Thank you to the EA Game Changers program for giving me an early access code for The Sims 4 Eco Lifestyle [which I’ll probably refer to as ‘Eco Living’ for the rest of this blog because we all know that’s what it should be called]. Thank you to The Sims for allowing me to take their masterpiece and do lots of terrible things with it. I think you created a monster.
What Cinderelli Did – Started from the Bottom Now I’m [Still] Here
After years and years of shiny ‘perfect life’ aspirational content we finally got the relatable trash we’ve all been waiting for! So you can bet your bottom dollar that I was going to make life hard for poor Cinders. I moved her to Port Promise, the grimiest, least eco-friendly neighbourhood of the new world, Evergreen Harbour but those shipping containers that Jill built were far too fancy for what I had planned for Cinderelli. So I bulldozed them. In their place I put a single container and a dead tree [for ambience] . Then I used the money cheat to set her account to zero simoleans. I also gave her some challenging lot traits: Filthy [from City Living] so the lot would get dirtier faster and require more water for cleaning; Off-The-Grid [base game] which would mean Cinderelli would have to find or generate her own utilities; and Reduce and Recycle [Eco Lifestyle] which means that trash cans are no longer bottomless and you have to sort the recyclables to prevent over-spill.
Cinderelli does have some advantages though, she’s still a Spellcaster from testing the Realm of Magic Game Pack and she has a lot of random junk in her inventory. Some might see an inventory full of junk as a burden but with the new inventory sorting filters patched to the base game, it’s easy to find your Glimmerstone amongst all your spellbooks, potions and bio-hazard suits. That’s what you all have in your inventories too, right?
With not even a poohoo bush to her name, Cinderelli donned her biohazard suit and rode her bike around town in search of supplies. Port Harbour is a DUMP! There is trash lining the streets, rats scurrying around spreading the corona virus [probably] and a plastic bag blowing around in the wind like the most beautiful thing I’ve ever filmed. I LOVE IT!!!
Sadly the Strangerville bio-hazard suit, while capable of protecting Sims from alien plant spores, is not suitable for repelling the stench of Port Harbour and Cinderelli developed a bit of a cough.
As if the situation wasn’t dire enough already, it started to snow. In desperate need of some creature comforts that didn’t run around on four legs and squeak, Cinderelli rode her bike over to the nearest dumpster and dove right in! She’s wearing a hazmat suit, she’ll be fine, right? RIGHT???
I guess she was lucky because on one of her first dives she found… another bike. The one thing she already had. Well, thanks a lot Mr Dumpster McDumpface! At least she could sell it for a few simoleans.
The good news was that the snow made Port Promise look actually kind of pretty and I got a little bit sentimental, especially when I realised IT WAS CHRISTMAS!!! Well, there would be no mince pies and reindeer games for Cinders this year. The best she could hope for was some trash fruit and a nap on a soft pile of garbage bags.
Cinderelli was a bit stinky after all that dumpster diving and she kinda needed a pee. She might be prepared to eat some mouldy old pizza from the depths of a dumpster but she was not about to pee in the street. What kind of girl do you take her for!? Luckily, she was next to the bar so she wandered in to spread some Christmas cheer [hopefully that’s all she was spreading]. Inside she found world famous celebrity, Britany Cho, jumping up and down demanding attention. Why this five star comedian would be hanging around a dive bar in port Promise during Winterfest is beyond me: maybe it’s a charity thing or maybe the developers just need to tweak where celebrities show up a bit more. Who knows!? It’s a mystery of the ages.
Inside, she met up with her old trainer and accomplice in all things magically mischievous, L. Faba, a sage from the Magic Realm.
‘I don’t understand,’ said L in confusion, ‘You’re a spellcaster, why on earth would to choose to live in a shipping container and dive around in the trash when you could come and stay with me at Magic HQ?’
