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The Sims 3: Seasons
Score: 81%
Publisher: EA Games
Developer: The Sims Studio
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Simulation

Spring, SummerÖ:

Up until now, your Sims have lived in a world where the temperature stays the exact same year round, as does the day length, and there is no concept of weather. This means that they have never had to deal with changing clothing to match the day or even carrying around an umbrella to keep from getting soaked. If you would like all of this to change, you can now by The Sims 3: Seasons. The Sims 3: Seasons is an add-on that applies to any of the locations you currently have, but it does not add a new location to play in.

Spring is a time of rebirth and renewal. In the new world of the Sims, springtime means that the leaves on the trees and the grass will start re-growing. You should remember to always have an umbrella as it rains more in the Spring, but if youíre lucky, you might see a rainbow. If youíre looking for something to do, you can go on an Egg Hunt at one of the festivals. If youíre popular enough, you might even be crowned King or Queen of the Spring Dance.

In this new Sims temperature-uncontrolled environment, your Sims will learn what the extreme heat feels like during the Summer. If you plan on spending a lot of time outside, you better put on sunscreen or carry an umbrella to protect from the sun. If your Sim gets too hot, they can spontaneously combust! Of course, a nice refreshing dip in the pool or even in the ocean will help cool them off. Kids do go to school during the Summer, but all Sims will get a Leisure Day where they donít have to go to work or school in the Summer.

Winter and FallÖ:

Winter time is a snow-covered wonderland with this new expansion. Your Sims can go outside and make snow angels, learn to snowboard, and more. Be careful though! Sims can now freeze if they get too cold. They will have to ask nearby Sims to warm them up. You can avoid this by wearing warmer clothing and coats for a time, but I wouldnít leave them outside all night. The Sims can also catch a cold from the weather. Also, if you have The Sims 3: Pets installed and youíve got small pets, you will need to keep an eye on them. If the snow gets too deep, they could get lost in it!

Personally, I like the Fall the best. Itís not too cold, but it will get down into the 30s at night. You might even get snow the last day of Fall. In the Fall, the leaves turn colors and fall off of the trees. If youíre up for some outdoor activity, you can send your Sim outside to rake the leaves into a pile. Afterwards, if theyíre in the mood for some "recreational activity," they can woohoo in the newly-formed leaf pile. The festivals are fun because you donít have to worry about your Sims getting too hot or too cold, during the day at least.

Holidays and Festivals too!:

There is one holiday each season. Holidays are not our normal holidays, but they are based on them. In the Spring, you have Love Day, Leisure Day is in the Summer, Spooky Day in the Fall, and Snowflake Day in the Winter. Love Day is a nice, romantic holiday just like Valentineís Day. Itís a chance to show your significant other how much you care. Leisure Day is quite nice as your Sim will not have to go to school or work. You will even be paid for your work time off. Itís a great time for your Sim to visit the festival and relax. Spooky Day is just like Halloween. Your Sims can buy a costume and Trick or Treat around the town. Snowflake Day is just like a white Christmas. You get to decorate your house all up and enjoy the snow. Youíll also get the day off from school and work, so that once again you can enjoy the festival!

The festivals can be entertaining, but some of these have more to do than others. I think that the Spring festival had the most to do with the Egg Hunt and the Spring Dance. Summer seemed to be a bit lacking in things to do, but they all have performers to watch and plenty of people there to talk to. Festivals are the perfect place to meet new people and get to know your acquaintances better.

But Is That All?:

Pretty much that is all there is to this new expansion. I wish there was more. I would have expected more clothing types for the different seasons. There are some new things, but not as much as I wanted. Normally when I get a new expansion, it is quite easy for me to spot a lot of the new things right away. This time, I was straining to find things to test out that were new. The new things feel more like they are cute but not really crucial to enjoying the game. I also found that unless you start the game with a pre-made family that has a lot of money, youíre going to find it hard to find the time off of work to really enjoy the holidays. Granted, you will get time off for Leisure Day and Snowflake Day, but one day really isnít much when youíre struggling at the beginning. You might find that you wonít really have time to enjoy the new things until youíre further into your game.

One other thing to note, if your system is on the lower end of the requirements but still worked before, you will probably notice that the rain especially will cause your system to slow to a crawl. You can decide to turn off the rain, which I found helped with my system. The rain and snow is really beautiful though, so if you can keep it on, I would.

Overall, The Sims 3: Seasons is a decent addition with a few fun elements, but Iím not sure I would say that it is one that you really must have to really enjoy the game. Of course, worst case, if you donít like it you can always turn off a lot of the features, so it might be worth giving it a shot.

-Cyn, GameVortex Communications
AKA Sara Earl
Minimum System Requirements:

XP SP2/Vista SP1/Windows 7, CPU: For XP 2.0 GHx P4 or equivalent/For Vista and 7 2.4 GHz P4 or equivalent, RAM: For XP 1 GB/For Vista and 7 1.5 GB RAM, 3.5 GB with 1 GB additional space for saves, Graphics: DirectX 9.0c compatible video card with 128 MB Video RAM with Pixel Shader 2.0 Support
  Test System:

Windows XP Service Pack 3, Processor: 2.4 GHx, Memory: 3 GB, Hard Drive: 15 GB free, Graphics: 128 MB nVIDIA Quadro NVS 140M, Sound: DirectX 9.0c

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