TS4 Download: Slippy Slide Plain Recolours

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I was a bit disappointed that there was no plain swatch on the slip n slide that came with Backyard Stuff. The existing textures are very bright, and while they are great for kids, they are a bit too childish for every possible situation. I really wanted an outdoorsy recolour that would be suitable for an adventure course in Granite Falls, where I might send a group of teens or young adults on a summer camping holiday!

I wanted something that looked like tarpaulin, like maybe the Sims had improvised a slip n slide out of whatever materials were lay around. So I made the dark green and black version. Then I got carried away and made lots of different recolours, some brighter than others, some with or without a border. As I was removing the surface pattern from the texture I tried to preserve the wrinkled texture of the material underneath. I merged out the texture by hand, rather than just painting out the pattern with a block of flat colour.

And I also made it into an inventory item! So you can take it anywhere and use it off-lots.

Download Here!

Made with Sims4Studio.

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Cinderelli Investigates: Backyard Stuff

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Do you know what we need? More outdoor objects so our Sims can enjoy the perpetual sunshine while it lasts! You know it’s only a matter of time before those pesky gurus send the rain and the snow. XD

Buy Mode Stuff!

I decided that Cinderelli-sim’s house and garden needed a bit of a makeover. The outdoor area was a bit of a dumping ground from the growfruit challenge and it was in desperate need of some landscaping. Luckily, Cinderelli had earned a bit of money from writing books and painting, and so she had enough money to decorate the garden with some of the new items.

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One thing I really like about the objects in this pack is that they work so well with other content. While decorating the house I used filters to use items from Get Together, Romantic Garden Stuff, and Movie Hangout, as well as the new Backyard Stuff. I found that the items complimented each other really well and I could mix and match a little. One thing I would have loved to see was some texture continuity, so items from Backyard Stuff could have had matching patterns from Movie Hangout. But I guess I can look to the CC community for that. Although the textures are really nice on the new items, I did find myself wishing each pattern was available for all the different wood shades, particularly on the garden furniture. I was a bit frustrated I couldn’t have the pattern and wood colour I wanted (the red pattern and the dark wood) and had to settle an alternative colour, but it still looked really nice and I was happy with it in the end.

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The clutter items in this pack are really nice (if a little on the large side) and I love the outdoor lantern, the nicely animated candle, and the glass bowl of fruit. The fruit comes in different colours to represent different types of fruit and looks really nice in kitchens or cafes with a fresh and healthy theme! I also really like the wooden decorative birdhouse and the stepladders. Although I wish the flowers were separate items from the ladders, and I could decorate the ladders with whatever items I liked. There is a slot on the top step though! I think lots of items in this pack will be useful for indoors and outdoors, in a similar way to the furniture from Movie Hangout Stuff. The ladders would look nice in an arty loft, for example.

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A small complaint is that I personally found some of the items in this pack to be a little too bright for my taste. The windmills are very gaudy, and only really feel appropriate for children to me. Other items like the lantern have quite primary colour swatches, and I would have liked a few more muted alternatives. And… wow, that bush is so unnatural! I don’t think I can use that without recolouring it. It wouldn’t look out of place in Sixam though. Another item I wish had a plain option is the water slide, but more on that later.

In general, the objects in this pack are nice and cheerful and I’ll definitely use them a lot! But some of them are a bit too large, and I would have appreciated some more muted colour options.

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GAMEPLAY!!!

I wrote GAMEPLAY in capital letters because there is a lot of it in this pack! The star of the show is the waterslide, but there are other smaller objects that add new functionality too, like the bird feeder and the drinks tray. And the dining table has a little unusual tweak which means that SIX sims can sit around it, more than the usual four, which makes it a bit special. There are also some windchimes which have some customisable features. It feels a bit like some of the development time has been dispersed throughout this pack, rather than focusing on one or two specific objects. The main bulk of the animation goes to the waterslide, but in total there are six objects in this pack that have customised features: the waterslide; the bird feeder; the six-seater dining table; the animated windmills; the windchimes; and the drinks tray. The citronella candle also has a nice smoke animation but I’m not sure if that’s new.

