December 2011

Return of the Cow Plant

Can I interest you in a delicious slice of birthday cake?


With much fanfare, EA recently announced that the Cow Plant (Laganaphyllis Simnovorii) is being brought back to The Sims 3 - as a real Cow Plant, not just the little statue you can buy in the Décor section!
There seems to be a small hitch with purchasing the Cow Plant at this time. Its price is listed at 600 Sim Points, but it cannot be purchased as a stand-alone item. However, it also apparently cannot be purchased as part of any sets. So it's in limbo right now, but I'm sure they will sort that out within a few days.

Real Estate Investment Strategies in The Sims 3

This is one case where it's better to start big
Once your Sims have accumulated a certain amount of money, it starts to seem a bit silly. It's just sitting there in an imaginary bucket, slowly accruing. (This is all assuming that you're playing without using any of the money-related cheats, of course!) You can plaster your walls with the most expensive paintings and buy a fighter jet for your lawn, but then what? 
There are two types of properties you can invest in: rabbit holes and develop-able locations. 
Rabbit holes are easy: you buy a share (or buy out the whole location). Every week at 9:30AM on Monday morning, your money is ready. Oh how I wish they had direct deposit in The Sims 3! Instead, you have to actually physically go to the location to pick up your money. And it takes a while to collect, too - at least a Sim-hour.

Will Wright's New Project: Hivemind

Um yeah… no thanks!
As most Sim players probably remember, after creating the Sims franchise, Will Wright abandoned us several years ago to work on Spore instead. The original promise of Spore was "The Sims, but it starts at the beginning of evolution and ends with space travel." That was a pretty amazing premise, and I for one was super stoked.
Of course, my enthusiasm waned after several years of Spore's release date being pushed back. For at least two years, Spore was going to be released "six months from now."

First Look at the Showtime Expansion Pack

Will it be awesome, or a disaster?
Following what has become their standard schedule, EA has announced the next expansion pack just as we are all starting to settle in to the last one. The new expansion is called Showtime, and it will launch next March.
Showtime has some elements of previous expansion packs (like the Superstar expansion for The Sims, or Nightlife for The Sims 2). The thumbnail sketch would be, "Your Sims can be famous performers and DJs." But what is really going to make this expansion pack innovative (or horrible) is the social component.

Mixing Potions With The Chemistry Set

Young Again is the only REALLY useful one
The chemistry set is something I hadn't really explored until this week. It was introduced with the Generations expansion pack, and can be found in Buy Mode under "Skills & Hobbies."
The chemistry set is a lab bench, and your Sim will change into a lab coat and goggles when they use it. I recommend putting a shower nearby, because your Sim will frequently set themselves on fire while using the set! If you have a shower handy, you can just take a quick shower and then get back to making potions. Otherwise you get a strong negative moodlet that sticks around for a long time, and prevents you from using the chemistry set while it is active. (The same is true for the Inventing workbench, by the way.)

8 Ways To Live Longer In The Sims 3

"Attack ships on fire off the shoulders of Orion..."
Unlike most other video games, if your Sim dies, you can't just get another life and start over again at the beginning of the level. But there are a lot of ways around this, depending on what kind of life extension you're looking for. 
When choosing a life extension method, ask yourself whether you want to  have more time at each life stage, to be whooshed back to Young Adult, or to have more days tacked onto your given lifespan.
1. Lifespan
The default lifespan is "Normal," about 90 days. But you can change this setting in the Options menu to "Long" (190 days) or "Epic" (960 days).