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  • The Sims 4.

  • Man, this and Skyrim are like the cockroaches of games in recent years.

  • I keep forgetting it exists, then every so often it scurries out from the darkness and

  • people are either excited or confused.

  • Sometimes both, like how you can dress up in Sims 4

  • llama costumes in Final Fantasy XV now.

  • Mmkay.

  • And then there’s the topic of the day, Jungle Adventure,

  • the sixth game pack for The Sims 4.

  • Once again it costs $20 and once again it’s bringing back a slice of gameplay from The

  • Sims 3, specifically the world adventuring from World Adventures.

  • But as you might guess from the title, it’s no longer a world youre adventuring within,

  • but a single jungle and a single adventure.

  • As is Sims 4 tradition, this pack snatches an idea that players enjoyed in the past and

  • whittles it down until it fits into the game’s more limited framework.

  • And I don’t exactly blame them either, since the cutting-down approach certainly worked

  • for Cats & Dogs if the crazy sales numbers are any indication, currently being the highest-selling

  • expansion pack to date.

  • So let’s see how the approach works for Jungle Adventure!

  • As always you get some new clothing and hair straight away.

  • And it’s about what you’d expect for a pack geared towards hacking your way through

  • dense plant life and getting tourist-wasted in cantinas: pith helmets, colorful shirts,

  • vests, and pants, a new tattoo, a few new hairstyles, and some hiking shoes.

  • Well, at least when it comes to adults.

  • Kids and toddlers don’t get much of anything, beyond a hat and a couple shirts.

  • Whatever though it’s time to take a trip to some jungles, and to do that you whip out

  • your phone and opt to take a vacation.

  • This can be from one to seven days, or even longer if you

  • choose to extend your stay once youre there.

  • The land youll be exploring is Selvadorada, a fictional mishmash of Central and South

  • American cultures that’s blended together to make a new

  • world divided into two main sections.

  • There’s the Puerto Llamante Marketplace and the Belomisia Jungle, the latter of which

  • contains several hidden lots that are only accessible if you goadventuring!”

  • Your adventure commences by renting a place to stay and then

  • trekking out to visit the Belomisia Trailhead park.

  • Once youre there youll see a sign that warns you some bad crap might happen and you

  • may want to take precautions, but this is The Sims so there’s nothing stopping you

  • from clawing at thorny vines with your bare hands.

  • This is not advised however, so it’s a good idea to wander into town and visit the marketplace.

  • This is a small collection of food and vendor stands that pop up every so often during certain

  • hours, much like the festivals in the City Living pack.

  • So youve got a food truck for trying out some local cuisine, and a few tables with

  • various items for sale that will be vital to surviving the jungle.

  • Be sure to check both the vendor items menu and the objects laid out on the tables, because

  • while the former stays the same the latter will change each time you visit.

  • With a machete in-hand you can start slicing into the overgrowth.

  • Oh and it might also help to use a sim with the new Jungle Explorer aspiration, because

  • why not get some extra reward points with your jungling.

  • After youve killed more vines than Twitter in 2016 you can pass through the newly-cleared

  • gateway, which provides you with one of those littlechoose your own adventuretype

  • pop-ups that The Sims 4 likes to use in place of having

  • something awesome play out with your actual sims.

  • Depending on your choice and whether or not you have a specific item or skill, youll

  • get a reward or a punishment like an item or a emotional buff, and youre teleported

  • to a new part of the map.

  • Welcome to the jungle!

  • Weve got fun and games.

  • Weve got everything you want, as long as what you want is to methodically whip the

  • camera around looking for something shiny to click on.

  • There are trees and plants with fruit and berries, including avocados, black beans,

  • and a tree that grows berries to instantly change your

  • simsemotions because of course there is.

  • After all, what’s a new Sims 4 pack without another slightly-different way to directly

  • make sims confident or angry or horny or whatever.

  • Youll also find some conspicuous piles of dirt.

  • These work exactly the same as collecting metals and crystals and all that kind of stuff

  • that’s already in the game, but as you level up youll glean an increasing number of

  • interactions for each dirt hole.

  • Like eventually youll unlock the ability to start an excavation, which lets other sims

  • join in the fun and dig up everything from old statues, to ceremonial knives, to crystal

  • skulls, fossilized mustaches and more.

  • After this, your sims can ship them off to be cleaned and authenticated, or you can just

  • do it yourself if youve got the skills and an archaeologist’s table.

  • It’s a lot of busy work, but I actually kind of like it in this case since there’s

  • something enjoyable about cleaning up old items and putting them on display.

  • Not only does it provide more art to place around your house, but it also gives you some

  • valuable artifacts that, surprise surprise, affect the emotions of nearby sims.

  • Or sometimes youll uncover a fake that doesn’t have any real value but is still

  • pretty amusing in and of itself.

  • Then there are relics, some of the most powerful new items in the pack.

  • These provide the ability to place blessings and curses on sims once youve assembled

  • the requisite components, and well get to what these can do in a bit.

