Reviews The Sims 4

The Sims 4 Dream Home Decorator – Review

Lebanna
Written by Lebanna

This review is made possible through the EA Game Changers program and EA granting us Early access of the new pack.
We try to keep our reviews as objective as possible, but if you see opinions, they are our own.

The Sims 4 Dream Home Decorator will be released Tuesday June 1st, around 6pm UK time. It is Game Pack number 10 already in this generation. Game packs have more content than Stuff packs, but less than a full expansion pack.
This Game pack is all about home decoration. There is a new career, new build/buy (BB) items, and create-a-sim (CAS) items. So we will go through all of those.

Career – Interior Decorator

The main feature of this new pack is of course, the career, Interior Decorator.
It is an active career, which means you go to the job location and have to do things to fulfill gigs.
Though, it is optional, just like with the active careers in The Sims 4 Get to Work. You can also opt out into going with your Sims to the gig and send them alone into a rabbithole.
Downside of this, is that you don’t gain progress in the career as fast, or at all. You will just do ok jobs.

Gigs

The jobs you have to do for this career are called Gigs.
You get to choose which ones you do. And the further you get along in the career the more gig options you get.
There are 4 types of gigs, Room Renovations, which is your choice of a single room at the gig site, Room Addition, Level Renovations and Level Additions.
When you start out the average gig will pay you 600 simoleons.
Gigs can be both on residential lots, as on commercial lots. On residential lots the entire household that lives there will have a say (except toddlers and pets) and on commercial lots, there will be a representative.

This is dependent on how well you perform though. If you’re not doing what the client wanted, you might even not get paid at all, or if you did a great job, then you may be paid more.

The main thing for the Interior Decorator career is to work on your reputation and Performance. These show up as 2 meters under the career tab, similar to performance for any other job.
Performance is tied, just like other careers, to promotions. And reputation is attached to the gigs you do, and how well you do them.

Gigs start at 9am the next day and have to be finished before 9pm that same day. So it’s on you to keep a schedule of when you want to work or not. There are no vacation days, and no set working days. Want to week 7 days a week? Go ahead. Comfortable with only working 1 day a week, also fine.
If you don’t accompany your Sim to the gig, then your Sim will be gone from 9am to 9pm.

If you do the gigs well, you can also get more gigs by getting referred by old clients, or have clients return to have you do something else.

Gameplay

Awesome! Now it’s time to get started in the new career. You’ve selected the your first gig. at 8am tomorrow morning you’ll get a little notification in the top right that your gig will start in an hour. And at 9am a pop up will come up that will ask you if you want to join your Sim to the gig, or let them go alone.

We’ll select go along with them.
You will immediately be transported to the location you gig is at. Knock on the door to start the gig.

Be sure to talk to the clients, ask them for their preferences and their likes and dislikes and they will fill up the question mark bubbles you see in the gig panel (it’s under the career panel). With a little luck, it will be only decor and colours, and preferably likes. As that’s easier to work with.
If you’re unlucky, they will tell you they dislike cooking, rocket science, dislike the colour grey or something and love painting, for the walk in closet….. That’s a little hard to work with.

The bubbles will be filled with random likes/dislikes from the entire household the gig is on. (that way it is also a bit randomized when you do another gig at the same household)

If you have some of those bubbles filled up, you can also try and persuade the client into changing a colour or decor preference. The hobbies and music however, can’t be changed.
If you’re happy with the information, or you just want to get started, send the client away, only then can you start building.
Don’t forget to make ‘before’ pictures though. But if you do, don’t worry, you can even make those afterwards, they just won’t be accurate. I have done this a few times (because I kept forgetting) and saw no negative from this.
Next thing to keep in mind, is that there is a budget. You can maybe up this budget by selling some of the furniture already in the room. You can try to go over budget, but as a beginner, you don’t have the reputation to pull this off yet. And you will fail the gig.

Now that the clients are away, you can enter build mode. The info panel will appear on the top left now, with the likes/dislikes you’ve discovered, as well as other potential restrictions. (max tiles you can add if you have an addition gig, or which level you can change if you’re on a level gig).
Also the budget of course. And it will turn red if you go over.

If you’ve done your thing, changed the room, added a room, or what ever you needed to do, it’s time to take after pictures, and call the clients back.
It’s time for the reveal! You don’t have to do this, if you don’t like it, and just want to know if it was successful or not click no on the hosting event.
But, I think it’s worth doing at least once.
Now that the clients have returned, they gather at the front door with you. To start the reveal, click on one of the clients and choose to reveal the renovation

Your Sim will guide them inside, and the clients will walk in with their eyes closed until they are in the area you’ve changed.
And a little animation will play of the before and after pictures you took.
Now it’s time to show off your work. Talk to the clients again, show specific objects you think they will love. The Clients will also walk around and judge things. They will do this for a little bit, until they are ready to give you their verdict. This will show with a notification in the top right, as well as a check mark above their heads. Now, it’s time to ask their verdict and hope it’s good.

You need to ask all the household members for their verdict to get the total result. If it’s good, you’ll get more than the gig pay and your reputation will go up significantly, if it’s just ok, you’ll get the normal pay out, if they hate it, you will not get paid at all and your reputation will drop.

Now it’s time to go home, or hang around the lot for a bit, what ever you’d like.

If you have a good reputation, you can also receive mail from people that send you gifts as thank yous, or strangers because they want you to use their items.
But also the opposite, if you fail a gig, then they might send you a letter saying how awful they find your renovation.


Texts are also possible from previous clients, that they still love their new room.

