Review: The Sims 4 Realm of Magic Game Pack (PC)

9

Amazing

The long awaited Harry Potter magic themed game pack announced at EA Play is finally here. Realm of Magic is the second supernatural themed game pack for The Sims 4, and like Vampires, it focuses on one type of supernatural life state only: spellcasters. Let’s dive in and see what this pack has to offer.

Create A Sim

Like other game packs, Realm of Magic includes a range of new CAS items, from hairstyles and makeup to outfits and accessories. There’s a good number of new clothing items for masculine and feminine Sims alike, but sadly there is nothing at all for toddlers or children. 

The clothing falls into several styles: a gothic look, some flashy magician outfits, some comfy looking druid or hermit inspired outfits in earthy tones to go with the forest world of Glimmerbrook, and a few more every day kind of outfits. Paired with packs like Spooky Stuff, Vampires and Vintage Glamour, there’s a broad range of options to help you define what kind of spellcasters your Sims are.

The new accessories include some cool bracelets and necklaces, and there’s even a few new makeup options. There are also two new aspirations, related to spellcasting and potion making respectively. You can also create a spellcaster in CAS, or turn them into one through gameplay. 

Build/Buy Mode

A Sims 4 game pack wouldn’t be complete without some new build and buy options, and Realm of Magic is no exception. The new items have a magical elven wood vibe to them, with organic patterns and shapes. There’s some beautiful stained glass windows, as well as several other doors, windows and other architectural bits. The furniture keeps with the theme, and includes a full kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, lounge and dining set, allowing you to build entire lots in the same theme. There aren’t a huge number of clutter items, but given how many are already in the game, builders should be able to create some exquisite lots. 

An Enchanting Realm

Realm of Magic adds the small town of Glimmerbrook, a five lot world similar to Forgotten Hollow from the Vampires pack. Your Sims can move into this forested town, or simply visit for a little while. Either way, Glimmerbrook contains a portal to the Magic Realm, accessible to spellcasters and other Sims alike. 

While your Sims can’t live in the Magic Realm, there’s nothing to stop them hanging around indefinitely. The Magic Realm is a unique region floating in the void filled with spellcasters performing magic openly. It’s broken up into four floaty rocks, housing Magic HQ, Diagon Casters Alley, the Gardens and the Duelling Grounds. 

The HQ is a bustling place filled with Sims, including the three sages of the three types of magic: untamed, practical, and mischief. Each sage can help your normal Sim become a spellcaster through a small ritual. They can also help budding spellcasters improve their abilities, and teach them new spells and potions. Your Sims search through the tomes in the HQ’s halls, or brew potions in one of the available cauldrons. It’s also commonplace for magic duels to take place in the central hall.

The other areas of the Magic Realm are strangely devoid of life – very few Sims travelled there in my game. Still, each area has its use: the Duelling Grounds are the ‘official’ place to duel other spellcasters, and it looks quite a bit cooler than facing off in your Sim’s back yard. Casters Alley is where you can buy wands, brooms, familiars and potion ingredients. The Gardens is the most disappointing mini-location, with a beautiful but inaccessible greenhouse, and a handful of plants to harvest. There are only two new plants in this pack, but many of the base game plants are also used in potion making. 

High level spellcasters will find daily life to be rather easy, as they no longer need to cook, clean, or repair anything.

Spellcasters

Spellcasting is the real meat of this pack, and as such, it has a host of related gameplay options. While Sims can be created as spellcasters, or become one through gameplay, they can also be born to magic parents. Like other occult Sims, toddlers and children do not have any magical abilities, but they can inherit the magical bloodline from their parents and come into their powers when they become teenagers. Children of first generation magic parents have the ‘weak bloodline’ trait, suggesting that further generations will inherit even stronger magic. 

Much like vampires from the Vampires pack, spellcasters increase in power as they practise their craft, whether by brewing potions, casting spells, duelling other Sims, or simply experimenting with their abilities. As they level up, they’ll earn talent points which they can spend to gain a variety of bonuses. In addition, spellcasters have a spellbook to track what spells and potions they know. While your spellcaster may wish to specialise in one aspect of magic, it’s likely they’ll end up knowing a range of spells and potions through experimentation and reading magic tomes. 

Spells and potions can have a range of effects, from helping you clean up the house, to setting objects or Sims (or themselves) on fire, to making you learn skills faster, to letting you teleport anywhere instantly. High level spellcasters will find daily life to be rather easy, as they no longer need to cook, clean, or repair anything. Heck, they can even duplicate small objects at will and summon random plants into existence! And that’s before the really powerful spells that give your Sims power over death itself. 

Spellcasting is all fun and games until you realise that Sims will cast spells autonomously if left unattended, building up their spellcaster charge at an alarming rate. Sims with maximum charge have a chance of their spells going awry, as well as death by overcharge. This is where the various talents come in handy, as many of them give your Sims better control over their charge meter, or a lower chance of backfiring magic. Truly unfortunate Sims can end up cursed, which can cause a variety of unpleasant effects. 

True spellcasters will likely want to get some magical accessories. They can get broomsticks to transport them around (useful until they can magically teleport), as well as wands to channel their magic through. Sims can also cast magic without a wand if you prefer. Familiars will follow your Sim around, providing a mood buff and encouragement as they learn new abilities. They can also prevent a Sim from dying by overcharge, which can come in very handy. Wands, brooms and familiars are a purely aesthetic choice as they all function the same way.

If you have the Cats and Dogs expansion, you can turn your pets into familiars. And if you have the Get to Work expansion, you can set up a potions store – though at the time of writing, potions are worth 0 simoleans, so you won’t be able to earn money this way. Hopefully this and other bugs will be dealt with in a patch. I felt I encountered rather a lot of glitches with this pack. Some are existing bugs, but having familiars or summoning familiars tends to be the worst offender, causing Sims to get stuck. 

Conclusion

If the idea of turning your Sims into witches or wizards appeals to you, Realm of Magic will be a welcome addition to your Sims 4 collection. The wide range of spells, potions, curses and talents means that one spellcaster can be quite different from another, and it will take them a good long while to learn everything. The Magic Realm offers a unique place to hang out and practice magic without fear of scaring the muggles, and Glimmerbrook is a cosy place to live. I would have liked familiars to offers a few more interactions, and I hope the glitches I encountered will be dealt with swiftly, but otherwise, Realm of Magic is a solid game pack. 

This review was made possible by EA Game Changers. Check out the trailer for The Sims 4 Realm of Magic below: 

Good

  • Unique Magic Realm to visit
  • Wide array of spells, talents, and potions
  • Great new clothing and building options

Bad

  • A bit too buggy for my liking
  • Familiars could have been more interesting
  • Nothing for kids or toddlers

Summary

Realm of Magic is a solid addition to The Sims 4, offering a wide range of magical gameplay options. There's dozens of spells, curses, potions and talents to help you customise your spellcaster, letting you wreak havoc on the lives of other Sims, or simply make yours easier.
9

Amazing

Gamer, geek, LEGO fanatic. I also love Pathfinder RPG, The Sims, cross stitching, crochet, and sci-fi and fantasy movies, games & books. And animals.

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