On the afternoon of November 16th, Sims 4 developers revealed what would become their latest kit - Modern Menswear - to the world. The kit, slated to release December 2nd, quickly became a trending topic on Twitter while catching the eyes of such high fashion publication and pop culture staples like Vogue and Vice.
Why all the to-do about a small, 23-piece fashion kit? By teaming up with fashion icon Stefan Cooke to bring his show-stopping, gender norm-upending knitwear to the Sims, developers are fully engaging with the freshest trend in both gaming, fashion, and beyond - creating the metaverse.
The “metaverse” is a term that easily sounds like parody or even post-apocalyptic, but it loosely refers to the growing blend of what is virtual to what is reality. As the Sims partners with Stefan Cooke, Gucci partners with Xbox, and Balenciaga partners with Fortnite, what is “real” is quickly overlapping into what is “virtual” in our increasingly online and global economy.
Modern Menswear Kit: What to Expect
Modern Menswear features the iconic knits and playful ready-to-wear fashions that often define Stefan Cooke’s signature style. Through 23 fashion pieces, this pack offers players stylish fashions that defy traditionally masculine silhouettes and gender norms. Players can expect bold printed patterns, knitwear with “skirting,” and blouse-like tops.
Why infuse the feminine with the masculine in a modern menswear pack?
What is cutting edge and modern in fashion loudly reflects changing ideas about gender. As the world grapples with what gender means, as people young and old begin questioning and defying gender as a binary, as many people explore the pronouns that most please them and find comfort in the space between gender expectations, as a growing audience begins to upend and break down the patriarchal expectations that are toxic masculinity, fashion responds by offering clothes that live outside of the binary.
What is gender? Why are any of us committed to binding certain silhouettes to a certain group of people in the first place. Stefan Cooke is one of those many designers that throw out tradition and challenge gender expectations in his designs.
Who is Stefan Cooke?
Stefan Cooke is a British fashion designer who is committed to uprooting gender expectations in clothing. Alongside his partner and boyfriend Jake Burt, Cooke creates the high-fashion styles that he was often inspired to make through necessity as a young person. Cooke often waxes about his younger years as a designer. While he longed for luxury looks and textiles, he often had to make do with the looks he found in thrift shops or cobbled from scraps of non-standard materials.
The result was a deconstructed look that often parodied what was deemed “high-fashion” and “masculine.” Cooke created knits entirely from buttons for example. He placed woolen knit patterns on polyester and created boldly printed trousers for men.
When Cooke initially came to the table with The Sims producers, he was, according to Vogue, ready to provide radical high-fashion for the iconic game brand. However, when he realized that Simmers really only want ready-to-wear items, he quickly generated ideas that challenged traditional ideas of “masculinity” while remaining palatable to the larger Sims audience.
Community Reaction and Criticism
Community reaction to this kit was mixed. A growing distaste for kits has boiled in the bellies of dedicated players for many months; the “snackable” downloadable content concept feels dangerously close to the widely-loathed but massively profitable microtransaction of mobile games.
Some Simmers, particularly those who have advocated for more menswear from the Sims team, balked at the idea of marrying what is feminine with what is masculine in a pack for men.
Still others believe that such gender-defying fashions should not be hidden behind a paywall. These Simmers point to some of the most recent packs— Incheon Arrivals and Fashion Street— as evidence that Sims developers are asking their players to pay out for cultural representation. Clothes that allow people outside of the White, cis-gendered crowd to represent themselves better in-game, should be offered to everyone, according to such Simmers like Emma Hart:
What do you think of the next Sims kit? Let us know on Twitter! Happy Simming!
SimGuruDuck, SimGuruSalo, and SimGuruRusskii all took to Twitch on October 26th to not only reveal what lies in Sims 4’s immediate future but also to celebrate the vast, unique contributions of Hispanic people in the Sims community.
During this stream, players learned that Sims developers would add a new piece of wall art - painted by Brazilian collaborative Laño- to the game. The wall art, inspired by the flowing, entangled lines of found in nature, is done in black and white but manages to feel light and airy.
Players will find this particular selection of art in game after the next Sims patch, which will hit PC and consoles next week. Folded into this patch is also a textured toddler hairstyle, one previously available via a purchasable DLC. This move is an effort to uncouple many essential representative features from their previous paywalls.
Sims Delivery Express
Additionally, the newest Sims update will enable what developers have deemed “Sims Delivery Express,” or hotfixes within game. That is, developers will be able to push out build/buy assets, fresh hairs, or decor in bite-sized updates. Because these updates are so small, they will not require the same content-breaking patches with which Simmers have grown increasingly familiar.
The talk of the town, without a doubt, is Sims 4’s newest feature dubbed “Scenarios.”
