeth or spooky eyes like other occult species.
Two new aspirations are available for spellcasters (whether they were made in Create-a-Sim or given powers through the Rite of Ascension):
- The Spellcraft & Sorcery aspiration is under the "Knowledge" category and gives your Sim traits that make him more effective at spellcasting (and less likely to be injured or killed by a spell gone wrong).
- The Purveyor of Potions aspiration is under the "Nature" category and gives your Sim a lower chance of potion failures.
Get Your Game on
This game pack gives you not only one new neighborhood to explore, but two. One is a seemingly normal Sim town, the other is a hidden realm you can explore to learn the magical arts (both dark and light). I've put many hours this past week into testing this game and I keep running into new surprises or new fun things to do with magic. If you love fantasy, this is a great addition to your Sims collection.
Magical Things to Expect
- Spells, which are divided into four categories (Practical, Mischief, Untamed, and Alchemy)
- Curses that can and do harm Sims (including the caster himself)
- Magical energy that can make you more powerful, but can also make spells harder to control
- Cauldrons (heated by crystals) used for brewing potions
- Potions that, when taken, can affect even non-magical Sims
- Tomes, found on magical bookshelves, that if found will teach your Sim new spells and potions
- Wands, which are not necessary, but can be used for magical (Sims can also just use their hands)
- Brooms that will allow your Sim to fly to different locations, even in non-magical Sim neighborhoods
- Familiars that spellcasters can bind to themselves for help in their magical work and studies (and yes, you can make your pets into familiars)
- Perks points (similar to fame perks or vampire perks) that your Sim can spend on beneficial attributes
- A spellbook (accessed through the perk chart) that tells you which spells and potions your Sim has learned
A Fun Addition, But Needs Work
The Sims 4: Realm of Magic is going to be a fun addition to my Sims' world, I can tell already and I have only started with one Sim on one adventure.
One problem I have with the game, however, is that there are multiple glitches. Some glitches include my Sim getting locked out of his spellbook, Sims getting reset on lower levels of magic with no explanation, and not being able to sell potions. Many Sims fans on various message forums have reported similar glitches. Many are questioning as to whether The Sims Studio will be working on a patch to help fix the glitches (game expansions that had rocky rollouts in the past got fix patches), but as of this writing, there have been no official announcements.
If The Sims Studio doesn't get around to fixing the glitches, fans of the game have already been sharing mods (fan-made game modifications that fix the program) in an effort to correct the problems.
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.
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© 2019 Kenzie Cartwright