Promising historical sights, trap-filled temples and cursed artifacts, adventure awaits the brave in The Sims 4: Jungle Adventure Game Pack, the latest add-on for The Sims 4. But while we certainly enjoyed taking our Sims on an Indiana Jones-inspired tropical trip to an uncharted rainforest world in our recent review, it's fair to say The Sims 4: Jungle Adventure is a bit of a different beast to your regular Sims experience. As such (and at least partially because it gave us an excuse to keep playing), we decided to put together a handy guide to everything you could ever want to know about the game, from how to find your way around the Selvadoradian jungle, to the best ways to explore its hidden temples, and all the archaeological finds you can fit in your infinite inventory.
How To Get To Selvadorada
Unlike your average trip to the shops, local bar or club, you can't simply step out of your front door and end up in the game's tropical rainforests. Instead, you'll need to choose to 'Take A Vacation' from your Sims' mobile phone menu, picking which lucky Sims/victims will get to accompany you on your travels. On the destination choice screen, you're looking for Selvadorada - then all that's left is to decide what kind of holiday home you want to rent.
As with every Sims 4 holiday destination, there's a wide variety of apartments and homes available to suit wallets of every size, from veritable tropical mansions, to slightly creepier budget rentals. If you ask us, if you're planning on just heading out to explore the jungle for the majority of your trip, you may as well just go for the cheapest one going, and save your money for stocking up on essential supplies. With your apartment chosen, all that's left is to choose the number of days you want to stay for, and hey presto - you're now on holiday!
Preparations: Buying items at the market
The Selvadoradian jungle is a wild and dangerous place, and so before you even think about venturing out on your own, it'd be wise to make sure you're fully prepared. With traps, curses, and all manner of nasty surprises waiting to burn, poison, and electrocute your sims (amongst others), your first port of call really should be a trip to the market, to pick up every type of cream, balm and salve going. Fortunately, the town is pretty well stocked with the items you'll need - and you'll even get a handy 'welcome pack' upon arrival to get you going.
How you actually buy your supplies at the market is a bit more unusual though. For starters, work hours in Selvadorada seem to be a little lax, so rather than everyone being there at once, you'll find different vendors setting up their shops at various times of day at the market tables to the south of the Cantina "El Arbol del Jaguar" bar. They'll lay out their goods - a seemingly random selection of two or three types of adventure gear - on the table, and instead of talking to the vendor to buy said items, you have to actually click on the object in question to make a purchase. If you've managed to max out your Selvadoradian Culture skill (the highest level is level 5, raised by socialising with the locals, trying out Selvadoradian cuisine and examining art and artifacts for Historical Insights), you can speak to the vendor and ask to "Buy Supplies and Secret Wares", which gives you a larger choice of useful gear, although still not everything.
Here's a list of the provisions on offer, what they do and where you can find them:
With a myriad of ways to get poisoned and/or cursed, antidotes are invaluable, but appear to be fairly rare. You can buy them from a vendor (secret merchandise only), trade bone dust (found in temples or at dig spots) with a local for free, or purchase them from museum computers for 1000 Simoleons a pop
- Ancient Bone Dust
Can be exchanged with locals for a free antidote (see above). You can buy them from a vendor's Secret Wares section (which requires a level 5 Selvadoradian Culture skill), or find them in temples.
- Drake's Fire Quencher
Quells angry fire-inducing insects before they can toast you. Can be bought from a vendor.
- Dr. Parker's Spider Repellent
Send poisonous spiders on their way with a single spray. Can be bought from a vendor.
- Faraday Fizz
Cures electrocution from pests and traps. Can be bought from a vendor.
- Fire Foam
A literal lifesaver, letting your Sim put themselves out whenever they catch fire, either from insets, temple traps or cursed artifacts. Can be bought from a vendor.
- Grilled Cheese Ready To Eat
A non-perishable food item, great for restoring hunger on the go. Can be bought from a vendor.
- Guzmania Pollenis Flower
Distracts stinging bees and hornets to stop your Sim getting a painful sting. Can be found in temples, and occasionally be bought from vendors
- Lightning Insulation Powder
Prevents electrocution by insects and other pests. Can be bought from a vendor.
- Liquid Rush
Essentially an energy drink, giving your Sim an alternative to napping in a bush for a quick energy boost. Can be bought from a vendor.
