Following the recent launch of The Sims 4: Eco Lifestyle, we now have 14 residential worlds to choose from, along with 2 vacation worlds. Given the introduction of the eco footprint functionality, which impacts almost all the worlds, it seems like a good time to revisit each world, look at what it has to offer, and also some tips on how best to adapt to an eco lifestyle.
First up, is Willow Creek, one of the 2 original worlds from The Sims 4.
The in-game description of Willow Creek is
A verdant, sprawling region of lush bayous and rolling plantation land that is home to aristocratic farmers, southern gentry, and swamp-dwellers. Willow Creek is a diverse blend of rich tradition, understated grandeur and true salt-of-the-earth hospitality.
The map screen shows a number of rivers, with a paddle boat travelling down the main one. It is split into 5 areas, and a park.
Beginning with the patch for Eco Lifestyle, each area of the world has it’s own name and map-tag on the main screen. From clockwise, Sage Estates, Pendula Lane, Courtyard Lane, Foundry Cove, and Crawdad Quarter, with Magnolia Blossom Park in the middle. The names and the architecture bring a touch of the Old Town French Quarter feel we’ve seen in various guises throughout The Sims’ history. The first 4 areas are wholly residential. They have a mix of pre-built houses and empty lots, with one pre-made family in each. Crawdad Quarter is the downtown area of community lots. There are also some park type areas that function as community areas but are not editable via build/buy mode, although in some cases, you can add items from inventory to them.
Sage Estates has 2 residential lots, a 40×30, which is home to the Spencer-Kim-Lewis family, and an empty family home on a 50×50 lot. The Spencer-Kim-Lewis’ lot is on a cliff, overlooking the rest of the town, and there is seating and fishing along the riverbank near both lots, as well as some harvestables.
Pendula Views has 4 residential lots, one empty 30 x20 lot, and 3 with houses. Two 40×30 lots are uninhabited, the 4th lot is another 30×20 and is home to The Sims’ First Family, The Goths. This iteration falls somewhere between The Sims 1 and The Sims 2 in timeline, with Mortimer as an adult, Bella a young adult Cassandra a teen, and Alexander a child.
There are 2 small park areas here, one with a pirate ship for kids to play on, chess tables and a coffee stand, and another behind Umbrage Manor that has some planters with mature plants and a memorial area. Sims’ gravestones can be placed here via inventories/Place in World interaction. A wide road, with tram lines runs through this area and you can often see cars and trams passing through. I have The Sims 4 Seasons installed, and there’s a skating rink in a random area here.
Courtyard Lane and Foundry Cove both have 5 lots each, 4 pre-built and one empty on each. Courtyard Lane has slightly larger, more family-orientated lots, and is home to the Pancake family, while Foundry Cove has smaller starter lots, and is home to the BFF family.
Courtyard Lane runs alongside the river, but offers no access. It does have a park area, with seating and grills. If you watch the river, you can sometimes see the paddle boat sailing past. Foundry Cove backs onto the river, and offers multiple opportunities for fishing and other collectables. There is also an area of parkland, which is home to a rather special tree! Build a relationship by caring for, and talking to, the tree, and you might get to go on an adventure! If you do decide to go exploring, it may be worth kitting your Sim out as if they were going camping. Just a thought!
Downtown, the Crawdad Quarter is home to the library, gym, museum and nightclub, and is next door to Magnolia Blossom Park. The area backs onto the harbour, and has recreation areas allowing for grilling and fishing along the water’s edge. There’s another pirate ship area and another skating rink nearby. You can also see the paddle boat pass by here!
By default, all areas start with a neutral eco footprint, except Magnolia Blossom Park, which is green. If you wanted to look to an industrial eco footprint, Foundry Cove, that might be a good place to start based on the name and lot sizes! It’s aimed around smaller starter lots; sims that live here might not have the funds to start getting things like solar panels and water collectors to reduce their bills and increase the green footprint. With small lots, it would also be ideal for some trailer style lots, or even shipping container builds that would work with the industrial theme as well.
Most of the houses have space to add eco friendly features, such as solar panels or wind turbines without too much fuss. The community lots, on the other hand have got very little space to tweak them, unless you plan a major overhaul. Community Spaces are specific to their home area, so while I did look into changing Magnolia Blossom Park into a Community Space lot for the whole of Willow Creek, Sims can only vote on Community Spaces and NAPs in their home neighbourhood. As there is no way to have a residential lot in that area, it will only ever be a basic Community Space, even if you use cheats. If you want a Community Space that functions fully, and your Sims can influence, you’ll need to give up one of the residential lots in that home neighbourhood.
Overall, Willow Creek is a friendly, open neighbourhood, which feels like a traditional Sims hood from previous game versions.