The Sims 4: City Living

Game review by
Marcia Morgan, Common Sense Media
The Sims 4: City Living Game Poster Image
Expansion adds cultural diversity, fun, apartments.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 2 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Continues Sims tradition of getting players to earn a virtual living, encouraging them to interact with other characters, build friendships, find love, while using creativity, ingenuity to run entertaining, exciting neighborhoods.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Gives you power to live whatever life you choose. You can lead a pristine life, become best at your job, have happy well-balanced family, or set fireworks off in your house, burn it to ground. Players decide if their Sims are positive/negative personalities.

Ease of Play

Lots of micromanagement of Sim health, happiness, lives. Should be familiar to Sims players by now, but has well-laid-out tutorials for newcomers.


Sims can, will die in different ways, intentional or not. Either way, there's no blood, gore.


Sims can "woo-hoo," go under their bed covers, mess around, but nothing explicit ever shown.


Players can continuously buy additional downloadable content, future expansions.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking, smoking in game but not explicit; Sims can use a hookah, but instead of tobacco, Sims blow bubbles. Sims can get drinks at bars; they aren't listed as alcoholic drinks, but they make Sims feel "happy."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Sims 4: City Living is the third full expansion of The Sims 4, a life-simulation game, and requires players to have already purchased the original title. Interactions with other Sims can lead to fistfights, and characters can die in a variety of ways, though there's no blood or gore. Sims do engage in romantic behavior such as kissing and giving back rubs, and there's some under-the-covers action, although nothing's seen. There are bar settings where Sims can visit and drink, as well as a hookah they can sit around and "blow bubbles" from. The Sims also offers an online community allows players to share their unique creations from houses, rooms, and furniture as well as trade tips and tricks with others, so there’s some potential for questionable online interactions. Under the CCPA law you have the right to protect your personal information. Make a Do Not Sell request to The Sims 4: City Living. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 17-year-old Written byJulie Carnale November 1, 2017


I got my niece this game thanks to the other wonderful reveiws that others have made. She riped the ipad, and zombied out!
Parent Written byJanna S. November 1, 2017


I think that this is a wonderful game to let you children play! It perpares them for the outer world, and helps inprove their people skills! As long as they sta... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old November 19, 2016

The Sims 4

I think The Sims 4 is violent, it features drug and sex, known as WooHoo. I recommend that 15 year olds and over play this game.
Teen, 13 years old Written byagiantnerd January 29, 2017


Personally, I love the Sims. I made an account just to review City Living. The Sins franchise has been able to disguise adult themes in ways for kids to still h... Continue reading

What's it about?

THE SIMS 4: CITY LIVING brings yet another corner to the ever-expanding virtual world of The Sims 4. City Living introduces players to the city of San Myshuno, a new culturally diverse metropolitan landscape for your Sims to inhabit and explore. The apartment-living aspect is back from The Sims 3, and apartments and all other lots now have traits of their own. These traits can have positive aspects, such as the penny pincher, which allows Sims to find hidden money, or negative aspects such as hauntings or the potential for earthquakes. San Myshuno is divided into multiple culturally distinct neighborhoods such as the spice market, arts quarter, and fashion district. Similar to holidays in previous Sims games, these districts have festivals and special events that pop up at random times. Three new jobs also come along with this expansion: The job of politician returns with a fresh take on that career track, or your Sims can now be an online critic or a social media expert.

Is it any good?

This expansion brings back a lot of great features that players might have felt were long missing from the fourth installment of the franchise. Apartment living is back from The Sims 3 with a lot of great updates. Multiple families can now stay on the same apartment floor, a totally new feature that opens up more social interactions. Your Sim can work their way up from a dilapidated starter apartment complete with rats, roaches, and frequently breaking appliances to the penthouse suite. Apartment traits are probably the most exciting new feature of this expansion, and connecting your Sim with a house that has the proper traits is equally as important as actual character traits. These traits can have positive aspects, such as the penny pincher, which allows Sims to find hidden money, or negative aspects such as hauntings or the potential for earthquakes. This expansion is a must-have for fans of The Sims series. There’s a huge theme centered on getting out and adventuring, and activities such as open-air flea markets, creative festivals, and special events ensure your Sim will never get bored. The themes are great, too, with many based on events you might come across in the real world. GeekCon, for example, is a celebration of all things geek from cosplay to video game competitions.

The three new jobs in this expansion are very different, because your characters don't have to go to work in an office. Instead, you assign tasks that get your Sims to go out and do things such as drumming up donations on the political path or manage unruly forums as a social media expert. The only downside is that City Living is pretty much the gaming equivalent of empty calories. Sure, there's a lot of extra content to do stuff with, but there aren't really any new ways to do them. Visiting new venues is great, but it's not long before you realize that you could be doing pretty much the same stuff at any of the previous venues. That won't stop Sims fans from wanting to swap out last year's art deco furniture with this year's latest fad, though. After all, this is The Sims, where your world is still whatever you make of it.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about character traits. What do you think are some of your good traits? What are things you think you could work on and be better at?

  • Discuss social interactions and relationship management. What does it take to be a good friend or to make new friends? What can games like The Sims help teach younger players about social interactions?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love simulations

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate