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The Sims 3: Midnight Hollow
Score: 84%
Publisher: EA Games
Developer: The Sims Studio
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Simulation

The Town::

The Sims 3: Midnight Hollow is a new world for The Sims 3. The town of Midnight Hollow is relatively large and spread out. They left a great deal of room for various community lots, so you can customize the town as you wish without having to bulldoze down much if anything. I must admit I added more than a couple lots from Katy Perryís Sweet Treats just because they were so incongruous with the town that it was amusing. As its name suggests, Midnight Hollow is more than a bit dark. The town gets at most 8 hours of sunlight a day. Most days, it is less than a few of hours. At times, it is even going to seem like you are living under a red sun, which is quite creepy looking! While the ambiance is nice and fits in with the gothic theme, I personally find it a bit too dark to properly see what youíre doing at times. When you have to strain to see the screen (and yes, I have 20/20 vision) simply because it is too dark, it can be frustrating.

If you go looking around town, you will find a few things that Iíve never seen in a Sims game before. The first thing youíll probably see that looks different is Simagon Alley (does that happen to remind you of anything?). Simagon Alley is the business center. It is full of buildings and you can actually wander the narrow alleys between them. There is even a pretty little fountain hidden in there. Youíll have to zoom in to really appreciate it all. Another thing that really caught my eye was the fact that the hospital is called the "St. James Simitarium" instead of some kind of hospital. If you look, youíll notice all the storeís names have a gothic ring to them, but that one in particular made me smile. Itís amusing to have a baby at a sanitarium instead of a hospital.

The Families::

Spread out the town with 25 pre-made families you can choose from ranging from one person to more than 4 people households. You can choose to start with a small amount of money or quite a large amount in the available funds and possessions. Quite a few of these are actors, artists, and musicians. I particularly like the household that consists of a metal band. There is even an entire family of ghosts that you can choose to play as or a household with a single mother whose child was fathered by the grim reaper. Itís quite an interesting place. You can always create your own household as well and use styles and even creatures from any version you have installed. Personally, I find that the supernatural creatures and styles feel very comfortable in the gothic town of Midnight Hollow.

A lot of these families look very Victorian, like the Winchesters or the Salasí (who are not only Victorian, but also ghosts). Still others have a steam punk feel, which is really just a variation of the Victorian look. There are still quite a few that look like perfectly normal families for those of you that arenít searching for the abnormal.

New Stuff::

There are quite a few new items, but it might take you a bit of searching to find them. Usually I check first on new clothes and hair styles. There arenít many of those in Midnight Hollow. The majority of the new stuff is for the women. There are 7 new dresses, a corset, and a mini-skirt. The men only get a few tops. They do get some hats though. Both men and women get a few new hairstyles as well, including some adorable "Steampunk Pigtails." The rest of the new items are mostly architectural details. Personally, I love the Wrought Iron Spiral staircase. I realize those are bad feng shui, but it is beautiful and I donít think that my Sims really care about the feng shui of their houses. Theyíre lucky when I remember to put a roof on the house! Also you will find "new" plants. I say "new" because they are really just dark colors of a lot of existing plants, but they do make the landscape more cohesive than adding in a bunch of colored flowers would.

The Sims 3: Midnight Hollow has also added the "Savvy Sellerís Collection." This is a bit similar than the resort that you can run in Island Paradise, but a bit more granular. With this collection, you can now run your own store. It is, of course, cheaper to set up a shop in or outside your house. All you have to do is set up the rugs, shelves, and pedestals and put items on them. Make sure you are buying the Savvy Seller rugs, shelves, and pedestals. Add a shop door, so you can give your shop a name. Adding a cash register will let you set your shop hours.

If you want a commercial building, all you have to do is visit the For Lease building and set up shop. You can hire a cashier, set the store hours, set the prices, and stock the shelves with whatever you want. If you want to actually make the money from the store, you need to buy the lot though. You can choose to buy a cheaper commercial building as well. You will just need to add the shelves, etc.. Supposedly once you get this all set up and running, you can only make money; you canít lose any. Personally, I think that the resort concept was much better set up and easier to get started on. The Savvy Seller collection is available across other worlds though, so once installed you can use those items and set up your own shop in any town you want. Itís a nice concept, but it really would have been nice to have at least a lesson or some kind of clue as to how the stuff works. I have a feeling that a whole lot more people than just me were googling "how to use savvy seller."

Gold Version::

If you get the Gold version, you will have access to a toy shop that you can add to the town in Edit Mode. The toy shop is quite fun. Your Sim can swing on swings outside even when it is closed, browse the toys when it is open, and even make your own toys, for a price. There are a lot of toys that you can choose from to buy, even more than I would have thought there would be. They all come in a variety of colors for both girls and boys. I liked playing with the toy machine that would let you create your own toys. While there really is no purpose other than entertaining children with them, they are still a lot of fun.

I am torn over whether to recommend The Sims 3: Midnight Hollow. While it is a lot of fun, I donít think that I will play in the world too much simply because it was just a bit too dark (I did love the red sun look though!). I do think that I will use the clothing, hair styles, and architectural details. I have always loved Victorian houses and now I can really create them in my Sims worlds. I donít think that everyone will love these things, but for those of you that like the gothic, steam punk, or Victorian looks, you should definitely check out The Sims 3: Midnight Hollow.

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

2.4 GHz P4 processor or equivalent, 1.5 GB RAM, 128 MB Video Card with support for Pixel Shader 2.0, Microsoft Windows Vista Service Pack 1, at least 6.1 GB of hard drive space with at least 1 GB of additional space for custom content and saved games
  Test System:

OS: Windows 8, CPU: Intel Core i7-3630QM 2.4 GHz, RAM: 16 GB, Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M, Hard Drive: 400 GB free

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