While I like having a lot of features, I feel like maybe they stretched themselves a tiny bit too far. The bird animations are a bit too choppy, for example. But all in all the items are really nice.

– The waterslide:

I have to admit, I like this item more than I thought I would! It’s quite a fun object and there are different animations every time your Sim slides, which makes it enjoyable to watch! Alan the Clown was the first to try out the water slide and he was a bit of a pro! He seemed to enjoy doing trick slides!

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Parker Mouse arrived home from school (still getting straight A’s, the smart little mouse). Parker is cheeky and decided it was more fun to add soap to the water slide and make it all bubbly! Alan agreed, it was much more fun! I thought it was funny that Parker, a ghost, could float straight back to the starting point and Alan could slide right through him!

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Then it was Cinderelli’s turn…

She wasn’t exactly graceful! Later, it made me laugh that she got into bed still covered in bubbles! XD

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I think the water slide is a really fun item and it will be great on community lots too! I’d be a great object for a pop-up Fun Day at the park, or for beaches if we get a tropical world (or if you’re using the Tropical Getaway Mod Pack). My niggly complaints are that it would have been nice to have a plain option, because the bright designs are a bit childish, and it would have been nice to have a plain version more suitable for teens or young adults. Also, that it would have been nice if it was an inventory object, to make it usable in the big empty area in Newcrest or the beach area in Windenburg. Other than that, it’s a fun item!

– The bird house

This is possibly my favourite item in the pack! It’s just so sweet! And it would be really nice for elders who enjoy gardening. I had Cinderelli feed the birds and luckily she wasn’t attacketed. But one bird did look quite grumpy and aggressive so she backed off. XD

I would have loved a version that looked more rustic like the decorative birdhouse, and the bird animations are very jumpy! But it’s a nice object anyway and I’m pleased to have it.

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bird watching

– The juice tray

This is a little bit like the drinks tray from Spa Day but with a few notable exceptions. Firstly, there is a new mixing and pouring animation which is much nicer than the magical swipe animation. Then there are three brand new drinks choices: lemonade; iced tea; and a citrus drink (I forgot the name). The sim will pour out six drinks onto the tray and leave the jug half full (or half empty depending on your philosophical outlook on life). A nice feature is that you can drag the drinks off the tray in live mode and then fill up the tray for a second time, giving you a total of twelve servings.

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And when life gives you lemonade you have to SELL IT!!!

If you have Get to Work you can use the retail system to purchase a small empty lot and set up a little lemonade stand! You can either use vanilla content to make a little stall, or you can grab the converted lemonade stand from TS3 by Oh My Sims! The lemonade can be set for sale! It is a little on the expensive side though, so a refreshing glass of sugared lemon water will not come cheaply to your simmies!

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Finally, the wind-chimes are another really nice item. They are customisable, so you can choose what material they are made out of and the length of the bars, which affect the pitch and tone.

Create-A-Sim

I have to admit I wasn’t exactly wowed by the CAS-assets in this pack. They’re just… nice. Usable but nothing too exciting. There are some nice hairstyles, the wavy bob and the dreadlocks are useful, and they have ombre options.

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The clothing is usable and good for everyday wear. There are some skinny jeans that tuck into boots, which is a small detail we’ve not had yet, and for skinny jean fans like me, it’s nice to have this! And there are some shorts, shirts, and new t-shirt designs. I do really like the t-shirt with the knot in the front, and it has some nice metallic details on the different designs. I also like the cute little dungarees and would wear these in real life if it had a t-shirt underneath (I’m hoping I can manage to modify this with Sims4Studio). There is also a nice bodysuit with a lace panel in the back which can double up as a swimsuit.

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While the items are nice, I can’t help thinking this pack was a bit light in the wardrobe department and it could have benefited from a few more options. Maybe a few accessories or even just some more swatch options to bulk it out a bit.

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‘So, what do we think boys?’

