Thanks to the EA Game Changers program I had the opportunity to play the new expansion pack The Sims 4 Cottage Living for about a week.
I only had Base Game and Cottage Living, and the software I had is not yet final, so there might be slight changes before release. We try to keep our reviews objective, so you can make your own decision, but any opinions in the review are our own.
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The farming in this game isn’t designed to be grand scale farming, but more the small town cottage/personal use farming.
You can purchase 3 different kinds of animals, cows, llamas and chickens, all of which have 2 or 3 colour variations.
chickens are available in brown, white or black.
You will need a chicken coop to keep chickens. They will hold a maximum of 8 chickens, but there is no max on how many chickens you can have on the lot, so get as many chicken coops as you want!
Chickens are the only ones you can actually also choose hens or rooster, or even chicks! If you have at least 1 rooster and 1 hen in your chicken coop, you actually have a chance for hatchable eggs.
Put those back in the chicken coop for the hens to brood on and after a little while, you can hatch the eggs. You can do this by an interaction yourself, and your Sim will pick the egg up, and the egg hatches in their hands (children can do this too!) or you can just let the timer run out, and it will hatch on it’s own.
When the egg has hatched, either a rooster chick or a hen chick will come out. It takes about 3 or 4 sim days for them to grow up to young adult stage.
Chickens have 4 life stages, chick, young adult, adult and elder. Chickens will die of old age, and Grim Reaper comes for them. Though Grim is very nice to them when they are ‘collected’.
Taking care of chickens
Be sure to take good care of your chickens. Clean their coop, collect their eggs (otherwise they will spoil), check the collected eggs for hatchable eggs (that way you will always have new chickens), and be sure to also give your chickens some attention. If you don’t they will become unhappy and run away.
Fencing you chickens in is also a thing to consider. If you don’t, they can wander around, even off lot. This isn’t an issue, as long as you keep track of them a bit (I found one of mine on the other side of the neighbourhood at some point). Personally, I like the roaming the chickens do, so I had them unfenced.
But if you want to keep them in a certain area, just a small fence (even the low iron one are enough) keeps them in. Ironically also the tall ones with a huge gap a chicken could easily just walk underneath, but hey, that’s the Sims.
Also, the chickens have a natural enemy, the fox. Foxes steal eggs, can fight and kill your chickens and cause mayhem.
You can give animals treats, there are a few available. For hens this will influence the eggs they lay. Give them a rainbow treat, and the next egg they lay is a rainbow egg, give them a chocolatey treat and you’ll get a chocolate egg, etc. This will wear off after that 1 egg they lay.
There are 2 special kinds though, that have an extra effect on your Chickens and are permanent.
This is the Golden treat, which turns your chicken into a golden chicken (also visually). They have a chance to lay golden eggs, and if they are happy, they will always lay a golden egg. Golden eggs can also be hatchable and can hatch a golden chick!
Also, try using a golden egg in certain cooking recipes and see what it does to your Sims, because it has some side effects!
Then there is the midnight treat, which turns your chicken into an evil chicken. You chicken will turn black with red glowing eyes. Just like the golden treat, this is a permanent change to your chicken. Evil hens lay obsidian eggs, which are black eggs. Use this egg in an omelet or scrambled eggs, and it will turn your Sims temporarily into ‘evil sims’, with red glowing eyes.
In my personal opinion, all chickens are evil little devil birds that used to be dinosaurs and they know it. But apparently in the game they can be cute. Though not always.
Don’t taunt them, and make them angry, or they might peck you. If you antagonize them even further, they might even fight you, and your Sim might not outlive that.
This takes a while and not every fight is to the death. But still, be careful. Especially with the actual evil chickens, because they have an even stronger connection to death (the chances are higher). That connection goes both ways, in both calling for Grim Reaper when you antagonize them and also keeping Grim Reaper away if you are their friend.
Cows come in brown/white or black/white, and you can only have a female cow (as that is the one you can milk). There is no way to breed a cow, so no offspring or cute little calves.
Cows need to be kept in an Animal Shed, which is 10×9 squares big (this includes their walking area).
For Cows treats influence the milk they give. Spicy treats give fire milk, veggie treats will give you plant based milk (which is great for Lactose intolerant Sims, the new trait)
There is 1 treat that will change the cows appearance, and that is the rainbow treat.
After the cow is milked, the effect of the treat will wear off (also for the golden and midnight treat, unlike with chickens).
llamas come in beige and white. You can’t decide on the sex of the llama, it is basically sexless as there is no visible indication (in UI or on the animal) that it is a female or a male.
Llamas also can’t reproduce, so no baby llamas sadly.
A cool extra feature of llamas is that they protect against foxes!
The cool thing about llamas is, that they change colour temporarily (with few exceptions) with each treat you give them! They revert back after you have sheered their wool. Spicy treats will give you red wool, rainbow treat gives rainbow wool, fishy treat is blue wool
This pack adds a few regular harvestables, like raspberries, blue berries, chocoberries, and 6 different types of mushrooms (verdant, lovely, charming, spicy, nightly and a 6th one I didn’t find yet). We will update our Seasons Harvest Guide when we have that information available, so keep an eye out on that.
But something entirely new is “oversized crops”. Oversized crops can only be grown on the new gardening patch that comes with the pack, they can be bought through build/buy.
There are 5 seeds you can buy for the oversized crops, Aubergine, Watermelon, Mushroom, Pumpkin and Lettuce. Oversized crops are not tied to the seasons if you have The Sims 4 Seasons, so you can grow them year round even with Seasons.
Oversized crops need good care to grow really big. There are 3 different sizes they can turn out in. You have “small” which will result in 4 plants in your patch. “medium”, which gives 2 plants per patch, and “oversized” which will give 1 huge one.
When you plant the seeds, they will always start with 9 little plants showing in the patch. You can see all the different stages/sizes in the image above.
There are also animals roaming around in Henford-on-Bagley that you can’t actually own, but you can interact with them and they each have their own benefits to have as friends.
Foxes are little thieves. They steal your chicken eggs, and might even kill your chickens. But if you befriend these foxes, you can actually ask them to not steal from you and have a good relationship with them. once you have a good relationship with a fox, you can even dress them! (this was bugged in our game so couldn’t test that). Foxes will also react to each other, and can also attack rabbits as well. Want to keep foxes away from your Chickens, you can upgrade your chicken coop with a fox alarm. And Llama’s will also protect against foxes.
Foxes don’t have a ‘home’ like other wild animals, they randomly spawn around the world.
Look for the little tree stumps around the world in Henford-on-Bagley. That is where they live.
You can befriend rabbits by talking to them, even singing to them, etc. Once you befriend a rabbit, you get the option to also buy a rabbit home for your own home, to call on them more easily.
You can ask befriended rabbits to help you with gardening as well.
Birds have a little Disney feeling to it. When you sing to them, they fly around.
Unlike the other animals, you do not befriend 1 bird, but a flock of birds. They live in little short trees without leaves around the Henford-on-Bagley world.
Once you befriended a flock of birds in the world, you can place a bird tree on your own lot from build buy.
Birds can also help you garden, they eat the little bugs from your crops so you don’t need to spray then anymore. But you need to ask them nicely to help you with the gardening.
And that’s farming in Cottage Living! To return to the main post click here