The Sims 3: Roaring Heights & Boardwalk Venue Review

Great world, shame about the rollercoaster.
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The style of the 1920s and 1930s is somehow timeless. From Boardwalk Empire to Mad Men, its sleek class and sharp looks are far from unfamiliar. The Sims 3 have gone to some lengths over the years to meet fans’ demand for recreating that sense of deco decadence with several small add-ons available through their online store. But the latest addition to the catalogue has been hotly anticipated due to the inclusion of rollercoasters and the bevy of new build/buy objects to really complete that jazz era look.

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Roaring Heights looks amazing: that’s all its meant to do. Yes, it’s a shame that there aren’t any new traits, careers/professions, or lifetime wishes that come with the content, but that has always been the remit of expansion packs, not worlds.

But it’s great to see Maxis really go to town on this one. They’ve managed to capture a real sense of the art deco style–drawing from 1920s-1930s Miami, New York, and Chicago–to make a town that’s really lush. Even if it doesn’t do anything more than the base game and whatever expansion packs you’ve got allows you to, it’s still an absolute delight to play in.

An Architect’s and Fasionista’s Heaven

One of the best things about this is the whole range of building ornaments and toppers that player can now use, not to mention the array of period garments. You really can create your own vintage haven without having to risk the instability of custom content.

In fact, we’d go as far to say that this is an add-on aimed mostly at builders, given the power you now have to build within this genre – especially if you already own the Bauhaus window pack.

Balancing Act

The real charm, however, is in the nuance of indirect gameplay balancing within this world. Notably, it’s incredibly refreshing to see premium content – the fixer-upper car – not being over-powered like other items that have been available in previous add-on packs. Namley, it doesn’t raise your handiness skill as quickly as other ways, and working on the car zaps a lot of your Sim’s energy. But the trade-off is a beautiful motor which you can cruise around and even Woo Hoo in: a feature much missed from The Sims 2.

If you’re starting from scratch with a family, whilst in-keeping with the world’s style the pre-built starter homes aren’t exactly roomy or space efficient and the bigger homes cost a lot! This mean’s you’ll really have to work to afford that modernist mansion of your dreams. Alternatively you can dive straight into the Capps’ household – a The Sims 2 family who see their story get fleshed out a bit more in this world.

Big Dipper Disappointment

What really lets the bundle down is the Boardwalk Venue. The re-introduction of rollercoasters into the game, similar to those that appeared in The Sims: Making Magic, was something that many looked forward to. But it just doesn’t scratch the itch.

It was always clear that it was going to quite a frivolous affair, resulting in something more silly than realistic. But it seems a little too over done. The worst part of it is that whilst it looks fun, it’s impact on gameplay is minimal. The increase it gives to your “fun” stat is slow, and the moodlet you get from riding the rollercoaster hardly boosts your overall mood at all and lasts for only two hours. In short, it really doesn’t seem worth the extra 1,900 SimPoints.

“It seems like a lot of imagination and care went into Roaring Heights as a world, but it stopped short of actually making the rollercoaster as good an addition as it could be.”

It seems like a lot of imagination and care went into Roaring Heights as a world, but it stopped short of actually making the rollercoaster sa good an addition as it could be.

Conclusion

DO get Roaring Heights, but unless you really want rollercoaster and some of the other items that comes with the Boardwalk Venue, don’t bother.

The Sims 3: Roaring Heights is now available to buy via http://store.thesims3.com. 

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The Sims 3: Roaring Heights & Boardwalk Venue Review
Great world, shame about the rollercoaster.

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Image of Destrolyn.Bechgeddig
Destrolyn.Bechgeddig
Bearded British game-bear. Likes his JRPGs accompanied with a G&T. Lives in London, UK. Also writes a lot about theatre and film. *jazz hands*