What is The Sims 4: Jungle Adventure?
The Sims 4: Jungle Adventure Game Pack is the latest downloadable add-on for the ever popular life simulation game, The Sims. Effectively a mini expansion pack, this Game Pack adds a new locale - the Mayan-esque, rainforest town of Salvadorada - which your Sims can holiday to, exploring the surrounding jungles in search of long lost temples, ancient treasures and undiscovered mysteries. As with most of the other 'Game Pack' mid-size expansions, Jungle Adventure is only available through EA's online Origin Store, as a digital download for the PC/Mac.
How do you play The Sims 4: Jungle Adventure?
In most ways, Jungle Adventure plays much like The Sims usually does. You create your little people in your virtual world, and guide them around their everyday life and interactions - only this time, they're on holiday in a decidedly tropical rainforest destination. From your Sim's home, you simply select 'Take A Vacation' from their mobile phone menu, select the family members you want to take along, then choose Salvadorada as your destination, picking which of the vacant holiday homes you want to rent, and how long for. There's museums to visit, bars to socialise in and local markets to peruse, complete with new cuisines to try too - but the real draw of this expansion is the fact you can head out into the jungle to explore, Indiana Jones-style.
Jungle side, The Sims 4: Jungle Adventure works a little differently. Beginning from the Belomisia Trailhead lot on the map, each area of the jungle has a number of gateways covered in vines - clearing these vines, either with your hands or a machete, will let you pass through into the jungles beyond. Rinsing and repeat for a few gateways, and you'll stumble on some baths, a crashed plane or, most interestingly, a temple. For these maze-like structures, you'll come up against a number of forcefields that are preventing you from exploring deeper, which you'll need to carefully remove by examining and interacting with various levers, switches and pressure plates. The only problem is, wrong move could set off a trap and see your Sim burned, electrocuted or pee their pants. Generally speaking, choosing to "examine" the switches will eliminate all but a couple of possibilities, and it's up to you to whittle the rest down by luck alone - although some do require a bit more puzzling, such as getting your Sim in a specific mood (confident, flirty, energetic etc) before you step on a plate. It's also worth noting that, as you're roughing it in the jungle, you need to be prepared - not just for all the poisonous creatures and creepy crawlies (the market at the Cantina sells various repellents, antidotes and sprays to help), but also with regards to food, as you'll largely be left to the mercy of the forest and whatever forageable pieces you happen to stumble on (although again, you can by cheese balls at the market before you go). With regards to your energy and bladder meters, make good use of the bushes, because, while uncomfortable, they're about your only real option.
How easy is The Sims 4: Jungle Adventure to pick up and play?
In terms of difficulty, The Sims 4: Jungle Adventure is pretty much on a par with the main Sims games - it's a fairly easy going life simulation, where you control the lives of the little people on screen. There's no such thing as game overs, and the game pretty much continues indefinitely, although your Sims do eventually grow old and die (unless you turn ageing off in the options menu, anyway). There's also various hazards and disasters that can befall your Sims, both at home and on holiday - perhaps you accidentally set fire to the cooker when making pancakes and burn to death, or maybe a particularly vicious scorpion poisons you.
Preparation is about the only real issue you're likely to run into, and it's well worth heading to the Cantina's marketplace and buying some of everything going - repellents to defeat insects, fire foam to put you out should you catch fire and bat bait to distract electrocuting bats, to name but a few. It's also worth taking some food, ideally the non-perishable stuff you can buy at the Cantina, as well as extra machetes, as your dozy Sims have a tendency to lose them en route. The puzzles you come across while in the temples are fairly straightforward process-of-elimination affairs, although one puzzle did require a bit more thinking and preparation, as it asked you to step confidently onto a pressure pad - which means you need to get your Sim in the correct mood to make the jump. Fortunately, the Trees of Emotions you can find growing in the forest give out berries that, when eaten, will change your mood to the relevant emotion.
Otherwise, Jungle Adventure really just requires a solid reading ability, as with the base Sims 4 game. While exploring, you'll often get random pop-ups with events on - perhaps you drop your bag in some quicksand, or find a bedraggled baby capybara - with a couple of different ways you can approach the problem, each of which has potential consequences for your Sim, some good, some bad. But in order to make the right decision, you need to be able to read what's going on.
- "Papa stumbles and drops his bag of personal effects - plop! - right into a patch of quicksand. Should Papa reach in and try and get it or let it go?"
- "Clears the path faster and without hurting one's hands, but the machete may be lost."
- "As Papa rounds the corner, there is a stillness in the air. He looks up and notices a bed of sloths watching him. Papa is distracted for a moment and walks into a low-hanging branch, releasing a small band of fiery flies, which fly at the sloths and begin to bother them, scorching their fur in spots. What should Papa do?"
As Jungle Adventure is just an expansion, much of what we said about The Sims 4 still applies here in terms of mature content. Given that everything said in game is in the Sims' own language, Simlish, bad language isn't really an issue - and in terms of violence, it's mostly of the Tom & Jerry style slapstick variety. When Sims have a disagreement, they leap into a giant dust cloud and fight it out, limbs sticking out intermittently accompanied by sounds of a struggle. Sims can also die, from old age (unless you turn ageing off in a menu) or via a variety of natural disasters and accidents - house fires, electrocution, drowning in a swimming pool and much, much more, with each death accompanied by the appearance of the Grim Reaper whom friends and family can bargain for your life with, lest you get turned into an urn and/or a ghost.
In terms of the Jungle expansion pack, your Sim can come to all sorts of harm out in the wild, although most don't end in death - there's fireflies that can set you on fire, stone pillars that can zap you with electricity and a totem pole with the power to make you wet your pants. You can also get poisoned, which does carry with it a chance of death, unless you have an antidote handy.
As The Sims is a life sim, your Sims can fall in love and start a family - which means sexual content does come up, albeit in a light-hearted and silly way. Referred to as 'WooHoo', you have a choice of WooHoo-ing with the person of your choice, or Trying for Baby when interacting with them, at which point the couple will dive under the bed sheets and a moving lump shows the deed (you can also WooHoo in hot tubs, closets and rocket ships, to name but a few). Accompanied by moans, giggles and wolf-whistles, as well as fireworks and floating hearts, it's all very stylised. The new Jungle Adventure pack adds the ability to WooHoo in a bush in the depths of the jungle, and sees the pair leaping into the bush, which jigs about and releases hearts and fireworks, as before.