Essentially, Scenarios are a codification of existing community challenges such as “100 Baby Challenge” and “Rags to Riches.” That is, Sims 4 will now provide in-game structures for completing these challenges to everyone. Players will be able to choose a scenario and complete its objective by whatever means they see fit.
After the update and upon opening a new game, players will be prompted to choose a “new scenario.”
Initially, only two scenarios will be available for players to complete: “moneymaking” and “finding love after a break up.” Each scenario will require the target Sim to achieve a specific goal or set of goals to complete. For “MoneyMaking” the Sim must work (or cheat/lie/steal) their way from zero to one million simoleons within their lifetimes. Some members of the Sims community will recognize this gameplay as “Rags to Riches.”
Players will need to meet the requirements for each new challenge before exiting Create—a-Sim before they can embark on a scenario journey. Some may ask for a certain number of adults or children in the household. Some may require certain aspirations or traits.
While “moneymaking” and “Love after a Breakup” will be the initial scenarios available, Maxis also plans to introduce “well-rounded,” “too many toddlers,” and some limited time only scenarios in the future.
Players who successfully complete challenges earn a lump sum of satisfaction points for their trouble.
What are you excited for?
Hallyu, or Korean pop culture, has officially seized the world into its inspiringly catchy and fashionable grip.
Sims 4 is no exception. With salivating fans across the globe consuming gargantuan amounts of K-Pop music like BTS and raving about such Korean dramas as Squid Game, it is no wonder that Sims 4 developers would get around to capturing these trends in their life simulator.
Incheon Arrivals Kit is slated to release October 5th. Included in this pack are the current — think 2021 Seoul Fall Fashion week current— threads often touted by the biggest of international pop-stars on what has become one of the world’s biggest international fashion runways: the Incheon Airport.
BTS Arrives at Incheon Airport
Another gratuitous photo of BTS arriving at Incheon Airport - you’re quite welcome.
What to Expect
The Incheon Arrivals kit comes fitted with the ready-to-wear apparel currently popular amongst Korean youth. Players can expect loose-fitting knits, chunky shoes (affectionately called “turbo trainers”, ankle pants, trenchcoats, plaid button ups, military boots, and sleek head-to-toe black looks.
Seoulinspired.com: A Korean model sports the now-popular ankle trousers.
Vogue: Many Korean popstars are returning to the all-black classic silhouette.
Vogue: A Korean model shows off an all-black ensemble with the fashionable Korean skirt.
Korean trends show young people gravitating to simple neutrals and cozy, oversized items, particularly knits. Players can expect a lot of this trend in the newest kit.
Koreans are also cozying up to large trenchcoats as fashion pieces, a look Sims 4 seems to have embraced in spades:
Note the oversized trainers in this outfit too.
The Incheon Arrivals kit will appeal to players who adore comfortable fashions in muted neutrals. As some Korean youth move away from what may be considered traditional wear, they seem to edge closer to what may be recognized as “90s grunge,” and we here at Simmer’s Digest are more than happy with this.
What are you most excited for in this brand new kit?
In efforts to expand the Sims 4 repertoire of fresh fashion, Sims 4 developers have announced a new Create-a-Sim kit, one inspired by the trendy threads of Mumbai, India: Fashion Street Kit.
The incoming kit, slated to release October 5th, is filled with the bold prints, silk tops, and gold accessories that often characterize the well-dressed youth of India.
Priced at 4.99 USD, the Fashion Street Kit offers 26 new clothing items for the stylist Simmer. A quick glance at the fashionable selection reveals carefully crafted items that reflect both new and old worlds, a marriage between what is modern and what is traditional, a dichotomy that is incredibly common on the streets of Mumbai.
Old World meets New World
Young professionals in India often celebrate their ancient heritage by wearing traditional pieces with more updated ones. Someone might pair a simple white dress or suit with a dupatta, a finely embroidered shawl, for a pop of color. While traditional dupattas were often worn over the shoulders and head, more modern wearers might wear it just over the arms, around the torso like a cape, or slung over one shoulder.
The result is modest and regal, but flowing— almost bohemian— and chic.
The pack also includes several versions of a kurta, or a long, tunic-like shirt often worn with pleated, loose fitting pants that cuff at the bottom called shalwar. These garments are often worn in the name of comfort, but modern youth often update these styles with more wearable fabrics and more chic prints. Pairing these traditional silhouettes with clean, modern sandals complete this modest look.
All that Glitters
Fashion Street offers Simmers a new gold nose piercing to accompany its Indian-inspired fashions. Why nose piercings? Traditionally, Indian women pierced their noses to indicate their marital status. A single stud, or “nath,” in the left nostril often meant a young woman was married. But Indian people also enjoy chunky gold jewelry as a fashion accessory, a symbol of wealth, and to honor religious traditions.
