As much as I love seeing Cinderelli-sim breaking all the new stuff, I felt like she wasn’t the best sim to review the new stuff pack. Yes, she’s a big kid, but she sadly can’t play with Voidcritters as she is technically an adult. Also, I felt like it would be difficult to show the new CASsets (CAS-assets) using a ghost. >__<
So I grabbed a few of my other Sims to explore the new pack! The family that leaped straight into my mind was The Clausen Family because they have lots of children and would definitely spoil them with the new toys!
ALL the clothing in this pack is for children. Yep, you heard me. Nothing for Young Adults AGAIN!!! Urgh, when will they stop favouring the child age at the expense of all the other age groups? My young adults have literally NOTHING to wear! (Yes, I’m being silly here.) Honestly, it’s refreshing to have a pack focused on the young ones, especially after TS3 where they were often underrepresented. It reminds me of the popular stuff packs we had for TS2, like Family Fun Stuff, and the way that series had a much more generational gameplay focus.
Since the recent patch, we can now mix and match the clothing between genders, which gives us lots of options! This is particularly nice for children. In real-life I recently bought both my children Batman t-shirts, for example. So, you can give all your Sim kids Space-cat t-shirts if you want (and why wouldn’t you? Space-cat = Life).
There are some nice hairstyles in this pack, I chose a pretty long style with a side plait for Lena, and a cute tomboyish style for Kayla. Before I finally settled on the outfits in the screenshot above I had a look through some of the other options. There are a ton of different swatches for the new meshes! And a lot of them have interesting shiny details on them, like the t-shirt below which has pretty sparkly sleeves (can I have this for adults too please?). You have a good selection of patterned or plain options too, which is great! Like the pretty floral jeans, which also come in the plain option above.
The more typically boyish styles have a really nice indie/urban feel and I think they are very trendy, but also appropriate for kids. They come in muted colours which I think gives them more of an older-child feel then brighter primary colours which feel younger (more on this age range later).
The buy mode content for this pack is really nice and useful! I love that they included stickered and plain options on the for the furniture, this means you can use the items like the bookshelves in other rooms. I also like how the two bookshelf styles can be placed together to make a bigger unit. Another thing I really like about this pack is that it has an older-child feel, almost pre-teen with the boy-band t-shirts! The decorations mean you can personalise your child’s bedroom more, to show their individual personalities and interests developing as they approach their teenage years. The base-game stuff for children has a younger feel, and I like that we can visualise the transition period from early childhood to a pre-teen age as our sim children develop their skills.
To show you what I mean, here are Lena and Kayla’s bedrooms before and after they had a makeover with the new content. You can see how they become less generic and more themed to their personalities. Lena is interested in nature and science, and Kayla is sociable and sporty.
I really, really, REALLY like being able to decorate my Sims’ rooms to reflect their interests. So I love decor like the sporty items: the trophies and medals. I’ll use these to decorate the rooms of my teens who love sorts as well! In the Clausen household, my teenager Michelle got to use the pretty photographs with the fairy lights over her desk, as she is interested in photography. Another Sim, Kyra, who loves fashion, will be able to use the Audrey Hepburn style canvasses. So, I like that this decor is adaptable and reflects my Sims interests, not just children but teens and adults too. I hope we get more interest-specific content.
Ok… I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Voidcritters! I’ll admit, I was a teeny bit sceptical at first, but now I FLIPPIN LOVE THIS FEATURE!!! It is just perfect for kids, and really represents a common activity that children do between themselves of collecting and trading some popular toy trend. I love that they added a children’s TV channel and radio station, because again this shows the kids’ interests developing, whether it be a mad obsession with Voidcritters or idolising their favourite pop-star. I like that Voidcritters transition between being a TV-show to a collectable toy and game, because this is what happens with any popular kids’ brand! The one thing I wish they had added was individual Voidcritter pushies or toys, but luckily talented modders are on the case!
There are a few ways of obtaining the Voidcritter cards: you can have your children search for them in hollow logs or trash cans (much to my amusement! I hope they bring back dumpster diving for adults). Or you can nag your parents for permission to order a pack of cards off the interwebs (permission not essential but highly recommended). If you are lucky, you might find a rare foil card!!!
There are 20 types of Voidcritter (plus the additional 20 foil versions) and they all have a unique back-story. They also have an ability class, so choose carefully when entering into battle! I like picking a suitable ‘favourite’ for each child, so they can focus training on their favourite, and decorate their rooms accordingly!
Once you have your Voidcritter cards, you can get gather some friends around and start battling on the gaming station! I really appreciate that they updated the Get Together club system to allow us to create Voidcritter clubs! You can also trade cards with other children, which is best done by clicking the specific card you want to trade (I pull my favourite card out of the inventory first to be safe).
Sadly, the Voidcritter options are only for children, which is a huge shame because I would have loved my childish or geeky teens and adults to collect and battle Voidcritters too.
Fortunately though, the cards look GREAT on shelving, and they can be sold using the retail system. I updated my cinema’s retail area with Voidcritter merch (and other collectable bits and bobs from the pack like the robot decor). This way, I can send my teens there to buy a card occasionally, so they can still collect them, even if they can’t actually play.
I’m pleased to see that modders are already unlocking interactions for other age groups!
The puppet theatre (yes, I’m spelling that right) is a really adorable item which allows your sim kids to put on a puppet show for their family and friends. It’s quite straightforward to explain really. But it does have some very sweet animations and noises, and I love how sims gather around to watch with interest, even kneeling on the floor if no seats are available, so make sure you pop down a rug!
It will be a nice item to add to parks or libraries, to make those venues more interesting for children. And if you make schools and classrooms for you kids, or run a daycare, it will be a great item for those situations too! I do hope we get active schools and a real theatre added to the game at some point!
All in all, I think this is a great pack! I think you get a LOT of gameplay value out of it, if you enjoy content for children. You also get a huge amount of cas and buy mode items, with a really good variety of swatches. I love that the stuff pack has a very specific theme, and I like that there is content to support individual Sims’ hobbies and interests (more of that please). It would be nice to get a teen or hobby focused pack, something like TS2 Freetime, at some point too. I’d love soccer or basketball, and ballet or gymnastics, for example! More playground equipment for kids would be fab too, especially if teens can also hang around on the swings.
The great news is that the community has gone crazy for Voidcritters! And there is already a ton of supportive custom content available!
* Another one to watch is SNW who is creating wallpapers, furnishings and pjs: