For fans of the vacation-themed expansion packs from previous generations of The Sims, the announcement of The Sims 4 Jungle Adventures was an exciting development, and a long-awaited one, especially after the Outdoor Retreat game pack was released three years ago (I can’t believe it’s been three years!). Unlike Outdoor Retreat, however, Jungle Adventures brings in a lot of elements from The Sims 3 World Adventures. Fortunately, it doesn’t include many of the bugs that made World Adventures rather frustrating to play. Let’s take a closer look!
Welcome to the Jungle
Your Sims can now visit Selvadorada, a jungle themed vacation world. Like Granite Falls from the Outdoor Retreat game pack, Selvadorada can only be visited as part of a vacation, and cannot be lived in like a normal Sims 4 world. Your Sims can rent a lot for up to 7 days (though they can always extend their vacation if that’s not enough time!), and use it as their home base as they explore the town of Selvadorada and the jungle that surrounds it.
The town itself is modestly sized, though it contains a vital part of your adventure: the market. Here your Sims can sample local food and drink, chat to locals to improve their Selvadorada culture skill, and purchase items to help them while they’re out in the jungle. Many of the most important items – the machete and various bug sprays – are sold flea market style, meaning your Sim may have to wait for a restock to get a specific item. Fortunately. one of your Sims will be given a couple of useful items when they start their vacation.
Once your Sims have picked up the essentials at the market, they can venture into the jungle surrounding Selvadorada (okay, they can go into the jungle without supplies, but their trip might be rather uncomfortable!). There are various paths to try, some of which may be locked completely – meaning your Sims will have to try that path on another vacation – while others can be accessed by cutting away the vines blocking the path. This is something relatively easy to accomplish with a machete (though there’s always the chance of losing said machete in the process – my Sim Laura Craft lost several machetes this way!) or your Sim can do it the hard way, by hand.
Attempting to travel through one of the paths opened by removing vines usually causes one of those text-based scenarios to pop up – your Sim might encounter a family of sloths, a carnivorous vine, or a jaguar – though they now have artwork to accompany them, giving you several choices, some of which require items in your inventory or a certain skill. If your Sim successfully gets through the path, they’ll find themselves deeper in the jungle, with more paths to follow.
There are numerous paths, which seem to change between vacations, and it’s easy to get turned around. The jungle is filled with dangers, from plasma bats to lightning bugs, and unprepared Sims can end up getting zapped or set on fire. There’s also a few new harvestable plants, including the avocado (which includes in its description a reference to how good it is on toast!)
Jungle Adventures brings back some of the features of The Sims 3 World Adventures, with tombs to explore, puzzles to solve, and treasures to collect. In the heart of the Selvadorada jungle, your Sims may find an ancient temple, protected by traps and skeletal guardians. Your Sims will need to figure out how to correctly activate the mechanisms to open the next door. They can do this through careful study, or by blinding pulling levers and hoping for the best.
Correctly activating a mechanism will open the next path, while incorrectly activating one can result in a variety of effects, from poison darts to fiery retribution. Treasure chests may lie deep inside the temple, while archaeological dig sites appear all over the world of Selvadorada. There are plenty of artifacts to uncover, of varying qualities and rarities. Digging these up or authenticating them will improve your Sims’ archaeology skill, which also ties into one of the new aspirations in this pack. Sims can even assemble powerful relics and unleash a variety of (often contagious) effects. All the relics my Sims assembled cursed them, but they continue to search for the right combination to receive a positive effect instead.
What is really cool about Jungle Adventures is that when you finish exploring a temple, the next time you visit, it will be completely different, with a new layout, new puzzles, and new loot.
Unlike World Adventures, there’s no quest system, leaving you to explore the jungle however you like. What is really cool about Jungle Adventures is that when you finish exploring a temple, the next time you visit, it will be completely different, with a new layout, new puzzles, and new loot. This randomisation should keep tomb raiding fresh for a long while.
As you would expect from a Sims 4 game pack, Jungle Adventures comes with an assortment of new furniture, flora and decor (including new wall cracks and other decals) to fit the jungle theme. There are new wall, floor and roof coverings, as well as windows, doors and plants, all of which work together to bring home that jungle vibe. There’s new bathroom and kitchen objects, as well as beds and couches, allowing you to kit out your entire house in vibrant mosaics and ancient artifacts.
The clothing, while mostly for teens and older Sims, does include a couple of shirts for child and toddler Sims. Adult Sims receive some new hairstyles, adventurer hats and matching explorer gear. There’s also more colourful clothing that the locals wear.
Jungle Adventures combines the vacation system with the adventure system of World Adventures, but without the crippling bugs found in previous vacation-themed packs. The new world of Selvadorada is colourful and it really feels exotic. All the new furniture and other items will help you bring the feel of the jungle back to your Sims’ homes. There’s tons to discover in the jungle, and the randomised adventure system should keep things interesting for a good long while!
Thank you to EA for providing us with an early access code for review.