LGR – The Sims 4 Seasons Review

This article was made possible by Mycasinoindex. As we approach the fourth year of The Sims 4’s existence, finally we have long-awaited Seasons pack for the game, being the fifth full expansion pack released so far. It arrives at the expected retail price of 40 US dollars and provides pretty much everything I’d hoped for. I’ll admit, I was growing a bit concerned that they might leave out a lot of stuff like they did with Cats & Dogs, or even release each season individually through smaller packs or something.

But nope, I’m happy to say that this is a proper expansion pack worthy of the long-running Seasons name, with only a few disappointing caveats here and there but more on that later. For now, holy crap we’ve got seasons! And the first thing you’ll be doing is selecting your starting season when you load a game from a list of the usual suspects: spring, summer, fall, and winter. And while there is no new world provided in this pack, every one of the existing worlds will be augmented and affected by each of these four seasons in some way. Yep, even desert and tropical worlds have winter, but the temperature and weather experienced in those locations will affect the weather, so you won’t get random snowfall in Oasis Springs or anything like that.

As hoped, the weather is on-point in The Sims 4 Seasons and is a true improvement to the overall experience. Rain, snow, lightning, wind, clouds, and sunlight all play an immediate and impactful role to make each passing day more distinct and every fleeting moment feel more alive. Yeah I know it’s a virtual world of pixelated people who need to pee a lot, but dang it if this stuff doesn’t put a big happy grin on my face. It just feels nice. Atmospheric effects like mist and fog, and ground effects like puddles and snowfall go a long way towards making The Sims 4 a more immersive experience. Yes there was a bit of an online howl when it was revealed that the snow no longer accumulates with varying degrees of depth in this iteration, the way it did in previous Seasons packs.

That does suck, it would be nice if it was more than just a white texture plopped onto the environment. But in practice, it’s not something that I felt notably detracted from the overall experience, because for me having dynamic weather patterns at all is what makes the biggest difference here. But thankfully, The Sims Studio did their part to make sure that it’s worthwhile by including much more. For one thing there are hundreds of new hairstyles, clothing items, and accessories across every one of the in-game ages and fashion style preferences.

This is one of the more substantial Create-A-Sim additions to The Sims 4 thus far, with over two hundred new items. And this makes sense seeing as there are new outerwear outfit types you’ll need to create for each sim, in the form of both hot and cold weather outfits, which your sims will change into automatically depending on the current temperature. And while I initially found it a bit strange that there are no new traits to pick here, that’s only because they decided to include them as aspiration unlockables instead, largely consisting of buffs to sims’ abilities to tolerate or prefer certain types of weather.

Once you’ve gotten a sim decked out in seasonal apparel, they’re free to live their virtual lives among whatever atmospheric conditions are thrown at them. Speaking of which, it seems appropriate to explore the rest of the content through the lens of each season individually, so let’s begin with spring. This brings about mild temperatures ranging from decently cool to decently warm, as well as plenty of potential for rain and thunderstorms. The latter of which can be a bit of a problem, not only scaring certain sims and pets into hiding, but also potentially striking close by.

Sure, you can play and even shower in the rain, but is it worth the chance of being struck by lightning? [LIGHTNING STRIKE, SCREAMING] Apparently it is since there’s a chance of gaining some kind of lightning powers, but that’s quite rare and you might just fry instead. While your sims are very much affected by all this weather, they’re certainly not restricted to mother nature’s whims exclusively. Much like the Weathernaught and the Climatron in past Seasons packs, here you’re provided a machine to control the weather yourself, in this case Dr. June’s Weather Control Device. It requires a bit of luck and high handiness skill to make the most of, but when it works you can rework the world’s weather at will, and even change the current season entirely.

It isn’t the only way to manage weather and seasons though, since the options menu provides several layers of customization to cut down or prolong various features relating to the sky and environment. Another thing you have at your disposal at all times is the calendar, a much-appreciated interface that not only reveals the weather forecast, but a list of upcoming events, work days, and holidays for your current household. And yes, holidays make a return in Seasons. Love Day is the spring holiday, and it’s very much a valentine’s day kinda thing where sims are encouraged to exchange flowers, give gifts, go on dates, and generally get their freak on. This works the same way as other temporary events in-game, with a little box at the top-left providing a list of tasks to perform so that your sims arbitrarily have a good time. But the best part about holidays to me is the ability to roll your own day of celebration by using the new holiday creation tool.