Interior Decorator Career rewards

LvlJob TitleGigsPerks
1Interior Colour ConsultantOnly generic room renovations
2Interior Design TechnicianAdds specific room renovations (bedroom, bathroom, etc.)Unlocks “Issues of Interior Design Magazines” decor item
3Space ManagerLevel renovationsUnlocks new clothes
4Decorating ConsultantYou can now “Discuss latest trends”
5Building Space PlannerHigher paying room renovations (Fabulous Living Room Renovation)Unlocks “Patterns and Shapes Modern Rug”
6Home OrganiserRoom additionsUnlocks new clothes
7Home DecoratorUnlocks new clothes
8Business Interior Designer
9Level additions
10

Tips and Tricks

One thing that I’ve learned, is that if you sell items to up your budget, pay attention to items that have other stuff attached to it. Think table/desk with chairs, decoration on tables, etc. The main object will be sold, but the items that were attached are going into YOUR household inventory. Meaning, you don’t get cash for it, and you also can’t access them anymore to reuse them, or to sell them still. And you will still have it when you return home.
This can be a quick way to get some cash into your household though. It’s not REALLY stealing… Or is it?


To be fair, to me this is a bug. If you can’t access the household inventory during a gig, then nothing should go in it while being on a gig. So all the items should be sold when deleting a ‘parent’ object. But, it’s in the game now, so use it, or avoid it. Hopefully it will be fixed in a patch.

Room Addtions

Room additions are quite tricky to do. Because the game will prevent you from changing the entire house, it limits what you can do. That means, it will give you errors when you actually just want to add a room, and it says you can’t change the structure of the building.

In this above screenshot, I was not allowed to close that gap between the walls to make it a room. While I did manage it before, so it is possible, it just takes A LOT of fiddling to get it to work. Maybe I’ll get the hang of it eventually of what exactly it is that’s not allowed and what is. But at this moment, it was just frustrating and annoying. I did manage to make it work eventually.

Build/Buy

Because this is a game pack that has a career devoted on renovating interior homes, there is a good variation of items in this pack. Though I say good variation, I mainly mean that they tried to add new items in all sorts of categories, but they don’t really differ in style.
The style is mostly “Scandinavian” modern. Soft tones, Soft woods etc.

Modular items

One of the big things they’ve added is a whole modular system of furniture. There are 2 styles, with rounded corners and with sharp corners. And they can all snap together to create your own shape for furniture.
It can be used for tv ‘stands’, (walk in) closets, desk areas with shelving around or anything else you might think of.
Now, if you want to use these items, the best way to find them is to use the search bar, and type in “modular”. You will find all the items except the clothes in that section that will snap together. (The clothes are in the dresser section.)

Sectional sofas

Another new thing coming with this pack, which also fits the modular theme, are the sectional sofas.
There are 2 versions. Both have the regular sectional sofa version or a chaise lounge version. Both have a ‘stand alone’ version too (aka, a chair)

Kitchen

Additionally to all of the above, there are also 2 full kitchen sets. I say full, but it’s minus the fridge. But what’s totally new about them is the stove and oven. They have separated those items, so you can place the oven somewhere else in the kitchen than you want the stove.
There are 2 versions of the counter top stove, an induction like one, and a regular gas burner. The oven also comes in 2 different styles.
And, there are also matching counter top ovens. Don’t mind the mismatched kitchen in the screenshot, tried to get all the swatches visible.

Create-a-Sim

Even though the title of this pack may suggest this is a builders only pack, that’s not entirely true. Toddlers to elders got some new tops, bottoms, full body outfits, hairs and accessories, although it is more feminine teen to elder geared in the amount of new things.

For feminine Sims there are 4 hairstyles (2 of them are the same, just with or without baby hairs), 2 earrings, 1 necklace, 8 new tops (one is locked behind the career), 9 full body outfits (2 locked behind the career), 9 bottoms (1 locked behind the career), 1 pair of socks and 3 pairs of shoes.
For masculine Sims there are 2 hairstyles, 6 new tops (one is locked behind the career), 2 full body outfits (both locked behind the career), 2 bottoms (1 locked behind the career), 1 pair of shoes.
For feminine kid Sims there are 2 hairstyles (both the same, just with and without baby hairs), 2 new tops, 1 full body outfits, 3 bottoms and no shoes or accessories.
For masculine kid Sims there is 1 hairstyle , 2 new tops, no full body outfits, no bottoms and no shoes or accessories.
And last, toddlers, they get 1 top (both) and 1 full body outfit (for feminine).

For convenience, we have put the overview of all the colour options and 360 views in a video (see embedded below).

Conclusion

Overall I think this pack adds a lot to the game, especially in terms of BB, but CAS also gets some nice things, although once again feminine geared.
The career is fun, and free to choose when and how. Though it does get repetitive after a while, even though the likes and dislikes change. This might be because I’m not really a story teller in my game play, so it’s just execution of the gigs.
There are some bugs still in the game that I hope will be addressed, and the difficulty what is allowed when doing room and level additions could be tweaked a lot.
for €19.99, you do get more than a stuff pack, and less than an expansion pack. If it’s worth the money – well, that’s something I can’t tell you; that’s very personal. To me, as mainly a builder, it is worth it.

Let us know what YOU think though. Drop by during our early access livestream Monday May 31st 6pm UK time at Twitch.tv/PlatinumSimmers
Or let us know on Twitter and Facebook

Once again we would like to thank EA and The Sims team for giving us a review copy and early access so we could make this review.

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