The water slide is a lot of fun and it’s nice to have a new activity to do with family and friends. The other gameplay objects are nice to have as well: the bird feeder is sweet; the wind chimes are welcome; and the drinks tray is useful. It’s a great to have a bigger outdoor table that can seat more sims, especially for backyard parties! Most of the furniture and clutter is really pretty and fits in well when combined with existing content. Some of the items are a bit large though, and the items could have had a few muted colour alternatives. The new hair and clothing are nice and useful.

Backyard Stuff is a good pack and I’m happy to have the content in my game. Is it my favourite stuff pack? I’d have to say no. But there’s enough content in there to keep me amused for a while. ^__^

Enjoy! And remember to keep a little birdhouse in your soul!

The Banditos Family: Jealousy

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Sophia woke up to find her husband had already left the bed. Perhaps he was making her breakfast? But he wasn’t in the kitchen… where was he?

As a supermodel, Sophia is comfortable with her body and doesn’t always bother to cover-up when she is walking round the house, despite her brother-in-law often being around. So she prepared herself breakfast in her smexy underwear. Eating breakfast in the garden she suddenly felt very lonely. Her children had left for school and perhaps her husband had gone to the restaurant early. It was a new business after all.

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But Sophia has the jealous trait, which made her anxious when her husband wasn’t accounted for. Who was he with? What could he be doing? What if he found one of the waitresses attractive and had an affair?

A sudden pang of insecurity had her running to a mirror to check her appearance. What if Carlos didn’t find her attractive anymore? What if he decided he wanted a divorce? Sophia checked her reflection anxiously, but she couldn’t see any grey hairs and her skin was still remarkably unwrinkled thanks to regular visits to Doctor Landgraab. Surely she was just being paranoid? It’s natural she would feel lonely during busy periods when her husband would be out of the house a lot on business.

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Unfortunately for Sophia, her instincts about her husband were correct. He’d received a text from one of his waitresses early that morning, asking him out to breakfast. Carlos probably convinced himself it was an entirely innocent brunch with one of his staff members to discuss the running of the business. But if he was honest with himself, he couldn’t resist flirting with other women, it made him feel attractive.

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Carlos dressed carefully for the meeting, with his hair carefully shaped and dressed in a freshly pressed shirt and a sharp new suit. He knew success came to those who looked the part, and a businessman with a new enterprise had to dress to impress!

He was slightly irritated to find Imani was dressed much less attractively than she had been at work (in his opinion) but made a complimentary remark about her legs anyway. Imani giggled and seemed slightly in awe of her glamorous new boss, which stroked Carlos’ ego and spurred him on.

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Imani shyly explained that she needed to use the restroom. Carlos was happy to feel like he was taking charge and spoke to the host to wrangle a prime table. When he was seated, Imani returned and he was pleased to see that she had changed clothes in the bathroom and was now wearing a tight top, heels and a smexy pair of glasses.

‘I spent the night at my sisters,’ she explained, ‘and didn’t have time to dress for work before I left.’

Carlos smoothly complimented the new outfit. Then, for the sake of appearances, he adopted a professional manner and began to discuss the competition’s menu. If anyone spotted them together, and if anything got back to his wife, he could honestly say it was a business meeting.

As Imani left she whispered over her shoulder that she was excited to see him later at his restaurant. Carlos smiled in anticipation.

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Back at home, Antonio had arrived looking for his brother. Carlos was supposed to have met him at the restaurant that morning to move some tables into a better position. He’d had to do it all alone, but he wasn’t sure if he’d got it right. Carlos would probably have him move them all around again. He was hot and sweaty, and he needed a drink. He peeled off his t-shirt, intending to get in the shower, and as he grabbed a glass of water he eyed himself in the mirror. He was pleased to see all that labour had given his lean frame a bit of definition.

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Just then, Sophia burst in on him in a huff. Startled by the sudden intrusion, Antonio almost dropped his glass!

‘Where is my husband?’ she demanded, ‘Have you seen him?’

Tony was used to covering for his brother. He didn’t know where Carlos was, but he wasn’t stupid enough to tell his temperamental sister-in-law that!