- Omiscan Machete
Great for hacking through vines. You can slice through with your bare hands if you don't have it, but machetes use a lot less energy (although they can get lost by clumsy Sims). Can occasionally be bought from a vendor, may require max Selvadoradian Culture skill to access secret wares.
- Plasma Bat Bait
Lures plasma bats away from your Sim. Can be bought from a vendor.
- Waterfall In A Bottle
An on-the-go shower solution, letting you restore your hygiene meter (from being set ablaze or wetting yourself mostly). Can be bought from a vendor
While you don't need to pick up every single item above, the more you buy, the easier your adventure's going to be. Generally, having something to combat fire and electricity, along with a reliable source of food is a good start - although machetes can be pretty darn useful too.
As long as you have the relevant gear in your inventory, your Sims will automatically use the items they need when they get into trouble - so you don't need to worry about them accidentally burning to a crisp when you're not looking, and they don't get (so many) negative moodlets. Win, win!
How To Explore The Jungle
So, you're in Selvadorada, you've got all the equipment you need, and you're ready to start exploring. The only question is, how? Oddly enough, getting your Sims to explore the jungle is a little unintuitive. Over half of the Selvadorada map is densely wooded rainforests, temples and ruins dotted with question marks you can't actually interact with. Instead, you need to start your adventure off at the Belomisia Trailhead lot, which borders the jungle, and search for the gateway covered in vines. When interacting with the arch, you'll want to choose to clear away the vines, either with a machete (recommended) or with your hands, which in turn will unlock the next area.
It's probably best to think of the jungle as a kind of maze - a series of interconnected areas, each of which has a number of vine covered gateways you can take. How you choose to explore is really up to you - you can go through every gateway to ensure you're being thorough, or you can pick one at random if you're feeling lucky. Every now and then, you'll reach a special area - like the Omiscan Royal Baths (a dip in its waters is just the thing to energise your Sim) and various temples.
Along the way, you'll want to keep an eye out for any useful plants, treasure chests and archaeological dig spots you come across (which look just like piles of dirt and rubble). Plants, such as the newly-added avocado and black bean trees are a great way to score some free food for your expedition, while treasure chests hold all kinds of interesting bits and bobs too, including extra gear for your trip.
Of particular interest are the new Trees of Emotions you come across, whose berries can be used to instantly change your Sims' emotional state - something which can be invaluable when it comes to solving some of the puzzles you'll encounter in the temples (more on that later). Needless to say, it's well worth stocking up as and when you spot one. Archaeological dig spots, meanwhile, let you dig for treasure, nabbing you some sweet decorative artifacts - and boosting your new archaeology skill in the process.
Looking after yourself
Roughing it in the jungle can put quite a strain on your Sims' needs - most notably their hunger, energy and bladder bars. Your energy and bladder issues can mostly be dealt with by making periodic use of the bushes that crop up in the forest, which do double duty as both a rather uncomfortable nap spot, and a natural toilet via the 'fertilise' option. Those who have the Outdoor Retreat Game Pack installed can also take a tent along for a somewhat more comfortable kip.
Hunger can be a bigger issue for Sims though. With your jungle venture lasting for quite a while, unless you stock up on Grilled Cheese Ready To Eat items, or happen to luck out and find some fruit trees along the way, you'll be at the mercy of your Sim's stomach. Backtracking to the Belomisia Trailhead, simply by retracing your steps through the gateways, will get you to a much-needed barbecue spot, as well as toilet and shower facilities.
Of course, the real reason you've bought the Jungle Adventure Game Pack is to go hunting for treasure in temples - and the jungle is home to a number of different shrines you can explore. It's worth bearing in mind that you don't actually need to complete each temple in a single trip, either, as your progress will mostly be remembered between visits. Once you've 'cleared' a temple by getting to the final room and opening the last treasure chest, the temple will 'transform' into a new one inside, with new traps to tackle and treasure to discover, despite looking identical from the outside and being in the exact same spot in the jungle.
Kind of like the jungle you had to get through to reach them, the temples themselves consist of a number of maze-like corridors and rooms, each separated by a fancy archway that's blocked by a forcefield, which you'll need to disable to be able to progress further inside.
