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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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
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.
– 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
‘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!