‘He’s at the restaurant,’ he lied smoothly, ‘we were moving tables around and he needed to stay behind and make sure we’d got it right. He said something about the menu too, but I don’t do any of that stuff.’

‘Carlos? Moving tables?’ repeated Sophia sceptically.

‘Well,’ Tony conceded, ‘he actually kind-of supervised the whole thing… from the bar.’

Sophia laughed at this, it did sound like her husband to make everyone else do all the hard work!

‘Ok, well when you see him remind him to ring his wife!’ Sophia left the room looking reassured.

Tony watched her walk away with a bitter taste in his mouth. If he had a wife like that there was no way he’d be screwing around and messing it up! He looked back at his reflection earnestly, if Sophia was his girl he’d be with her every moment of every hour of every day. Most men could only dream of getting that lucky. And what was Carlos really doing? Well, he could take a good guess.

Sophia had felt better for a moment, but the nagging doubts resurfaced again. She couldn’t relax when her husband wasn’t answering his phone.

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The Banditos Family: Serving Up Trouble

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You might remember the little girl who followed my doctor home? Well, her name is Isabella Banditos and she is the daughter of a very powerful ‘businessman’ and his supermodel wife. Her uncle Antonio picked her up and brought her back to their villa in Oasis Springs, annoyed that she’d inconvenienced them all during an important deal. Her father, Carlos, was starting a new business to add to his portfolio, and Isabella had run away during the night.

It was morning when they arrived back at the villa, and Isabella knew she was in trouble. The mood in the house was tense, partially because of the business deal, and partially because they all blamed each other for Isabella’s disappearance.

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Isabella’s big brother Marcos had slept through the whole thing, he only learned of her absence when he woke up to find her being brought home.

He confronted his mother, ‘Why didn’t you wake me up? I could have helped you look for her.’

Sophia was sensitive to criticism and she snapped at him, ‘She was perfectly fine. She only did this to get attention because we’ve all been so busy!’

The truth was she that she had been worried about Isabella too. She was angry at herself for being so distracted, and mad at her brother-in-law who was supposed to have been watching her.

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Marcos wasn’t happy but you couldn’t argue with his mother, she was too defensive. He shook his head and went to find some breakfast. Isabella wandered in, tired and hungry after her big adventure.

‘What were you thinking Bella?’ he asked gently, ‘You can’t just run off like that without telling anyone.’

‘I didn’t run off,’ Isabella replied with her chin stuck out defiantly, ‘Uncle Tony went for coffee with a nurse while he was waiting for me at the hospital, and he didn’t come back!’

‘So you should have told one of the doctors…’ Marcos began.

‘That’s what I did!’ Isabella exclaimed. ‘Doctor Khan had been so nice to me, so I asked for him but they said he’d gone home.’

‘So you followed him home?’ asked Marcos, mildly amused despite his concerns.

‘She did,’ Antonio said as he walked into the kitchen, ‘And I did go back to pick her up, but she’d already ran off to find her hero doctor!’

Marcos sighed, ‘Come on you, let’s get you to school before you get into any more trouble!’

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Meanwhile, Isabella and Marcos’ father was getting ready to open his new business! He was feeling very upbeat as he waited for his new staff to show up. He’d bought a tiny bar in Oasis Springs and turned it into a small Spanish restaurant.

As his new staff arrived he tried to perk them all up by dancing to the salsa music and giving them all a quick pep talk! Then he took up his position behind the bar (the best job) and practised mixing the new signature cocktails his wife had designed.

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When they opened the doors a steady steam of customers poured in. Carlos’ staff did the best they could, but they weren’t very experienced, so Carlos laid on some of his charm to smooth things over with the customers. His charm worked well, especially with the ladies, and he was pleased to see good reviews for his first day.