Indian people often paint their hands, arms, legs, or feet at important celebrations like weddings, birthdays, and baby showers with a special, ink-like mixture called Henna. The intricate designs henna artists paint onto their clients are complex, beautiful, and instantly recognizable.
This tradition is also practiced in other south Asian countries and in parts of the Middle East. After crushing the Henna plant, a plant known for its cooling properties, into a stain paste, henna masters paint eye-popping patterns onto their clients with the paste. The henna emits a cooling sensation as it dries, a phenomenon enormously helpful for hot Indian summers. The result is a tattoo-like stain on the skin to be treasured.
The Fashion Street pack is for the stylist Simmer looking to add a bit of old-world elegance into their bohemian chic wardrobe. Filled with gold fittings and updated traditional-wear, this pack is sure to please.
What are you most excited about in this upcoming pack?
The Sims 4: Spa Day will receive a well-earned facelift on September 7th, 2021.
The Sims 4 team recently made and announced this unprecedented decision - to refine player experience of existing downloadable content, just last Thursday. Though content in question is the game pack “Spa Day,” and it is a choice that not only brings new aspirations, fashionable fingernails, plush reimaginings of existing Spa Day build buy, and fresh Sim traits to the game, but it also seems to preface a series of future pack improvements.
That is, for years many Sims 4 players have bemoaned the lack of depth and realism in both the popular franchise’s base game and its plethora of purchasable packs. Simmers have pointed out the dearth of activities available for children and elders, the superficial gloss of each new pack, and the noticeable vacuum of sustainable gameplay.
Sims 4 developers have taken these criticisms to heart and appear to be slowly updating the quality of Sim hairs and available gameplay in its base game. With the announcement of a Spa Day refresh, developers seem to have embarked upon a journey to drastically improve in-game content.
What exactly can Simmers expect in the renewed pack?
Ebonix-Customized Nail Art and Nail Gameplay
Most notably, Create-a-Sim will gain a new category for both fingernails and toenails!
Simmers will be able to outfit their pixel people with an array of stunning nails- designed by Ebonix herself- in a variety of rounded, stilleto, almond-shaped, short clipped, and unapologetically clawed styles.
In fact, not only will Simmers gain the ability to browse different nail lengths, but they will also be able to choose from several shades of nail colors. The colors come in both high-gloss and matte finishes. Simmers can even choose “curated” styles from Ebonix Sims!
Shiny polishes will display in the in-game menu as glossy nail polish bottles.
.Meanwhile, matte colors will appear as matte- without the signature “shine” - in the menu.
Of course, Sims who want to really express themselves have a variety of fun designs to choose from too.
And they exist alongside Ebonix’s signature nail designs.
When applied in Create-a-Sim, Sim nails will never degrade or need up-keep. They will remain glossy and perfectly maintained for all time.
However, when Sims receive a manicure in-game, those nails will eventually fade and chip, requiring another visit to the spa. This adds a new layer of realistic gameplay in the Sims 4 which is sure to delight fans.
Face Mask Gameplay + Cucumber Power
In the past, face masks were only available to Sims while in a bath. The masks helped them relieve tension and gain some temporary moodlets.
The Spa Day refresh allows Sims to purchase face masks at any time from refrigerators. Each face mask offers different, longer lasting moodlet properties.
Kids can even join in the fun this time around. With fun, randomized animal masks, child Sims will get to take part in spa days alongside their self-care savvy parents.
Leaving a face mask on for too long, however, can yield various, unpleasant results from “Weird Sensations” to unfortunate rash. (Occult Sims will also experience interesting side-effects that have yet to be revealed.)
Refrigerators will also boast delicious cucumber slices and cucumber fizzy power sips for Sims to enjoy. These refreshing snacks will also offer some hilariously overboard focus moodlets.
New Guru Aspirations
The Spa Day refresh comes complete with three new, sorely needed aspirations: Self-Care Specialist, Zen Guru, and Inner Peace.
Sims with the “Self-Care Specialist” aspiration will have an easier time monetizing their guru abilities- that is, whenever they hold a yoga or meditation class, clients will pay more money for a little slice of that heavenly zen expertise.
By contrast “Zen Guru” Sims will radiate peace and tranquility. They will gain an uncanny ability to empathize with other Sims and soothe them when experiencing unpleasant emotions.
The Sim who desires “inner peace” will turn their zen journey inward, working to master the turmoils of negative emotions.
All three aspirations, naturally, come with new reward traits: Self-care expertise, Calming Aura, and Clear Perspective, respectively.
Zen Instructor on the Move
But the meatiest portion of this refresh is the ability to place the newly updated massage chairs, yoga mats, meditation poufs, and massage tables into inventory. An aspiring Zen Instructor can then place these glorious guru items anywhere in the world to run an impromptu meditation class, yoga class, or impromptu nail salon.
For yoga classes, the instructor must purchase an instructor’s yoga mat- indicated by the Spa Day logo imprinted in one corner- and can also purchase Sim mats for their students, but they don’t have to. Eager yoga students will bring their own mats to class.
The instructor can set their class up as “public,” meaning any Sim in the vicinity may join, or “private,” meaning the instructor must invite attendees.
Instructors can even boost class attendance by advertising on Simstagram!
Even children can join as yoga class attendees or even lead sessions as instructors.
Participating in yoga and meditation classes increase mental and motor skills for kids. If the player has parenthood installed, meditation also increases “emotional control.”
Better Build Buy
Naturally, the Spa Day refresh features a massive spread of new and updated build/buy items.
Players will enjoy a slew of new robe and towel swatches, fun meditation poufs in a variety incredible colors, new plush massage chairs, a wide array of yoga mats, and much more.
CAS enthusiasts will also find a new sweatsuit for kids, adults, and even toddlers!
What are you most excited for?
Bug Fixes and Early Delivery
New Wall Art
In a huge pre-Cottage Living release patch, Sims 4 developers delivered several player-pleasing in-game updates that have thrilled the larger Sims community.
This patch, standing at 9.62 GB, injects a plethora of family fun into base game alongside extensive glitch course correcting. Base game players can now engage in “Group Cooking,” garden alongside their children, order restaurant-recipes and grocery delivery through an Uber Eats-like app called Zoomers.
If that were not all, Simmers will now be able to build natural water features like lakes and ponds with a new pond tool! Developers have also improved the notebook tool and transitioned the calendar, an organizational widget once native to only Seasons, to base game. Pairing all these fresh features with bug fixes for smoother gameplay with less simulation lag and correctly functioning mirrors, this patch is one that offers intensive quality-of-life changes for the average Simmer.
In this stunning update, Sims gain the ability to cook alongside their family members. Up to five relatives can prepare a meal
at the same time, building social points, increasing any involved child’s mental skill, and resulting in higher quality, larger servings.
Of course, sometimes a busy Sim has no time to cook. This update allows Sims to order delicious restaurant dishes or order quick groceries from the Zoomer delivery service,
The handy Sim notebook now has its own button! It is no longer attached to the phone.
To help Simmers keep track of fairs, weather, birthdays, and social events, developers included the calendar in this base game update.
Gleeful builders will be pleased to know that ponds and other natural bodies of water can now be created in-game without visual tricks. The player need only create a hole and then fill it with water! Developers also fine-tuned landscape tools, offering a better build experience.
Simmers can also fill their ponds with alligators, swans, dragonflies, and more!
Children can now garden alongside their older family members. This action helps children develop their “mental” skill!
This incredible update also offers two new textures hairs and two stunning works of art that represent the tenderness of chosen family and the vulnerability inherent in every fight for freedom. Simmers can find these powerful masterpieces, created by Ashley Lukashepsky and Muhammad Iman Fayaz, under wall art.
Players who pre-ordered Cottage Living also received their free functional bicycle, gnome, and lantern-lit tree today.
Developers address and continue to course correct simulation lag, an issue that has plagued some Simmers for several months. In addition, developers have corrected malfunctioning mirrors, which were reflecting outdoor scenery even when walls were completely up. There are a plethora of other squashed bugs that Simmers can read about on the Sims 4 website here: https://www.ea.com/games/the-sims/the-sims-4/news/update-7-20-2021
Keep it locked right here, on Simmer’s Digest, for more comprehensive Sims news!
Cottage Living, the latest expansion pack from the Sims 4 team, is but weeks away from release. On July 8th, developers held a YouTube livestream to show off some of the pack's sprawling gameplay in lightning quick fashion. This livestream, in tandem with incredibly detailed coverage from many EA Gamechangers, gave the wider Sims community greater insight into what to expect from Cottage Living.
What we already knew
Thanks to SimGuruRomeo and detailed EA blog notes, Simmers already knew that Henford on Bagley boasted three neighborhoods -- Bramblewood, Old New Henford, and Finchwick Village-- and twelve lots. Bramblewood is the untamed wilderness in which Sims can discover and befriend foxes, rabbits, and birds. Filled with scenic waterfalls and lush, rolling hills, the Bramblewood offers romance and plenty of lush fields for mushroom and berry foraging,
Simmers knew to expect village shops and a weekly fair in Finchwick, and the community has been salivating to settle down in the verdant hills of Old New Henford in a quaint farm to cook alongside their families, picnic in the scenic fields, can in their new country-style kitchens, and garden oversized crops alongside their children.
