The Sims 3: Island Paradise

Game review by
Mark Raby, Common Sense Media
The Sims 3: Island Paradise Game Poster Image
Expansion pack adds underwater exploration, resort building.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 5 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Kids can learn how to manage their time and resources effectively as they live a virtual life and all that it entails -- from keeping their personal hygiene intact to building a house and getting a job. The Island Paradise expansion pack also adds a new element in the way of managing a resort hotel. Kids learn time management, how to use resources, and practice multitasking in this engaging sim.

Positive Messages

This expansion pack delivers the long-standing tradition of the Sims franchise, allowing players to express their own creativity and make their own decisions. The expansion gives players new areas to explore, but the core mechanics of the game remain unchanged.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Everything is open-ended, meaning Sims can behave well or poorly based on players' choices. Players are encouraged to be good role models, because other Sim characters will react positively if they are treated with respect.

Ease of Play

Although players can do whatever they want in this game, in order to succeed, they need to successfully get a job, multitask, and forge complex social interactions. To keep the Sims healthy, players will need to apply themselves and focus their attention to details.


Sims can taunt, argue, and get into physical fights with each other. Sims with nasty personality traits may actually feel better after beating up another Sim. There are no new examples of violence in this expansion pack.


This expansion pack does not include any new sexual content. In the base game, however, Sims can have both heterosexual and same-sex relationships and can be seen jumping under the sheets in bed to make "woohoo" (the game's term) -- which is accompanied by groans and giggles.


This is an expansion pack that does nothing more than add new items to the base game, which you have to own to play this add-on. Players are encouraged to continue buying additional expansion packs and items, thereby growing The Sims 3 franchise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The SIms 3: Island Paradise is an expansion pack to the computer game The Sims 3Players need to have that base game in order to use this title. In addition to providing players with a bevy of new virtual items with which to decorate their house, and new costumes to customize their character, the Island Paradise expansion provides players with new areas to explore, like tropical islands and oceanside resorts. The content in this expansion is no more graphic or objectionable than the content that already exists in The Sims 3.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMath Teacher August 28, 2013

Math Teacher review

am a math teacher and I looked at the game and started playing it and I found it was great game for kids. Instead of watching tv or being on facebook or insatag... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bytheo n April 22, 2020
Teen, 15 years old Written bySaad1Khan November 21, 2014

What's it about?

THE SIMS 3: ISLAND PARADISE is an expansion pack for the computer game The Sims 3. It's a robust expansion that adds more than just a slew of new items and outfits for the game. It also adds several new gameplay aspects to the experience, including the ability to dive to the bottom of the ocean floor, manage an island resort, and travel the sea by boat. Players can search for hidden treasure, but must avoid sharks and other underwater hazards that come their way. They can create their own houseboats, mingle with island natives, and even come across mermaids and other fantastical creatures.

Is it any good?

As far as expansion packs go, The Sims 3: Island Paradise is more than adequate. The amount of new and unique items that players can use to decorate their virtual homes is vast, and the additional gameplay elements really do help to enhance the experience. Allowing Sim characters to dive underwater and explore a brand new kind of environment is enough to breathe new life into The Sims 3. The level of detail that players can delve into when customizing their island resort -- and the satisfaction they receive from achieving a higher "star rating" -- makes it compelling and worthwhile to really sink your teeth into this expansion pack. Anyone who is already playing The Sims 3 and is looking for a way to expand their gaming experience should be happy with this product.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the consumerism associated with the Sims brand. Do you think the expansion packs are worth the extra money? Does it help expand the game, or does it just make you feel compelled to buy so you can unlock new features that aren't necessarily worth it?

  • Does this expansion pack make you want to venture out on an island vacation in real life? Why or why not?

Game details

  • Platforms: Mac, Windows
  • Subjects: Hobbies: building, collecting, fashion
  • Skills: Responsibility & Ethics: fiscal responsibility
    Self-Direction: self-reflection, time management, work to achieve goals
  • Price: $39.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Electronic Arts
  • Release date: June 25, 2013
  • Genre: Simulation
  • ESRB rating: T for Crude Humor, Sexual Themes, Violence
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

Our editors recommend

For kids who love simulation games

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