A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
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.
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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?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.