Another perk was a visit from the local celebrity, Iggy Spacedust, who had been doing a gig nearby and had popped in with his family for a quick bite. Carlos was quick to give Iggy and his entourage special treatment! Unfortunately, one of his waitresses got a little starstruck and had to have a drink to calm her nerves. XD

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When the last customer left and they began to clean up before the evening shift, Carlos went to talk to his staff to encourage them and offer them advice. He praised the elderly chef, who had worked so hard getting all those orders out! He believed he got the best out of his workers if he laid on the charm, so even though he was annoyed at the waitress for drinking so obviously in front of customers, he encouraged her in his charming and persuasive way.

It would be a shame if such an attractive waitress quit, he thought as he left the kitchen.

As they counted the takings for the day, Carlos felt like they’d had a successful first shift and he did a little dance to celebrate!

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Back at home, Marcos encouraged his sister to do her homework, ‘You want to be smart like that doctor, don’t you?’

Then he spent some time working out by the pool before bed.

His father got home late, he cleared up the mess his family had made, wishing his wife would agree to them hiring a maid. Then he too spent some time in the pool under the twinkling stars.

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News: The Sims 4 Backyard Stuff Announcement and Trailer

I’m so excited about that bird feeder! I feel like I’m going to burst into song like Mary Poppins. XD

*caterwauling* Feeeeeeed the biiiiiird, tuppence a baaaaaag!

So the Backyard Stuff pack seems aimed at family and friends hanging out in the garden. It has a summery feel with the slip n slide and cheerful animated windmills. It seems like the Lawn Water Slide is the main feature of the pack, and it has different animations like a sexy pose or a surfing pose. There is also a fail animation which is quite amusing, and I love that Sim covered in bubbles at the end!

Interestingly, there are lots of gameplay objects in this pack. There is the bird-feeder with new animations. There is also a juice pitcher with a choice of lemonade or iced tea. This seems like an updated version of the drinks tray that came with Spa Day because it actually has a pouring animation. I’m a little bit disappointed that it doesn’t appear to have a recipe that uses the harvestable lemons, but I’m excited to have the local kids set up a lemonade stall again (I figure I can use the retail system for this somehow). As if that wasn’t enough, there is also a set of wind chimes which have lots of customisable options: ‘Choose from bamboo, ceramic, or metallic chimes… pair them together if you like, or even set the length of the rods to adjust the chime’s pitch’.

Oh, there is also a new style of patio table with SIX seats instead of the usual four. This is great if you have a big family gathering and want a couple more seats around the dining table (granddad can sit at the kids’ table). And there are lots of nice decorative objects like the animated windmills, and general summer garden clutter. I like the step ladder with the flower pots! And finally, we have that Sim classic… the white picket fence!

There are some new relaxed hairstyles in the pack, with some ombre colour options. And an assortment of summery clothes. And SimGuruPizza just tweeted out that we have skinny jeans that can be tucked into boots! Yes!

There seems like a lot of gameplay content for your money in this pack, and I think this will definitely be worth getting!

TS4 Blog: The Freegans – From Trash to Cash!

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The Freegans were doing a little bit better now. And by ‘better’ I mean they’d had a shower and ate some questionable mushrooms. So at least they were no longer stinky and starving!

Daphne was feeling frustrated. She was itching to write something! Being half-dazed all the time and staring mindlessly at clouds for several hours a day had prompted a surge in the imaginative area of her brain. She was desperate to find a pen and paper and to write her thoughts down.

She was also very tired of reading the same book over and over again. After much begging and whining she convinced the others to go into town for a visit to the library.

By the time they arrived it was dark, and the long walk had made them hungry. The coffee shop was closed, and all they had to eat was a bag full of onions that Penelope had gathered on the way.

Daphne looked at the silvery-skinned vegetable with hesitation. ‘I don’t think I can eat it raw.’

‘You’re a Freegan,’ said Apollo with determination in his eyes, ‘you’ve eaten out of bins, you’ve eaten rotting fish… you’ve eaten mushroom hotdogs that taste like feet! You can do this!’

Daphne took a deep breath, she supposed she’d have to.

‘Oh,’ she cried in surprise, ‘it wasn’t that bad actually!’

‘I’ve had worse,’ Penelope grumbled behind her back, thinking about those hotdogs.