‘It’s just something I have to do,’ sighed Cinderelli, ‘I can’t stand idly by and watch the muggle Sims ruin their environment. As spellcasters we must protect the plants for future generations, the eyes of our ancestors are upon us! I say to the citizens of Port Promise “HOW DARE YOU!”.
‘Also… *cough* … I was given a code for this pack and I kinda have to review it or SimGuruFrost will give me THAT look.’
‘What look?’ L. Faba asked in confusion.
‘It’s kinda like this’, Cinderelli pulled a face, ‘I don’t know what it means but I don’t like it.’
What Cinderelli Did – Got Distracted by Other Packs
Seasons: Waste not, want not amirite? That snow turned out to be a guru-send because Cinderelli was able to collect buckets of it as a way of generating a water supply for her off-the-grid home [and I use the word ‘home’ loosely]. I wish I’d had collected more at the time because generating water and fuel turned out to be a challenge later on.
I found Father Winter shovelling snow on my lot and he clearly knew more than I did about the importance of snow in Eco Lifestyle. Being Cinderelli, she distracted him and asked him for a present. She’d clearly been a good Sim this year as he gave her a pretty pricy microwave… which she immediately sold! ‘Thanks Santa byeeeeeeeeeeee!’
After selling her successful dumpster haul and gift from Father Winter, Cinderelli finally had enough money for a few basic essentials. I built her a partition wall in the container to section off a small bathroom, gave her a bed [no more sleeping in dumpsters yay] and a candle making station. She had picked up a few lumps of soy wax from wild plants but had not been able to find any soy beans to plants during the cold winter months [and by ‘months’ I mean the day or two that I had been playing]. Until she was able to produce her own plants I figured the beehive from Seasons was a good investment as it would provide me with honey and beeswax for candle making [I love that cross-expansion compatibility, well-played dev team!].
Spa Day: The next day I wanted to explore a bit more of the world so I sent Cinderelli up on the scaffolding. I love that Sims can actually go up here and I think it’ll make a really unique storytelling spot. It makes me laugh that Sims can ride their bikes in all these weird places too!
I found a nice spot to place a mat down and do some yoga. I really like that Sims can place objects anywhere in the open world areas from their inventories like this in The Sims 4. Sadly, the may clipped a little bit through the metalwork but I’m still pleased that this spot is useable in this way.
Realm of Magic: I love how nicely the candle-making ties in with spellcasters. Cinderelli made some plain white candles but I wanted to find some dye. She had a search through some of the open world dumpsters to no avail, so I sent her to the community lot with her scooby gang buddy Erwin Pries. There Cinderelli was able to collect some extra junk and was surprised to see how popular dumpster woohoo was! I think there’s some kind of ‘slumming it’ tourism thing going on in Port Promise.
Cinderelli took her junk home and was happy to find she could magically fix and clean items with the ‘repairio’ and ‘scruberoo’ spells. No elbow grease required here! This pleases my lazy nature.
With a few extra simoleans in the bank, I was able to give Cinders a few more necessities like a fridge and counter. Erwin stopped by and gave Cinderelli a gift and she gave him an apartment key.
‘You’re calling this piece of junk “an apartment” now?’ he teased.
What Cinderelli Did – Forgot to Turn Off the UI Capture
uh… yeah… I must have turned on the UI capture on screenshots for something and forgot to turn it off. Sorry about that!
Cinderelli met up with L. Faba again and dragged her round the other two areas of Evergreen Harbour in search of better quality junk.
‘Hold my legs, I’m going in!’
L. Faba still disapproved of Cinderelli’s new lifestyle choice and spent most of the time on her phone typing, ‘You’ll never guess what she’s doing now.’
The trip was not as successful as I’d hoped but at least Cinderelli got to see some of the other open spaces [when her head wasn’t buried in trash like a dirty ostrich]. I think some of these spots will be so great for staging storytelling scenes in the future!