What We Didn't Know: Befriending Wildlife
While Simmers knew they would have to befriend the wildlife of the Bramblewood, the livestream made the complexities of the new gifting and befriending system more clear. Sims will need to take great pains to cautiously get to know a certain animal. Through trial and error, Sims will need to discover what a particular bunny likes and what it doesn't like. No two bunnies are the same, and neither are the birds or foxes. That is, while one rabbit may enjoy gifts of carrots or apples, the next rabbit may prefer a pie or some other goody in the hero Sim's inventory.
Sims who foster positive relationships with bunnies, birds, and foxes will enjoy a whole host of wondrous benefits such as:
LilSimsie demonstrates and confirms "death by bunny."
What We Already Knew: Oversized Crops
Simmers already knew to expect droves of oversized crops: eggplants, pumpkins, watermeon, and mushrooms. In an upcoming update, even base game will allow children to water, harvest, weed, and plant seeds alongside their parents.
What We Didn't Know: Oversized Crop Variance
But developers included a new wrinkle to the grand gardening gameplay loop. When planting such oversized crops, Sims will need to watch over and tend to these crops carefully. The manner in which the Sim cares for their crops will yield varying results in not only crop quality but also in crop size and number. After scattering seeds on the brand new oversized crop plots, Sims can produce nine small plants, two medium plants, or one large plant. There are benefits to each size, however. Smaller crops work best for canning. Large crops are better for festival entries.
What We Already Knew: Finchwick Fair
Developers explained earlier than Finchwick would host weekly competitive fairs. During these fairs, locals earn prizes and bragging rights for raising the prettiest chicken, growing the biggest eggplant, and baking the best-tasting pie.
What We Didn't Know: Base Game Calendar Update
What Simmers did not know was that these fairs would appear on a refreshed calendar which is coming to base game. This game-changing, organizational widget was once tied exclusively to the Seasons pack, but its extensive powers will now become available for base game players.
What We Already Knew: Pond Tool
Simmers were already aware that ponds were coming to the Sims 4 base game as a complement to the Cottage Living pack. Gamechangers and avid builders alike squealed at the impending change, gabbing about watching their Sims fish and wade at a fully customized pond's edge. Currently, Simmers can only include ponds in a given build by resorting to the "fishing hole" in the debug menu.
What We Didn't Know: Ponds Come with Spawnables
Developers included a stunning new aspect to pond building-- the inclusion of spawnables. After creating a pond with the highly-anticipated pond tool, Simmers will also be able to populate the pond with a number of critters and cute pond life: swans, ducks, dragonflies, fireflies, turtles, frogs, and even alligators.
If this were not enough, Simmers will also be able to fill their ponds with whatever fish they desire through a new menu.
What we Knew: Villagers Offer Quests
In a gameplay loop firmly familiar to gamers who frequent such games as Stardew Valley or literally any epic fantasy, developers have included a villagers quest system to the Sims 4. Henford-on-Bagley is stuffed full of interesting lore and character backstories; as the hero Sim becomes acquainted with this treasure trove of charming characters, they can provide helpful services to these characters by performing tasks for them. The grocer may need a pick-up of certain ingredients or the Creature Keeper may need help foraging for mushrooms or watching skulking foxes.
What We Didn't Know: Quest Complexity
YouTuber James Turner was jumped quickly into errands gameplay for his infamous rags-to-riches legacy Let's Play. It became obvious that these quests were not simple "one-offs" by any means. Often, players will need to bake items, travel, forage, and more in order to complete the tasks. However, players have infinite time to complete the tasks, and they can choose more than one to complete at a time. In fact, Simmers may have up to three tasks active at any given time. Each task will reward the Simmer with simoleons and an improved relationship with the townie Sim.
What we Already Knew: Hero Sims can purchase missing ingredients at shoppes
Simmers already knew that the Finchwick Garden shoppe, run by Agnes and Agatha Crumplebottom, would offer helpful ingredients for farming, gardening, cross-stitching, and more.
What We Didn't Know: Hero Sims can Sell Goods at Town Stalls
Simmers did not know that these very shoppes, including the grocer, would offer retail space to the hero Sim. Crops that the Sim brings to market can be sold for a solid chunk of change.
What We Already Knew: Animal Treats have varied Effects on Farm Animals
Cottage Living's recent gameplay trailer revealed the incredible effect that particular treats have upon particular animals. Simmers can transform their cows into rainbow colored marvels that produce rainbow-colored milk for the county fair, for example.
