Posted in Gaming, Sims 4

Sims 4: Jungle Adventure – Into the Temple

I promised in my last post about Sims 4 that I’d spend a little more time with the new Jungle Adventure game pack, especially exploring a temple. I also said that I’d go back and find the name of the random Sim I chose to inflict this upon adventure with.

Turns out, his name is Javier.

He’d visited the jungle once already, but ran out of vacation time (still a rookie at work, hasn’t built up much time off), so I had to send him home before he got a proper look at the temple. I learned when I brought him back a second time that all the areas you explored before are once again overgrown… so you have to cut your way back through all the vines to re-activate the gates.

This wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for those darn random chance events you get opening each gate. These things are trouble… and dangerous. They really do expect you to have a Sim with fairly high skills in order to participate without penalty.

Twice, poor Javier was poisoned by scorpion bites due to these things.

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Poisoned Sims get this green pattern on their skin.

I wasn’t sure what to do about that — I read that if you had high enough cultural knowledge to unlock the secret vendor in town, you could trade for an antidote. I didn’t have any cultural knowledge yet at all, so Javier was stuck having to fend for himself.

If he was going to be a gonner anyhow, I figured he may as well die exploring the temple. Stepping in harm’s way was something he was very good at doing…

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Javier triggered a booby trap that lit him on fire. Thankfully, I had bottles of extinguisher in his inventory!

The major issue I had was that Javier entered the jungle with a low Social meter. I tried to have him talk to the locals to raise it, but my time in the jungle was too limited for me to have him sit around town all day chatting.

That’s when I discovered… he wasn’t alone in the temple…

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-“Jaws” theme plays on a xylophone-

This bony guy is called a Temple Guardian. I was worried that it might attack Javier, but apparently Javier’s social need was so great, he didn’t care about who he befriended at the moment.

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Not something you see everyday…

The skeleton was actually a pretty nice guy. When their conversation got interrupted as Javier was attacked randomly by fire flies… who literally set Javier on fire… the Guardian looked pretty concerned about the situation.

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These random pest attacks happen out of nowhere, for no reason. Kinda annoying.

I mean, check out that expression. I was actually kinda impressed they were able to convey so much worry with just a skull.

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Okay… moving on from the disturbing skull imagery.

So, progressing through the temple requires your Sim to respond to several traps and checkpoints. Basically, you click on something in the temple, and it gives you a multiple choice selection on how to try and disarm the trapped doors. Compared to the Sims 3 Adventure expansion, which required you to search for switches and traps and that sort of thing, these mechanics were fairly watered down.

The only up side is that the multiple choice element means that returning to the temple will require a different answer each time. So… there’s a little bit of RNG in there. But not like a whole randomly created temple layout or anything (as far as I know).

Selecting the wrong thing can have several different effects including bodily harm (set on fire), or emotional/need manipulation. I didn’t know at the time that you could examine things to get hints as to what the right answer was. Because I just progressed with trial and error, poor Javier was so bottomed out in his needs and emotions it wasn’t funny.

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An emotionally suffering Javier unlocks the final chamber of the temple.

The only reason he finished the temple at all, despite his crippling emotional state, was due to the berries I’d picked from the Tree of Emotion outside the temple. Eating a happy berry (whatever it was called) was enough to override Javier’s misery just long enough to make it to the final treasure and back to town.

Oh, and as you can see from the picture above, somewhere in there, Javier was able to fight off the poison. So he didn’t die a horrible, writhing death after all.

The final chamber was surprisingly trap-free and included three different chests to loot from. One of them gave me a couple of special artifacts that apparently can be fused with pieces off other artifacts. Seems like there’s a “top” piece and a “bottom” piece. Don’t know what these do yet because I only got the top pieces.

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I also got a nice artifact that was worth 8K Simoleons. Seeing that Javier is still scrounging to make a living in his apartment, this was a pretty nice find.

Javier was still in pretty bad shape, so I took him back to his rental. You can warp out of the temple automatically using the map feature, just like any other place in town… I’m not sure how I feel about that. But for the moment, I was glad of it.

I got the poor guy fed and rested… then I spent the remaining time letting him socialize around the market to help his bottomed-out social meter. This actually leveled him a point in the local culture. And he met a cute local girl.

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Not too shabby, Javier!

Maybe I’ll send him back again to pursue that friendship. There are still lots of other paths I haven’t uncovered in the jungle yet, and other temples to explore!

