Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Is 'The Sims 3: Barnacle Bay' Really Worth $20?

Before you even think about running out to grab a copy of "The Sims 3: Barnacle Bay," make a note that you will need to have "The Sims 3." Most fans of the game already knew that, but for newcomers, the box art sort of suggests the game is a standalone.

But $20 for a new world to explore? I could easily create my own worlds using "The Sims 3" World Create Tool that is free to download from the "Sims 3" website. However, there appeared to be an array of new objects, so I went ahead and shelled out the loot. Argh!
What is This? An Empty Box!!!
Inside the shell of plastic you will find a little piece of paper with instructions on where to obtain your Barnacle Bay world. So if you have no Internet connection, do not even bother; you will need one to redeem your code for Barnacle Bay. I was slightly annoyed by this.

The New World:
Once I had it installed, I went right ahead with exploring the new environment. My first impression: everything here seems really unoriginal. I was expecting a more cabin/wreckage type housing to be pre-built; instead, homes looked small and semi-modern. Not only that, the largest disappointment was how un-pirate this world seemed. I would have liked to have seen the theater, school house, town hall and other community buildings given a new pirate theme. The only building that got a revamp was the diner, which is now a pirate ship located at the larger beach front. Sadly you cannot go in it, just like all of the other community buildings.

There are tons of landscape, and sadly it was used poorly in design. Why so much useless farmland? Why only a cove with two beaches?

As I began to explore, I took immediate note of the new anchor benches that you can find scattered about community lots, and a very small handful of Sims sport their pirate themed duds. Unfortunately in a crowd of 10, they look like Halloween costume rejects who do not fit in with the rest of the game.
Basically you get a very limited collection of pirate items -- nothing you could not make on your own using create a world.

So, boys and girls, if you are on the fence about what this one will offer, skip it. This could have been a really neat one though, had it been offered in an expansion pack type deal. I love beaches, and would love to see EA extend this love to their players with more detail and focus on beach days. Hello, Frisbee's, letting us, you know, swim in the ocean, risk shark attacks, and go sailing. Had setting sail on the sea been an addition, it would have been worth the money.

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