Vacationing in The Sims 3: World Adventures is best done solo. While the base game is typically at its best when players divide time between an entire household of Sims, the expansion breaks from its dedication to the mundane. Sims can walk down sets of stairs into a tomb-exploring adventure game that requires players’ full attention, while any other Sims that came along are left to their own devices.
While most of the series’ expansions have been dedicated to adding new stuff to the suburban experience, such as pets or fashions, the first expansion to The Sims 3 dramatically expands the world. Sims can fly off to Egypt, France, or China and explore sprawling cities, befriend the locals, view tourist attractions such as the Sphinx and the Terracotta Army, learn how to prepare new foods, and pick up entirely new skills, such as martial arts and photography. Visitors have a base camp where they sleep and shower, though experienced and wealthy travelers can buy a vacation home.
How long Sims can stay out of the country is unaffected by their jobs, but it relies on the building of visa levels through completing quests in each country. These range from standard collection tasks like fishing up a few koi to making friends with the natives or finding items in tombs. The addition of quests just makes the game even more addictive.
For all the detail that went into making the cities visually unique, with distinctive architecture and dress for the locals, tombs are nearly indistinguishable from one country to another. Navigating them is also fairly dull, involving a few simple puzzles such as moving statues around to trigger pressure plates, and searching walls and floors for hidden switches. The hedge maze in the French tomb looks like a possible challenge, but just clicking on the treasure you want your Sims to grab lets them casually navigate the labyrinth.
Treasure-hunting can be lucrative, but it rarely pays for the price of your trip. Even if your Sims are fantastically rich, they require a few days at home between vacations, ensuring that the game’s original content remains relevant. The new material is well-integrated, with opportunities to earn points at your Sims job by preparing crêpes or bringing in relics for study. With so much potential for additional vacation destinations down the line, World Adventure seems to beg for expansions of its own. Hopefully these will make exploring a little more of an adventure.