  • But yeah, back to exploring the jungle, which really does look pretty nice.

  • There may only be one environment, but it’s a decently varied one with waterfalls, bridges,

  • cliff sides, and all sorts of lush vegetation.

  • Still, its limitations are apparent pretty quickly since each jungle location is actually

  • quite small with only a handful of interactive items in it.

  • But you do get a choice of pathways from time to time, and you can’t explore the entire

  • jungle in one vacation since it only allows a certain number of gates to be passed through

  • per trip, providing an artificial incentive to take multiple trips.

  • And youll want to explore enough to find the Hidden Temple, a randomly generated building

  • that contains a variety of mazes, traps, treasures, and puzzles.

  • Well, I say puzzles, but what I really mean are things that you click on, let a sim examine

  • for a minute, then depending on your skills and random chance

  • youll either find out the answer or you won’t.

  • There’s not much in the way of logic or challenge, it’s a bunch of clicking on pillars,

  • totems, pressure plates and bowl offerings and seeing if your sims have the attributes

  • and luck needed to pass to the next section.

  • Yeah, sticking your hands into dark wall holes is never advised, unless youre in The Sims

  • 4 and are looking for something fun to happen.

  • Sometimes itll only be a spider or some creepy crawly, other times youll be poisoned

  • and have to seek out an antidote in town, other times youll

  • randomly do something right and you can move on.

  • And each new room of the temple will provide some treasures in the form of dig sites, simoleons,

  • relics, and even treasure chests full of, well, treasure.

  • There are also skeletons.

  • *air horn!* *skeleton laughter*

  • Hehe, ah I’ve missed skeletons being in The Sims, and the

  • fact that theyre back was the single biggest reason I was curious to play this pack.

  • Unfortunately theyre not a new life state exactly, so you can’t go about making your

  • own skeletons in Create A Sim or being a skeleton full-time.

  • But you can at least find and interact with them when you come across them, and even become

  • one temporarily by way of blessings and curses.

  • Remember those relics I mentioned earlier?

  • Well one of them is a death relic that will turn your sims into a skeleton for a few days.

  • Another one will even summon a service skeleton to take care of chores in your household.

  • It’s no Bonehilda, but itll do in a pinch.

  • Yah, collecting and assembling all of the relics are one of the main things to accomplish

  • while adventuring, and again it’s a lot of compulsive busy work

  • but the results can be enjoyable while it lasts.

  • Especially when using a relic results in an unexpected death like spontaneous combustion.

  • *groans of combusting agony*

  • The other big thing to do while youre in Selvadorada is to level up your culture skill.

  • As you increase your Selvadoradian Culture level youll be able to partake in more

  • local activities, like doing a local dance and using local greetings

  • and playing local songs on the guitar.

  • And this is accomplished by just... doing things.

  • Everything from talking to locals to studying artifacts to drinking cocktails results in

  • an increase in the new Selvadoradian Culture skill.

  • Yeah that’s right, there’s a culture skill that you can max out

  • by drinking yourself into oblivion.

  • It’s a slow way to level up, but hey, if you believe in yourself you can do it.

  • Now that is the look of a cultured sim.

  • While this is mostly only useful while visiting Selvadorada, there are of course the expected

  • new items that are useful everywhere, like the

  • four new chairs and a new stool that you get.

  • There are over 170 new items in build mode in general, with a little bit of everything

  • from surfaces to beds to pillars to plants and wallpapers and a whole bunch of knicknacks,

  • all fitting in with its stylized faux-Latin American aesthetic.

  • Good stuff if youre into building lots in tropical and desert environments,

  • which I admittedly am.

  • You even get a barrel grill which makes me happy for some reason.

  • I don’t know I just like repurposed-looking items like this.

  • There’s also a handy light-up display box for showing off all the historical artifacts

  • that youve stolen, er plundered, er COLLECTED from the land and people of Selvadorada.

  • Although, it does seem like sims are oddly attracted to using it

  • for putting down food theyve prepared.

  • I’m not sure why but if they make some food and it goes missing, it’s probably in the

  • display case next to the cursed skulls.

  • And yeah, that’s The Sims Jungle Adventure game pack.

  • It’s $20. Is it worth picking up?

  • I mean, if youre looking for something different to do in a pretty environment in

  • The Sims 4, this certainly provides that.

  • But I wouldn’t think of it as a long-lasting overhaul to the game.

  • I mean, I do appreciate all the new collectibles, the new latin radio stations, spicy foods

  • and drinks, and being able to woohoo in more bushes.

  • But I felt like I had my fill after only a few hours of playing, having raided all the

  • jungles I could find, befriended every skeleton, and maxed out my skills in drinking Selvadoradian

  • liquor and digging up all their priceless artifacts to

  • plop onto the ground next to my pool.

  • It’s a fun time and it does some fun things, but whether or not the new stuff is what you

  • want in your game is obviously up to your own preferences.