What Cinderelli Did: Got Flirty Under Dirty
FINALLY I FOUND KNOX!!! We’re all madly in love with Knox right? It’s not just me?
The Welcome Wagon had finally appeared at Cinderelli’s container, perhaps it took them a while to realise someone had moved in. Cinderelli made a beeline to chat with her beloved townie but this pink-haired lady kept Knox-blocking her! As if that wasn’t bad enough, she fired her party wand right into Cinderelli’s face!
‘Please leave this lot immediately before I inferniate you.’
I think the suppressed rage prompted Cinderelli to lay it on a bit thick and she went straight from handing Knox an apartment key, to kissing him, to inviting him to spend some quality alone time in the dumpster in the space of a minute. Knox was up for getting flirty under dirty and it made me giggle that he ran after Cinderelli who decided to ride her bike to the dumpster.
The animations for this are surprisingly sweet! I like the little cuddle they have afterwards and how they help each other up. It’s actually really cute and I hope we get some more animations like this in the future.
[Side note: Real life Beast got mad at me here because Cinderelli woohooed with another Sim. Oops!]
What Cinderelli Did: Became a Firestarter
After finding a broken TV in the trash, Cinderelli took it home and rather innocently tried to fix it with magic and… umm… set it on FIIIIREEEEE!!!
She wasn’t too upset about it though, it gave her a chance to call the new firefighters that came with the patch. Look at her running away grinning and faking being sad!
‘Here, my hose is bigger than your hose,’ shouted the burly bear of a fireman, pushing the female firefighter aside [who was doing a perfectly good job]. ‘Yeah! I did it! I put out the fire all by myself!’
‘Yay! You saved me!’ Cinderelli cheered, throwing some bits of trash she’d found into the air like confetti.
‘Woo!’ he cried… and fired his party stick into her face.
Why does that keep happening to me?
What Cinderelli Did: Became One With All Creatures Great and Small
Spring finally sprung and Cinderelli’s plants started to grow. She had taken some splices of the wild soy plants so she was able to combine these with her existing plants to grow soy wax more quickly for her candle making. She had a pretty steady supply of wax now as the bees were also producing some for her. And she was even able to rummage some dye from the dumpsters.
Cinders was able to befriend her bees but I’m not sure I want to risk those dumpster flies or roaches yet!
With the snow clearing, water production became more of an issue and Cinderelli needed to figure out how to produce more of her own energy. She had earned enough money for two solar panels and a series of increasingly expensive water production objects but she never seemed to be able to create enough utilities for even basic essentials. I’m not sure if I’m doing something wrong or if the energy production rates need to be tweaked. It didn’t rain at all, so I could understand the water level being low but it had been quite sunny and I would have thought two solar panels on my tiny home would have been enough.
Idk… maybe I was missing something. I had seen that when you click on the mailbox there is an option to manage your utilities now. It allows you to decide if you want to auto-sell extra water and energy you produce, or if you want to retain it. I’d chosen to retain it but I never saw the value increase. I’m not sure if upgrading the objects will make a significant difference or if there was perhaps some kind of neighbourhood action plan in play which drained utilities faster or something. I need to play around with this feature more to understand it better.
Anyway, the big water pump required fuel and I didn’t want to keep using oil in case it damaged the environment, so I got Cinderelli some beetles and grubs to befriend! She loves them! I don’t like the idea of hurting the bugs to get their produce so I might have to pretend it’s just a by-product of raising them or something. I’m not too sure how they work yet so I need to play with them more [stupid Realm of Magic and Seasons being so distracting].
Oh, and I also remembered I had a raven familiar!
My playsession ended with me deciding that magic was really really really helpful with this pack and that I should probably learn more practical magic. So I had Cinderelli do some training with Simeon Silversweater on top of the scaffolding and it looked EPIC!!!
So that’s everything Cinderelli did wrong with Eco Lifestyle. I hope you enjoyed it! I’m looking forward to sharing more gameplay with you on Twitter.