If you look round near the archway, you'll find a few different mechanisms - rotating totem poles, skeleton warriors and pressure plates, that kind of thing - which may or may not be what you need to disable the barrier. When interacting with each mechanism, you'll have a choice of two options - either to activate it (and take your pick of one of three or four different options for which lever to pull, etc), or to examine the mechanism in question. We strongly recommend taking the second option, and taking the time to examine what you have in front of you, as much like doing a "50:50" on Who Wants To Be a Millionaire, it'll usually take away a number of the wrong answers (sometimes one, sometimes all three) by putting a thumbs down next to them - and sometimes, it'll just tell you the right answer instead. If you're left with a couple of question marks, you'll have to chance it and try them out in turn, hoping you stumble on the correct answer first time, as wrong presses do run the risk of setting fire to your Sim, making them wet their pants, or leaving them manically depressed. Once you've solved one lock though, it's really just a case of rinsing and repeating to pass through all the blocked gateways until you've made your way to the final room of the temple and taken the final treasure.
Archaeology, Relics and Curses
With the temple done and dusted, then, it's time to check out what exactly you've got in your tomb-raiding spoils - which is where the game's all new archaeology skill comes in. Unfortunately, most things you dig up from dig spots is either unidentified, or are down temporarily as an 'Artifact-Shaped Dirt Clump' - neither of which are much use to you as they are.
Luckily, a nifty item called the Pop Up Archaeology Work Bench, found under the 'Hobbies & Skills' area of the Buy Menu lets you uncover, authenticate and piece together any of the artifacts and relics you find. The best part is that it's actually totally portable, and can be stashed in your Sims' inventory for whenever you need to do some emergency archaeology, whether in the jungle, or back at home.
As you level up your archaeology skill, either by excavating dig piles in the jungle, or working on your finds at the table, new options will be unlocked at the Archaeology Work Bench. From your bench, you'll be able to uncover the aforementioned Artifact-Shaped Dirt Clumps to find the treasures inside, and then Authenticate them to figure out if they're the genuine article (and therefore how many Simoleons they're worth) once you reach level 5. Level 5 also lets you Extract Elements - essentially precious stones - from the raw gems you sometimes pick up, although these don't really come into their own until you hit level 8, and you can Refine the crystals, ready for use with any relics you've collected.
Relics are the ultimate in Jungle Adventure treasures, although there is some assembly required. When excavating dig sites, you'll sometimes get a Relic Base or Relic Top (referred to in your inventory as simply 'Relic'), which can be fused together by clicking on the constituent parts in your inventory. Different tops and bottoms have different effects, with anything referred to as Balampalsoh having positive effects, and Zazatotol always having negative effects. Each also requires a crystal to work, and depending on the crystal you choose, whether it's common, uncommon or rare, the effects from activating the relic will last longer or give you extra buffs.
The completed relics can be activated either on your self, or on any poor unsuspecting Sim nearby, granting various effects. We don't want to spoil what each one does, but suffice to say we've found that some will leave your victim with a curse - some of which can even be deadly. If your Sim ends up with a 'Marked for Death by Poison/Combustion/Electrocution' moodlet, then you'll need to act fast, particularly in the case of the first two, as your Sim will die when the moodlet's time is up. Luckily though, it's not all that tricky to counter, as you can either donate 250 Simoleons to the statue in the marketplace, or give them an antidote, and the negative status should revert (antidotes work on more than just poison, despite what the description says).
Unfortunately, the antidote route does come with one minor side effect, as it'll turn your Sim into a skeleton. However, while it certainly takes some getting us to, it's also not necessarily a bad thing, as they don't need to use the bathroom, eat, sleep or do any of the usual time-consuming Sim things, leaving you free to level some skills or party all night. Oh, and as a final warning - keep a close eye on Combustion-cursed Sims, as you'll need to periodically put them out when they catch fire, lest they burn to death. Those cursed with Electrocution should be careful about repairing or upgrading any electronic appliances during the course of the curse, too, as they may end up on the wrong side of the Grim Reaper.
So, having found a place to stay, ransacked a market for its supplies, ventured into the darkest depths of the jungle, found a temple, pilfered its treasure, identified the artifacts, and got turned into a skeleton, that just about concludes our guide to the Sims 4: Jungle Adventure! In the meantime, why not check out our review of the expansion to read about our antics in the Selvadoradian jungle? Don't forget to check back for more Sims-related information and guides either!