While I’m still in the middle of a new game of Civ 6, and I started a new game of Skyrim for the new Special Edition release, I did break down and pick up the new expansion for Sims 4 – City Living. This is exactly what I knew was going to happen, but oh well. Hopefully I can rotate between games and still cap Tomes in FFXIV in my spare gaming time!
For this expansion, I decided to create a brand new Sim. I wanted the feeling of being a struggling newcomer to city life, and the only way I was going to get that was to start with limited funds and work my way up.
So here’s my new random Sim, Amanda Westfall.
I looked around the new city map that came with the City Living expansion, San Myshuno, and chose my Sim’s first apartment from one of the lower end complexes in the Spice Market. It’s all she could really afford. This took me a bit more time than I expected due to the new Lot Trait feature that was patched in free to all players.
I really like the idea of Lot Traits. It gives places more personality. For example, if you can now have a true haunted house by giving a lot the Haunted trait. Or if you live in a lot that’s on the Quake Zone, you can experience occasional tremors…
The low end apartments had the more undesirable traits, of course, like haunted, cursed, or gremlins. I almost went with the haunted/cursed lot, but after reading about it, I’m glad I didn’t. Instead, I chose one that Needs TLC… which warned me that it would raise my Sim’s handiness skills.
Oh boy, did it.
So, the apartment had worn down furniture, and the landlord had the Evil personality trait (for whatever that means). Also, somewhat often, Amanda would have her daily life interrupted by a roach infestation, or a mouse in the walls, noisy neighbors, leaky pipes, bad smells and the occasional ooze seeping up from the vents.
Yeah, that’s probably not good.
Also, from time to time, the circuit breaker would go on the fritz and if it wasn’t attended, Amanda would lose power to the apartment. I did hit a bug where even after this was fixed, the apartment remained without power, no matter how I logged out or traveled to other lots. The only fix I found was to delete the old lights and install brand new ones.
You can either have your sim handle the incident, or complain to the (evil) landlord, who will come and usually fix it for you. Also, in the case of loud neighbors, who will actually prevent your sim from sleeping and spark them in a flame of anger, your sim can go and beat on the door to tell them to cut it out.
Amanda’s neighbors were the overly annoying type. They were always knocking on the door asking for food or wanting to hang out while she needed to be doing her work. Speaking of which…
Amanda handled this in stride being a young adult with a promising new career in social media. I have to say I really enjoy the new jobs that give a halfway point between traditional careers and the Get to Work babysitting. You can send your Sim to the office to work like normal, or you can choose to work at home. Working at home assigns a few goals to achieve, and doing those give a bonus on top of your daily pay.
It’s fun helping Amanda with her struggles to earn followers, start that perfect meme, or livestream gaming sessions. Especially since she doesn’t really have a geek personality. In fact, I made her a more social sim, with goals around leading a fun club… since I still haven’t experimented with clubs from Get Together at all.
Amanda founded a successful club called Hippie Gamers who play video games, practice yoga and hug people.
Open Neighborhoods and City Festivals
New festivals are another feature of City Living, made possible by creating a more open and social base for each neighborhood. Because all the housing is contained within the apartment buildings, that leaves the rest of the neighborhood as an open area for activities. It’s sorta like a neighborhood square where festivals are held and you can go down and socialize anytime you like.
These areas tend to always have food vendors and plenty of other sims to associate with, even if there isn’t a festival going on. I see this as an experiment in trying a more open design, since that is one of the big complaints players have when moving from Sims 3 to Sims 4. There’s still a lot of restrictions, but it gives the illusion of freedom.
Festivals are pretty easy to attend. You’ll get a pop-up notification that lets you know something is going on. If it’s in your neighborhood, you can just walk down and have fun. If it’s somewhere else, clicking a button gets you to the hosting neighborhood quickly. You can also bring friends… or sometimes they invite your Sim to come.
Lessons in Love
That’s what happened when the Romance Festival came around. Arun Bheeda, a nice guy who came to welcome Amanda when she first moved in, invited her to the festival.
He was also a member of Hippie Gamers, has a key to Amanda’s apartment, and they had a strong friendship developing. I wasn’t in a rush to get Amanda hooked up in this play through, but since they were both in the mood at the festival, I thought this might be her chance to make some moves on Arun.
It was all actually going really well and they were hitting it off in the romance department… until I realized Amanda had never asked him if he was currently involved with someone else. Come to find out, not only was Arun married, but he had a newborn son.
Arun, man, you needed to make your intentions clear!
Amanda is not a home breaker, and let that catch get away. Arun, however, remained a close friend and gaming buddy, even as the romance bar began to fade with time.
Though her prospects were low for a while as she met other guys in the city who didn’t mesh well, she finally found the one – Akira Kibo. He was also a member of the Hippie Gamers, worked as a level 1 Tech Support, and has a singing voice like a dream. They gamed together for a while, then she gave him her apartment key.
Akira is a bit of a romantic with a jealous streak, but that only made it easier for him to fall for Amanda. In fact, he was the one calling her on dates. Like this one… to a haunted location.
Thankfully, Arun and Akira get along well, and when Amanda finally proposed to Akira, Arun was the first to congratulate her. That’s true friendship.
Akira also has a much nicer apartment, which he shared with two roommates. It has a balcony and a lovely view of the Fashion District…. though it does have a trait of being on a quake line…
Seeing that I’d played about 10 or so hours in a leaky, smelly, infested apartment, I decided it was time for Amanda to move on up. So she married Akira, moved in with him, and I moved his two roommates into the open apartment next door.
Happy times are coming for the karaoke geeks!