In short island paradise is a great expansion pack, it brings a lot of features, like resorts and water objects that can be used not just in the world that came with the EP (Isla Paradiso) but also in other worlds. This review is built up in 3 parts and will cover every feature that came with the EP.
Features we love
Resorts are awesome! In a resort it is your purpose to build a 5 star resort, from nothing and of course make loads of Simoleons. You do this by giving your visitors amenities with which they can entertain themselves, good food and you need a staff to maintain your resort.
Resorts on the one hand have been one of the most challenging features added in the game, it really does have a learning curve to get to your first 5 star resort. But it has also been made easy that there are no mundane tasks like constantly cleaning up the plates the guests leave behind.
Resorts are great for Simmers who love to build and those who like to play and give their Sims challenges. Also, your household gets to use the amenities for free!
Here we have collected some beautiful examples of resorts from the Sims Community:
Houseboats are especially great for the builders among us, but for players they are also a nice touch. Is your workplace on the other side of the island? No problem, we’ll just move the houseboat there so the Sim has a short commute each day.
What is also great about houseboats is that it is built for small houses, a mansion is great and all but how much do you actually use! Bedroom, bathroom, living room and kitchen. In a houseboat you are limited to small space. In Island Paradise they also added a new All-in-One Bathroom to help you save space! But for the builders, they can really let their creative juices go wild. Being limited in space has not stopped many builders to make some amazing boats.
Floating Palace of Atlantis by CreatEve Works
Beachy Boat by SNW
The Fantastical Floating Machine by Ruthless_kk
The Silver Star by by truthseeker832
Isla Paradiso is a beautiful tropical world set in an archipelago. It houses 3 different styles of houses, Spanish,Eco modern and Beachy.
What is important for me that if your house is on one side of the world, you can still get to work in time! With this huge world, that is possible because you just take a boat from one island and go directly to another by the shortest route possible. There are no roads on the water so no need to keep to strict Sailing Routes!
Moving world and moving houses on a lot
While these are two features added with the patch instead and not exclusive to Island Paradise. They are worth mentioning because they are that great.
Moving world allows your Sim from (for instance) Isla Paradiso to move to one of your other worlds. This can be so great if you have a family that has maxed out their house and are filthy rich. Instead of starting over you can move the family (or maybe 1 child and give them a story ‘I want to stand on my own two feet’) to another world. They will start from scratch (except they keep their skills, LTW) with 20000 Simoleons and have to buy a starter home.
Ever had it happen that you download a great house, have the perfect lot for it. Even though the lot is a few squares bigger. You place it there and whatever rotation you use it just doesn’t fit right? With the new move house on lot function you can move to a side of the lot to make it fit better. The controls do not have a clear meaning what is up/down/etc so you might think you press up and the lot move to the right. Just takes a couple of tries to get it right in this case.
Features we like
We love a challenge and discovering every uncharted island in Isla Paradiso is fun! The ways to discover them range from just being near an island to having build up your scuba diving skill to lvl 10 and doing something else (we are not giving away how to discover them!).
There are two reasons why we do not love uncharted islands. The first is that they are only available in Isla Paradiso. There is no replay value in other worlds like the amazing Dragon Valley or Monte Vista store worlds we have. And we dislike the technical difficulties. There is no denying it, the fog on the islands cause lag, increased graphics card temperature and makes your PC work hard. For such a small aspect I find this really not needed. You can always discover all the islands by using a cheat (testincheatsenabled true + discoverallunchartedislands) to remove all the lag.
With the scuba diving skill you can discover the depths of the ocean and find treasures. It is a great skill to learn,especially for gatherer Sims. It just gets a bit repetitive after a while. you start off with snorkeling and once your skill is high enough you can explore the depths of the ocean on dive lots. Isla Paradiso comes with 4 diving lots, each need a different skill level before you can use them.
Sadly just like uncharted islands, scuba diving (diving lots mainly) is a feature restricted to Isla Paradiso. Next to that, having only 4 diving lots to explore gets repetitive. You have explored every corner, cave and chests after a few dives, then you just start snorkeling again to build up your skill to lvl 10.
Both Diving lots and Uncharted Islands are being converted by modders for the use in other worlds, this is due to the genius of the modders but not an intended feature!
Stilted foundations and beach side houses
For the builders, stilted foundations give builders more freedom to build into the water like they never had before. It can give some great houses, it is a nice touch and will definitely excite builders.
Five Star House – por Silgene by AlalaSims
Island Breeze 2br. 2ba, by Ruthless_kk
Could be better
Mermaids are great to quickly explore all the diving lots as they have no breathing/oxygen problems in the water. Their fins/scales are also very beautiful. One downside to them,they swim everywhere! even when the water taxi or their own boat is faster!
Overall we think this is a wonderful pack. Resorts are enjoyable to run – you get to make decisions but don’t have to manage every little thing.
Scuba diving and uncharted islands are a nice addition, but have little application outside Isla Paradiso. Mermaids are also a nice addition, but they do have their drawbacks, such as the insistence on swimming everywhere.
Houseboats bring a lot, not just for Isla Paradiso but for all worlds. The buy/build objects brought with houseboats have added many more options for building playable homes in small spaces.
We would like to thank EA UK for sending us review copies of The Sims 3 Island Paradise.