A new stuff pack for The Sims 4, entitled Perfect Patio Stuff, has been released just four weeks after the previous stuff pack, Luxury Party Stuff. It follows the same model as that stuff pack, adding a modest number of new items for R100 (US$10), but including a new gameplay item to the game. In Perfect Patio Stuff, the new gameplay item, the hot tub, is not really ‘new’ to Sims fans, as hot tubs have been part of the franchise since the original game (though it’s worth noting that they were only added to The Sims 3 with its third expansion pack). The Sims 4 hot tub is, however, quite an improvement over its predecessors. So, if you’ll pardon the pun, let’s dive right in and see what this stuff pack has to offer.
Where Luxury Party Stuff naturally focused on new outfits and hairstyles, Perfect Patio Stuff leans more towards the furniture and objects side. There are nearly 30 new items of furniture, from a wicker lounge suite, to a dining table, umbrella table, counters and a new grill, as well as some new decorative objects, ranging from pot plants to weird sculptures. New clutter objects like condiment bottles and a set of braai tools are a nice touch as well. I personally really like the new furniture – it’s simple, comes in a wide range of colour options, and looks like real patio furniture.
There is also a handful of new outfits and hairstyles. There’s one hairstyle for male and female adult Sims, plus a new boy hairstyle, which is nice to see as I often feel that child Sims are completely ignored by stuff packs. The new outfits include some nice new shirts for male and female Sims, a cute dress for adult female Sims, an apron outfit (for the Sim stuck with the job of actually braaing), and some new swimsuits. While these swimsuits are few in number, there were already plenty of swimsuits added with the free pool update. The female ones in this stuff pack are a bit more interesting and a bit more revealing as well.
The main attraction, of course, is the new hot tub object, which adds a host of new gameplay options to the game. Many of these will be familiar to players of previous Sims games, from skinny dipping to WooHooing in the hot tub, as well as various other social interactions. Some new features include the ability to place the hot tub just about anywhere. Gone are the days of worrying about what is on the floor below when placing your hot tub, or needing a huge empty space to fit it into. The Sims 4 hot tubs (there are two styles included) let you place them just about anywhere: on the ground floor, in the basement, on the upstairs balcony, next to a wall, right next to a pool… needless to say, placement is a whole lot easier than it used to be.
The hot tubs can also fit up to 8 Sims at once, which is a first for the franchise (and a tad more realistic), and Sim children are no longer inexplicably barred from enjoying the hot tub as well. Like with most other activities in The Sims 4, Sims in hot tubs can multitask, chatting to Sims inside or outside the tub, watching TV, or sipping on a drink. Handy Sims can even upgrade the hot tub with speakers or aromatherapy oils to enhance Sims’ moods.
‘Less is more’ seems to be the trend with The Sims 4 so far, with fewer outfits and objects being included than we’re used to, but each of those items having a large number of colour variations to make up for it, meaning you still end up with a lot of potential variety. With the lower price point of stuff packs, and the new gameplay items being included, this seems like a good replacement for the Sims 3 Store, which offered similarly-priced packs. The benefit here is that you can get all the DLC directly through Origin, and see it all at a glance in Origin or in the game.
Perfect Patio Stuff is digital only, but the download (assuming you already have all the game updates) is under 100MB. If you’re a hot tub or patio furniture fan, you’ll love this stuff pack.
Still unsure? Check out the launch trailer: