The Sims 3: Outdoor Living Stuff

Game review by
Mark Raby, Common Sense Media
The Sims 3: Outdoor Living Stuff Game Poster Image
Outdoor items pack extends the Sims' consumerism themes.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The Sims franchise lets players create their own story. There is very little direction as to which way to play. In this expansion pack, though, there is a positive message in that it encourages outdoor activity. With items like outdoor kitchens, barbecue grills, and outerwear, it sends the message that spending time outside and enjoying nature is important.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Everything is open-ended, meaning Sims can behave well or poorly based on player choices. Players are encouraged to themselves 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 have a strong attention to detail and a lot of focus.

Violence

This expansion pack does not add any additional violent content to the game. However, it does require the base game, meaning players will be exposed to the content in The Sims 3. This includes fighting other virtual sim characters and the potential to watch Sims die.

Sex

To make the life simulation as realistic as possible, Sims can opt to have sex. This is referred to in the game as "Woohoo." The activity is not graphically depicted. The only indication that intercourse is occurring is the fact that characters are in the same bed and make occasional giggling sounds. This expansion pack does add new hot tubs that encourage players to lure potential mates, but it does not really add to the existing sexual content in the base game.

Language
Consumerism

This is an expansion pack that does nothing more than add new items to the base game. Players are encouraged to continue buying additional expansion packs and items, growing the franchise's consumerism themes.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Sims 3: Outdoor Living Stuff is what the game's publisher calls a "Stuff Pack." Players must have the Windows game The Sims 3 to be able to play. This product merely adds a bunch of new items, clothes, appliances, etc, that players can use to expand their virtual life, extending the franchise's theme of consumerism. This pack focuses on outdoor-themed products, like grills, fireplaces, and specially designed furniture, which sends a positive message about having fun outdoors. The experience of the game remains unchanged as this is not a full-blown "Expansion Pack;" there are no new modes that significantly change the Sims 3 experience.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 10, 12, and 14 year old Written byGimmick February 27, 2011

I recommend NOT getting this, but that's just my point of view

I'm really just repeating what commonsense said, this is just a minor add-on to the sims 3 (which by the way is a pretty good game). You can have what the... Continue reading

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What's it about?

THE SIMS 3: OUTDOOR LIVING STUFF lets players give their virtual homes a whole new aesthetic. With themed furniture like deck chairs, barbecue grills, and verandas, they can turn their roofed house into something that feels like living under the stars. There are new items for when players are actually roaming outside under the stars too, as this expansion pack adds new clothes and outerwear to deck out their virtual Sim avatar. In short, this pack of new items for The Sims 3 takes it up just another notch for players who may be getting bored with the base game and are looking to shake up their cyber homes with something new and unique.

Is it any good?

As with all previous Sims games, The Sims 3 continues to provide players with countless hours of playability thanks in part to continued expansion packs. Outdoor Living Stuff doesn't do a whole lot to actually change the experience of the game. However, when the entire point of The Sims 3 is to build the best virtual home, giving players a consistent slate of new items for their home is always welcome. Every little thing helps, and Outdoor Living Stuff is really just a collection of little things. The unique novelty of having outdoor-themed furniture makes it a neat addition to the game, and adds something new to the existing PC game experience.

Online interaction: There is some online connectivity, but most of this occurs by directing players to message boards and websites outside of the actual game. There is no online multiplayer mode or any way to chat with other players over the Internet.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the importance of balancing their real and virtual social lives. Why is it important to set computer limits?

  • Families can also discuss the sorts of outdoor activities they like to do. Are these activities represented well in the game?

  • Does your Sim character do anything that you would like to do in real life?

Game details

  • Platforms: Windows
  • Price: $14.99
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: Electronic Arts
  • Release date: February 1, 2011
  • Genre: Simulation
  • ESRB rating: T for Crude Humor, Sexual Themes, Violence

For kids who love simulations

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