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Posted in Gaming, Sims 4

Sims 4: Jungle Adventure First Impression

I haven’t been keeping up with Sims 4 releases like I should, so the Jungle Adventure Game Pack snuck past me. When I saw the announcement on a Sim blog I follow yesterday, I jumped over to the forums and Reddit to see what the thoughts were about this game pack.

I really enjoyed the Sims 3 World Adventures expansion pack, and even wrote a series of posts about it a while back. So, it was nice to see a new game pack that was themed towards this sort of thing.

I only got to mess around with it for a few hours, but here’s my experiences so far.

Wobbly Start

Jungle Adventure adds a new vacation location to explore in your Sim world. This builds on to the system they introduced with the Outdoors Retreat game pack a few years back, but doesn’t require that pack to play the new one.

I started by picking a random single Sim from my neighborhood. I’ve become really fond of this particular neighborhood, which houses several of my favorite Sim families. I have the Amanda/Akira family, a family of vampires that I played quite a bit (but never blogged about for some reason), and the family I played around with for the Cats and Dogs release.

I don’t even recall this Sim’s name (poor guy, I’ll have to look it up later), but I selected him, gave him better hair and clothing, and put him on the path to adventure. He started out living in a low-grade apartment in San Myshuno… but I had to move him to a different apartment because the Gremlin trait breaking all his appliances every other day was too much for me.

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And I saw this guy wandering around the local festival… not sure what his story is.

Anyhow. About Jungle Adventures.

So you set up a vacation using your phone. You arrive in Selvadorada, a place inspired by South American jungles, sporting a Latino vibe. You can unlock and level the culture there through interactions, and explore the jungles… if you can figure out how.

When your Sim first arrives, you’re dropped into a map that’s filled with question mark places to explore. The game tells you that you need to pick up some supplies before you head out to the jungle. That makes sense, but it wasn’t very intuitive to figure out.

Jungle Supplies

There’s a little outdoor market next to the bar with three tables and a food vendor. Here’s where the wonkiness comes in.

There are objects you can click on the table to buy — things like a machete (always carry more than one), bug spray and other such objects. But these are only active if there’s someone standing behind the table selling stuff.

Then, there’s a whole different second shop. You can click a shopkeeper Sim and choose to buy adventuring supplies. This opens up things like tents, fire pits, beds, pet supplies (if you brought your pet) and the new archaeology table.

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You can carry the archaeology table around in your inventory and set it up anywhere!

My poor sim was kinda up the creek because he used up his only spider repellent spray the very first morning, and no one ever came to stand behind the table selling sprays while I was in the market. So, I couldn’t replenish it.

Yes, there are spider attacks. And bat attacks… and probably other attacks I don’t even know about yet.

Jungle Jam

So, once I finally got my supplies, I had to figure out how to actually enter the jungle. This is also not intuitive. I ended up having to go to the forum for hints.

So, what you have to do is take your Sim to the National Park lot. There, you will find overgrown archways that you can click on. This allows you to clear the brush with a machete or by hand.

When you finish this, you get a random chance event. Having higher skills seem to help succeed and get a positive outcome on the event. So far, nothing that’s happened during one of these has been too terrible.

Going deeper into the jungle just requires you to continue clearing these passages. They warp you from one area to another in a rabbit-hole type progression.

Archaeology Time

Along the path, I began to find these little dig spots. Here, you can discover artifacts, which have various quality and rarity associated to them.

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Digging up artifacts and authenticating them on the archaeology table increases the archaeology skill, which I was most interested in exploring. You can choose to display the artifacts or sell them once you determine what they really are.

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At the end of your vacation, you can choose to extend the vacation or head back home. My poor little Sim was on the lowest rung of his career ladder, so he didn’t have a lot of vacation time to use.

I gave him a few days out in the jungle, and even discovered the first temple. I haven’t been able to start exploring it yet, so there’s still a whole lot more for me to find.

So far, I give this game pack a pretty positive-average rating. I like that they’ve expanded on the vacation system and are opening up an exploratory area. I’m interested to see what secrets I can find in the temple, and I want to work up the new skill and culture.

However, getting supplies and finding a way into the jungle should have been a little more intuitive from the start. Now that I know how to do these things, it’s fine.

There’s nothing that’s jumped out at me as wow-amazing! so far. Again, though, I haven’t been inside the temple yet. I’m going to assume the meat and potatoes of the game will be there.

I also wonder if clearing treasures and things out with one Sim will leave it like that for others. I believe I read that once you open the path to the temple, all Sims in the neighborhood can go through. But does that mean if you loot stuff, they don’t respawn?

That would be a bummer for replayability. Something I’ll have to check on.

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My first artifact!