What We Didn't Know: The Wide-Range of Treat Possibilities
Treats can affect farm animals in a multitude of incredible ways. Sims can change their hens into golden hens that lay golden eggs; they can, through the power of midnight feed, change their chickens into bold, black demon chickens. They can feed their chickens vegetables so that the chickens produce green eggs. Sims can cajole their llamas into eating the colorful feed necessary to change their fur from white, to blue, to brown, to orange!
Create-a-Sim and Build/Buy items
Expansion packs always arrive brimming with new CAS items and build/buy assets, but Game Changer content has given us our first up close and personal look at the country living fashion and down-home quaint cottage build items. Through rustic kitchenware, thatched rooves, new wood floors, modestly comfortable clothes, and romantic tousled and braided hairs, Cottage Living has come alive anew. In addition, GameChangers like HeyHarrie, Devon Bumpkin, and Clare Siobhan created the beautiful builds available in the pack.
There is far, far more to be said about Cottage Living. Keep it locked here for more detailed information as Game Changers drop their Gameplay details.
Just like magic, the Sims 4 Cottage Living gameplay trailer has ignited the Sims community at large once again. Players are buzzing about the wide array of new gameplay features that the fresh expansion pack promises; stuffed to the brim with cottage-core build buy, intricate Sims lore, sprawling views, and quaint country life activities, Cottage Living is poised to offer Simmers worldwide a sweet peek at the simple life in Henford-on-Bagley.
The World of Henford-on-Bagley
The new world that comes folded into Sims 4: Cottage Living is called "Henford-on-Bagley." Reminiscent of a squat English-countryside town, Henford-on-Bagley offers Simmers the lush, rolling hills of picturesque England and the robust Sims lore that many Simmers have craved. Henford-on-Bagley boasts three distinct neighborhoods: Finchwick, Old New Henford, and The Bramblewood.
Finchwick is the heart of village life in Henford-on-Bagley. Home to the weekly Finchwick fair, a bustling marketplace, Crumplebottom's Garden shop (where players can purchase items for their gardening and jam-making needs), the Gnomes Arms Pub (owned by Sarah and Simon Scott), and village errands, Finchwick is where the Sim fresh to farm life can get to know the seasoned locals.
Old New Henford
Old New Henford is the idyllic neighborhood with wide open spaces just outside of town. Its lush countryside is perfect for farming, raising livestock, and befriending Wild Animals, who will forage for special trinkets on a Sim's behalf. Simmers can find the new, broken-hearted NPC Cecilia here as she remakes her life in a refurbished barn and as the unlucky-in-love Creature Keeper Michael Bell aches for her from afar. This is also where Simmers can find the Olde Mill Estate, one of the larger lots in the new expansion.
Finally, the Bramblewood is the untamed wild of Henford-on-Bagely. Here, Sims can collect chocoberries, mushrooms, and nightcaps. They can visit the Island of Volpe, which brims with the rich history of Henford-and-Bagley and hosts the most romantic spot in town. This is also where Sims can find the Creature Keeper's home. The Island of Volpe Park, conversely, is home to Sophie the Snail and Cordelia Falls.
Fresh Farm-to-Table Gameplay
Cottage Living brings a fresh focus to the simple pleasures of small-town family life. Full of rustic windows, country cabinets, and quaint cookware, Cottage Living is sure to please the family-player. In the pack, families can cook together, garden together, watch over their beloved animals together, picnic together, can fresh goods together, and even make jam together.
Canning and Cooking
One of the most highly-anticipated features of the upcoming pack is the new canning activity. Players will be able to harvest choco-berries, fruits, and mushrooms from The Bramblewood, a scenic woodland area just outside of town. Once a Sim has harvested these collectibles, they can use them to create a wild assortment of jams right in their kitchen.
The pack promises a collection of 16 kinds of jams that Sims can cook up in their country kitchens.
But even this is not all. Families will not only enjoy a new selection of recipes to choose from, but thanks to a base game update, children and other family members will be able to take part in a new interaction called "Group Cooking."
During Group Cooking interactions:
There are many more recipes to master in this pack, amongst them Beef Wellington, Yorkshire Pudding, Bangers and Mash, and more.
If this were not enough, Simmers can now choose from several "lot challenges," the number of which will vary according to how many packs a certain Simmer owns. The Cottage Living Challenge "Simple Life" urges Sims to fish, harvest, and collect the items they need for daily living. After all, with the "Simple Life" challenge active, the forever-full refrigerator will no longer be forever full.
Gardening gets one heck of an overhaul in Cottage Living. Players will be able to grow such large crops as massive mushrooms, leafy lettuce heads, huge pumpkins, swelling watermelons, and oddly phallic looking eggplants.
