Sims 3 Design & High-Tech Stuff Review

The Sims 3 Design and High-Tech Stuff is the first Stuff pack introduced for Sims 3. In the rare case you aren’t familiar with them, ‘Stuff’ packs are essentially non essential packs (or discs, if you like) with cosmetic redesigns of objects that already exist in the main game. In other words, if you play Sims purely for gameplay, there’s very little, if anything, to see here.

In a way, it is odd to learn EA are still continuing with this part of the franchise when we now have the Sims 3 Store. The store is filled with nothing but ‘stuff’, which brings the existence of Stuff packs under question.

Do EA think the Store is not selling as well as they’d hoped? Do EA think they still need to include store bought Stuff packs to cater for those who don’t have access to the Store? Or maybe, just maybe, do EA feel they want to improve on this side-dish series which, during the Sims 2 era, was regarded by some as cynical cash-ins parading as gameplay altering expansion packs?

Here’s the answer for that last question: Hardly.

Design and High Tech could be described as something of a rehash on the Ultra Lounge collection made available in the Sims 3 Store some months back. The additional gimmick here is the return of past objects from previous Sim eras in celebration of the Sims 10th year anniversary. Past objects include the aquarium, the electric guitar and the ‘heart shaped vibrating’ bed.

The ‘All My Fishes’ aquarium looks attractive and yet nothing like the one found in the original Sims. Unlike the fish bowl, the aquarium is capable of holding more than one fish at a time and allows a maximum of 6. However, this number does not play into the game’s “Own 13 perfect species of fish” lifetime wish (though with an update that could change).

The Das Kauker R86 electric guitar is potentially the most ambitious of the past items, yet it is also the most disappointing. While it sounds like an electric guitar and has extra animation consisting notes floating from an additional amplifier which is a nice touch, the result isn’t a huge contrast from the familiar acoustic.

The Das Kauker’s shape is almost identical to the acoustic. It would have been more welcome if the guitar was the shape of a stray lightning bolt or even the ‘cased guitar’ found in the Framed Tom Audio Replica item that comes with this collection (click screenshot to see both items)! Also, despite the added electricity, there are neither new tracks to hear nor new tracks to learn. The only exciting difference between both guitars is that aspiring rock stars with insufficient guitar skill are, according to the manual, more likely to ‘upset the neighbours’ who will in turn ‘call the authorities’.

The Vibromatic LN3000 or ‘heart-shaped vibrating bed’ is perhaps a welcome addition for those who enjoy its then… innovating functions. As well as the option to enjoy vibration, the Vibromatic also gave early sims the once unthinkable opportunity to ‘play in bed’. That’s what they called it before the days of ‘woohoo’ and ‘woohooing’. Anyway, as Sims can now play or woohoo in any double bed, the only remaining point of interest rests with the vibrate function which, for the cost of an in game simoleon, works fine but doesn’t add anything new to the game.

As for everything else, it’s stuff that’s modern; redesigns that look skinnier, more cubic or both. The lighting objects are probably the best items, all defaulted with a blue hue and one with a cool continuous equalizer animation. The corner bath is also interesting with its right angle layout and transparent wall. The redesigned treadmill looks as if it has your sim running on a virtual road. TVs and gaming consoles both get more than one futuristic redsign (one of which may remind players of the Wii). Finally, all stereos seem to include new tracks in the Electronica station, which sound energetic and build a ‘city that never sleeps’ like atmosphere.

Though High Tech and Design stuff might not having much going for it compared with your typical expansion pack such as World Adventures, at only £10 it is a product that knows it. Despite the price though, choosing between the two is a ‘no-brainer’. For the Sims 3 player, World Adventures is the essential purchase. Design & High Tech might be worth your consideration if you already have World Adventures and everything you like the look of in the Sims 3 Store. It’s cheap, cosmetically cheerful and not at all progressive.

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