Ahh, the potential for silliness here, this is the kind of thing that I love in The Sims games. It’s pretty much an extension of the existing club creation tool introduced in The Sims 4 Get Together, except this is a one day affair with a set of traditions to apply to your holiday. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to create my desired Chair Appreciation Day since the “item appreciation” tradition here only works with an ambiguous list of things like decorative items, artwork, and plants. Oh well, now it’s Clutter Object Day, a hallowed event where everyone appreciates non-drinkable lemonade, cooks hot dogs, and goes streaking.

Let’s move right along to summertime though, because while this is pretty much the default season that we’ve had in the game until now, it’s also one that’s received several noteworthy additions. The first, and most amusing personally, is the new radio station known as Summer Strut. I don’t know what I expected from this, but I was pleasantly amused to find it was a bunch of covers of popular “summer-themed” songs in Simlish… [Simlish “Walking On Sunshine” cover plays] Yeah this station is great, you get everything from Katrina and the Waves to Nelly! [Simlish “Hot In Herre” cover plays] Hehe, I also never knew that I wanted simlish Alice Cooper, but now I don’t know how I lived without it.

EA, release an album of Simlish cover songs already! [Simlish “School’s Out” cover plays] One summertime tradition is the fact that it’s hot as balls outside, so make sure your sims are wearing their coolest attire and not spending too much time outside or there’s a chance they’ll overheat to death, especially during a heatwave. But also place a thermostat inside your house, because otherwise it’ll be about as hot inside as it is outside, with sims growing rather miserable without climate control. Another way to cool off is by playing in and around water, whether it be the existing pools, prancing around under a sprinkler system, or lounging in the new kiddie pools. There’s also a bucket of water balloons for water balloon fights, and wait, did they seriously use the texture and model from the infamous ball pit again?

Kinda looks like it. And the fights themselves, eh they’re just okay, with sims mostly standing around while a few animations loop between them. Ah well, at least they’re staying cool and not burning alive in the sun. Speaking of which, you can no longer burn alive in the sun! And by that I mean that sunburn is no longer a thing, neither is tanning, so feel free to soak up all the UV without consequence.

Yeah it’s a small feature and I can’t say I’ll miss it, but I’m sure someone is curious and if that’s you then hello, sunburn enthusiast. My apologies that you can’t cook your skin to a crisp, but hey, at least you can dig in the dirt. That’s right, gardening has received a substantial expansion in this expansion. It’s gone from green-thumbed hobby to full-blown career in Seasons, with the potential to become a proper botanist or a professional floral designer, depending on your ambitions. Researching plants, publishing papers, and generally just role-playing a version of Carl Linnaeus with less fabulous hair has never been so enjoyable. And crafting custom floral arrangements with different vases, scents, and emotion-altering qualities can be shockingly lucrative.

But even if you don’t plan to make plants your full-time job, gardening is a far more streamlined and enjoyable pursuit now, with improvements to plant maintenance, harvesting, and selling that make it a bit less of a chore and more of a pleasant pastime. Not only that but BEES! [“Bees are comiiiinnnng!”] [meme continues] You get bees, you get bees, everyone gets bees!

Plop on a beekeeping suit and dive in to grab some of that sweet, all-natural honey. You can even go in without protection, and if you don’t get stung repeatedly you can bond with the critters to improve your relationship to receive better honey and even get swarms of bees to do your bidding. [sim laughs maniacally as bees swarm to harass other sims] And in another nice addition, adults aren’t the only ones with a fresh career option. Children and teens can complicate their lives further by becoming a Scout, an after-school activity that works a lot like a job. They get their own outfit, attend meetings at certain times of week, and climb the ladder of accomplishments by performing tasks like exercising, cleaning, reading, and overall being a decent person. Badges are earned along the way, which can be pinned on the scouting board and shown off for the rest of your life for no real reason but hey you invested all that time so why the heck not.

Let’s move onto autumn now, or fall as referred to here, the season of colorful leaves and crispy evenings. And layers of leaves on the ground that demand the attention of a rake, eventually leading to a big pile of leaves that makes a nice impromptu woohoo location. Even if it’s rotten, doesn’t matter, had woohoo. Fall also brings us to a thanksgiving-like holiday known as Harvestfest.

The main appeal of this holiday is to eat, a lot, of absolutely everything. And to accomplish this sims can now prepare Grand Meals in addition to the copious other types of food already on offer. These are sizable, dense, colorful portions of foods like ham, fish, turkey, even tofu, all great things to put sims in a bloated but thankful mood. But we have to talk about the gnomes.

Yes, gnomes, the oft-forgotten but nonetheless omnipresent porcelain creatures in The Sims series. Well with this holiday tradition they’re no longer content to let you just go about your day, oh no. Now they’re expecting things of you, like gratitude and donations, otherwise bad things might happen. And if you kick them apart, well, they’ll be back. In greater numbers. Things get a bit surreal.

Another charming individual in Seasons is this scarecrow, known as Patchy the Strawman. At first it’s just a happy-looking object to place in your garden, but then, well… [Patchy chuckles unnervingly] So yeah why not, the scarecrow is alive. But instead of lamenting cranial tissue absence, Patchy is content to hang around and chat. Turns out scarecrows are also quite helpful when it comes to gardening, not only by providing tips and seeds, but also by straight-up tending to the plants after leaping to life temporarily. Or for even longer if added to your household, so if you’re into hitting the hay so to speak then well, you do you, Patchy will oblige.

And finally, we have winter, the season filled with cold days, colder nights, gentle snowfalls, and raging blizzards. And man, this is the good stuff. Winter is half the reason I enjoy these Seasons packs so much, if I’m honest. The whole world feels more peaceful and serene, many outdoor waterways freeze over, and you end up with a significant and welcome change in aesthetic. Snow also provides the opportunity to do snowy things, like making snow angels, having snowball fights, and building snowmen — now called snowpals. They can be put together any time you have snow now since there is no longer any varying snow accumulation.

As always, they’ll be molded and dressed up in various forms to be displayed throughout winter, or they can be smashed apart if you need to release some frustration that came from yelling at game developers for not making deep snow. You also have ice skating once again in Seasons, and for that matter roller skating during the warmer months, whoops I almost forgot that. But yeah, skating, it’s a thing in each season, and the rinks will pop in certain areas or you can straight up buy them and place them wherever you want to practice your routines any time. Unfortunately you cannot skate on the frozen-over lakes and ponds, and pools stay liquid no matter what, but eh, truthfully I’d be surprised if it went that far. It’s still The Sims 4.

Winter also provides the opportunity to do the most decorating of the seasons, with lights, trees, ornaments, stockings, wreaths and more. You can decorate any time of year as well, but winter packs the most stuff, mixing in with all the rest of the new buy mode items to culminate in a couple hundred new objects overall. And yes, four of those are chairs, one for each season perhaps. But yeah, Winterfest, it’s just fun. Even though there were already a bunch of holiday items added to The Sims 4 before this, having winter weather and a holiday celebration alongside gives it some much-needed context.

And it amuses me how relatable it is to have giant nondescript bins of decorations to rummage through, that’s a nice touch. This bin will automatically place decorations on the outside of your house, but indoor decorating is still performed manually, with you placing each tacky plastic sculpture, greeting card, and gift box with care. When the holiday arrives so does Father Winter, a new NPC that unnervingly breaks into your house on Winterfest and delivers gifted goods of dubious origins. Oh and of course you can woohoo with him, he’s quite fond of the mistletoe approach and Santa outfits I assume. Just be sure he wraps his candy cane because otherwise you end up with a winter baby that may have weird wintry powers.

Or even twins, and in that case you may as well enlist the help of an alien dressed as a giant gnome and a living scarecrow and yeah this game just gets friggin weird. Finally, there’s the New Years holiday at the end of winter, and this is pretty self-explanatory. State a resolution, make toasts to friends and family, and watch as the clock counts down to midnight on TV. I especially like the songs you can sing as a group now, on this holiday and elsewhere. I dunno it just puts me in a good mood. [multiple sims sing a Simlish version of “Auld Land Syne”] And that is The Sims 4 Seasons expansion pack.

Is it worth grabbing? Absolutely. If you’re still frequently playing The Sims 4 and want to flesh out the game with a bunch of features that fit in with practically every style of gameplay, then this just makes sense. And even if you’re little bored with the game like me, Seasons is the ideal kind of pack to revitalize the experience and bring it back to life for a bit. I’m still not the most avid fan of this particular entry in the series, but Seasons is the one type of pack that I’m pretty much always guaranteed to enjoy the crap out of and this time is no exception. I love the look and feel of weather, I love the holidays and seasonal changes, and I love the silly customization options and random weirdness that comes with a pack like this one.

So yeah, Seasons. It’s awesome, I like it, and I genuinely hope that the rumored next few years of Sims 4 content is as enjoyable as this is. And if you found this review enjoyable then awesome!

Perhaps you’d like to see some of my others, I’ve covered quite a bunch of Sims things at this point and there are new videos coming every Monday and Friday. And as always thank you very much for watching!