Despite the nearly ribald placing of confidently grinning women alongside their enormous eggplants, gardening in Cottage Living is truly a family affair. The pack, in tandem with a the next Sims 4 base game patch, allows children and toddlers to water, weed, and harvest crops. Toddlers will adorably talk to plants and even ask strangely off-kilter questions about gardening in the way that only toddlers can. Teens, Young Adults, Adults, and Elders can even teach their little ones how to garden, which increases Mental skill in-game.
The cross-stitching activity will allow Children, Teens, Young Adults, and Elders to master the art of cross-stitching. There are 34 different cross-stitching patterns that Sims can attempt, working through ill-advised stitching maneuvers and pricked fingers. As with the art of gardening, child Sims can learn the nuances of cross-stitching from their older counterparts,
Caring for cozy farm critters takes on a kooky twist within the Sims 4 Cottage Living. Families work together to:
The overall happiness and diet of the kept animals affects the quality of the goods they produce. Feeding rainbow feed to a beloved cow will not only poof her into rainbow-furred glory, but it will also get her to produce some delicious rainbow milk that can be bottled, enjoyed, or entered into Finchwick fair's weekly competition.
Each chicken coop will house up to eight of the fluttering fowl, and Sims care for the chickens and collect their eggs. However, Sims will need to keep a close eye on their beloved hens; skulking foxes can slip into unattended chicken coops and make off with precious egg treats of their own. To prevent this, farmers can purchase a new alarm called the fox-be-gone, which will sound off when a swiping no-gooder creeps into the chicken coop under cover.
The Finchwick Fair
Finchwick, Henford-on-Bagley's town center, will host weekly competitions for both country recipes, best farm animals, and finest large crops. Both winners and participants will earn prizes at the close of each competition, but only winners will get to enjoy their immense bragging rights.
What part of Sims 4 farm life has you fired up?
In a rainbow-studded Maxis Livestream, the Sims 4 developers not only celebrated the varied contributions of queer Simmers and LGBTQ+ artists around the global community, but they also dropped delicious hints about features coming to base game in the near future.
The June 29th patch, which came laden with the code necessary for the fresh Sims Sessions in-game festival events, also came with new wall art designed by queer Simmers. The first selection, a landscape Pride parade of colorful confetti, waving queer flags, and queer bodies of every size, shape, and color, is an audacious work of art from Jupiter, known as @MidnightFox452 on Twitter. Jupiter is a non-binary transperson who identifies as a lesbian; they used the many different hues of the varied pride flags in their work to infuse it with infectious vibrance. Sims 4 players can now find this joyous piece in-game!
Two more stunning works, created by queer Simmers, will hit Sims 4 build/buy in the next patch. Ashley Lukashevsky (@AshLukaDraws on Twitter and Instagram) created the next piece wrought in shades of pink and purple. The piece portrays two soft-bodied women embracing and, according to Ashley, represents the interconnectedness of freedom. Ashley uses their art to strengthen racial, social, queer, immigrant, and mental health justice movements. Their work will be available in game as wall art come the July patch.
A queer artist named Mohammed made the final lovely piece entitled "A Recipe for Good Times." The art depicts four "found family" members celebrating the tender moments of pride: laughter, silliness, hugs, and great times. Mohammed mentions that pride so often focuses on what is big and bold, but they like to highlight these small but essential moments of tenderness between people who love one another. Sims 4 will offer this work in the next July patch.
Base Game Updates
True to form, SimGuruBat and SimGuruDuck revealed some delightful changes coming to the Sims 4 base game. The first welcome update is a fresh, textured, "modernized afro." The Sims team has been embattled in recent years concerning Black representation in-game. Simmers have criticized the Sims team for poor Sims 4 skin tones, a dearth of good-looking textured hair (one of the afros was designed after cauliflower of all things), and the shoddy quality of what textured hair did exist in the game. Finally, Sims 4 is beginning to include better representations of kingly coils and queenly curls in-game so that all Simmers can see themselves in their colorful pixel counterparts. The pictured hairstyle will be available July patch.
Sims 4 developers have also improved the cooking activity. Now, Sims will be able to perform an action called "Group Cooking."
Group Cooking allows:
If the cooking update were not enough, the Sims team has also improved the gardening feature.
Children will now be able to
Starting June 29th and running until July 7th, Sims 4's newest in-game music festival will invite all Simmers to enjoy intimate, live jam sessions with artists Bebe Rexha, Glass Animals, and Joy Oladokun.
After logging into game, players can register for the single-player event, receiving tickets to a Sunday show from 12-12:30 (in-game time.) Once Sunday arrives, the game will transport the Sim (via a phone interaction) to Magnolia Blossom Park in Willow Creek. At the music festival, Sims can buy festival swag, run craft sales tables, visit lounges, camp, eat, woohoo, and make new friends! Food trucks will also come to the game through the Sims festivals. Even after the official show from the famed artists has ended, Simmers can continue jamming on-stage to keep the party rocking! Simmers can show off their festival-themed threads on gallery using the hashtag #SimsSessions in gallery.
Sims 4 continues to evolve; what are you most excited for?
The trailer for the latest, eye-popping, highly anticipated Sims 4 expansion pack released today, June 10th at 11AM EST.
For months, players have pleaded for an expansion that would allow their Sims to enjoy the quaint lifestyle afforded by the quiet countryside. Their time has come, it seems, through the newest Sims 4 expansion pack: Cottage Living.
The expansion pack, dropping July 22nd, boasts an enormous amount of new gameplay systems, fresh activities for child Sims, novel build tools, and a new slew of assets for Sims to live it up the simple way.
What to Expect in Build/Buy
Henford-and-Bagley, the new world folded into the Sims 4: Cottage Living expansion pack, is an English countryside work of stunning art. It comes with three neighborhoods, each boasting four lots each, including one 64x64 lot. Simmers will be able to enjoy new roofing patterns and textures such as thatched hay, mossy green, and aged wood. Perhaps most surprisingly, it appears that players will finally be able to create their own ponds and fishable lakes using a new lake terrain tool. There are of course, many fresh assets at the builder's disposal such as:
The new pack will feature newly swimmable areas!
Head into the town square to bargain and gossip at the garden stalls!
Kids will be able to cook alongside their parents in their homestyle country kitchens!
Gameplay: What to Expect
What's in it For Kids?
Speaking of children, there are a lot of new activities for them to enjoy in Cottage Living. The trailer shows live footage of children
New oversized gardening plots allow Sims to grow large crops like pumpkins, watermelons, aubergines, mushrooms, and lettuce. Sims can harvest these foods for healthy meals (developers added new recipes like beef wellington, milk bread, and Yorkshire pudding to the growing Sims repertoire) or haul them into the Finchwick Fair to compete in the local vegetable growing contest! Of course, if vegetables aren't really a Sim's thing, they can also cajole their chickens into the local chicken contest, or rustle up a homemade pie for the county pie competition.
Head to the weekly Finchwick Fair to take part in vegetable-growing, pie-making, chicken-raising competitions!
Game changing Lot Challenges
Brand new "lot challenges" are a new system in the game which seem to behave like lot traits but with a twist. When the "Simple Living Lot" challenge is active, for example, Sims will find cooking far cheaper but the same Sims must only use the fresh ingredients they have at their immediate disposal. Sims will be able to milk cows for milk, raise chickens for eggs, and forage in the nearby woodlands for berries and mushrooms. Sims will need to procure any missing items via grocery delivery. They can also buy beef and chicken at the local shop in town. Sims will even be able to "can" goods within the cooking skill.
When the "Wild Fox" challenge is active, Simmers will have to contend with sneaky, wily foxes who may creep into unsuspecting farms to gobble up hen eggs or run off with bunny snacks!
Simmers can of course toggle these challenges on and off at their leisure, living their country lifestyle as comfortably as they see fit.
While there are no new careers involved with this pack, Sims can take part in a new game system called "village errands." It takes a village to, well, run a village, and so the local townsfolk will need much of your Sim's aid when it comes to running their busy stalls and shops.
Cows, Chickens, and Llamas! Oh My!
Farm life wouldn't be quite as quaint and idyllic without the adorable company of farmland animals. Cottage Living comes packed with many of the animals for which Sims 4 players have begged developers for years. Gamers can expect:
None of these animals will take up precious Sim space in a household. Instead, the animals will prove largely self-sufficient, ready to form that special bond with their Sim of choice. Playable Sims can even make cute little sweaters for their rabbits and special critters!
The animals, not unlike Sims, will age and die, but players can keep them alive forever if they choose to do so.
Knitting costs are completely negated if a Sim has llama wool in their inventory.
Sly, creeping foxes can and will sneak into Sim farms to gobble up bunnies and snatch up hen eggs.
Chickens are a Hoot
The chickens in Cottage Living are robust.
Players will be able to breed chickens as long as a hen and rooster share the same coop. Simmers can dress, name, and gather eggs from their chicken companions. Beware the fox, however! These sly creatures will sneak into hen coops to steal eggs.
The clothing assets this pack offers appear to range from farmland chic to quaint and country. Loosely tied hairs, tightly coiled up-dos, conservative quarter-sleeved, floral-patterned dress, hardy waistcoats and vests are the norm for this pack, which is sure to please come July 22nd.
Eggplant competition! Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Yeah, I want that textured hair too.