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The library was beautiful! Daphne immediately loved the old and peaceful building. She wanted to go and poke around the shelves and find something interesting to read, but first, she had work to do. Daphne found a dusty looking computer upstairs and sat down to work.

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Penelope had been reluctant to walk into town, until she spotted an easel set up near the waterfront. Luckily she’d brought some painting materials with her (mostly dyes made from vegetable extract and brushes made from water reeds and pigeon feathers). Soon she was painting away and became so engrossed in what she was doing she didn’t realise the sun had come up!

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Daphne had finished her short story, and Apollo agreed to proofread it. Penelope checked the bins around town while she waited. When the story had been checked over, Daphne submitted it to an free online self-publisher, who even sent out a complimentary physical copy in the mail! If she wanted more copies, she would have to buy them, but she earned a small amount of money each week from advertising when people read her online version.

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They walked home feeling tired after staying up all night. Apollo decided to stop by the spot behind the pub where people seemed to dump their unwanted furniture. He was glad he did! He picked up a dirty and rusted folding table, a stained yoga mat, and best of all… A TENT!!! Finally, they could stop sleeping in the poop-bush! He wasn’t sure the tent was much cleaner… but at least they had separate places to sleep and poop now!

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Daphne placed her book down on the table. Surely someone would want to buy this masterpiece? Penelope placed a few more items down that they’d found on their travels. Well, it wasn’t going to win any awards for ‘Most Nicely Presented Shop’ but at least it was a start. The Freegans got into position and waited for customers. Daphne gave the table a quick clean!

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Unbelievably, people who were walking past wandered over to take a look. And once one or two people showed an interest, it attracted other people! Soon they had a small crowd.

Penelope’s charm and Apollo’s charisma soon impressed the group and one of them actually made a purchase! Finally, they were starting to establish themselves.

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Things are looking up for the Freegan household! ❤

TS4 Download: Robot and Monster Toys

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Ok… so I might be a tiiiiiiny bit obsessed about the merchandise shop at my cinema. There’s something very satisfying about lining up colourful objects on shelves. I really like the new items from Kids’ Room Stuff and wanted to make mini collectable versions of the coolala bean bear and the robot, and to turn them into playable toys! So… uh… that’s what I did! ^__^

I also got a bit annoyed with Chompy the Monster because he always seemed to sit sideways and at an odd angle on shelves, and his footprint seemed a bit too large. So I cloned him and shuffled him about a bit to make him sit more nicely on a shelf (because I’m a strange and controlling Sim Overlord, and items will sit as they are told, mwa ha ha ha haaaaaa!).

I also added extra colour swatches to all these toys, so that my Sims have more things to collect! The Coolala Beanie Bears have more open and closed mouth colours, and a couple of extra blue shades. The robot has a couple of swatches that match the colours of two of the robot wall stickers, and I added some typically ‘girly’ colours too like yellows and pinks. And there are a couple of extra Chompy colours as well.

Oh, and they all talk! They can also be named, played with, and put in the Sims’ inventory like other toys.

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Download Chompy! Works with base game!

Download Robot and Coolala! Kids’ Room Stuff Pack Required!

Cinderelli (sort of) Investigates: Kids’ Room Stuff

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!

CASsets:

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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.

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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).

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Build/Buy:

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.

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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.

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Voidcritters!!!

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!!!

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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!

kampos

dicoatl

wisp

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).

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pleased

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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!

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Puppet Theatre:

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!

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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.

More stuffz:

The great news is that the community has gone crazy for Voidcritters! And there is already a ton of supportive custom content available!

* Voidcritter plushies by PickyPikachu

* Trade Voidcritter for All Ages Mod by Shimrod101

* Voidcritter T-shirts (adult and kids versions available on site) by Strawberry House

* WIP Voidcritter content by Brazen Lotus (watch this space)

* Buyable Voidcritters by Treelife Creations

* Alternate Puppet Theatre and puppets as toys by Sandy at ATS

* Another one to watch is SNW who is creating wallpapers, furnishings and pjs: