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Island Paradise EP - Hands On Preview

Another EP, another Event...      Now that the game is loaded (like the new loading screen?) what can we expect from Island Paradise?

This is the penultimate Expansion Pack for Sims 3 with only 'Into the Future' remaining before we jump into the brave new world of The Sims 4 in the first quarter of next year. So let's 'dive' in, as that's what your Sims will be doing soon!

There were several other fansites at this, and other events held around the world, so information about what this EP contains will be plentiful after today I'm sure. So, as usual, I'll be trying to bring you some different material which includes lots of screen grabs of the new content in game in detail you probably won't see elsewhere (if that's your thing).

The Headliners

Here's the new icon for Island Paradise.

The EP offers some very different gameplay opportunities including the ability to own houseboats which are basically Lots that you can build on in just the same way you can on land, so the sky is the limit (don't try basements, that could end in tears). These can be driven around the game world between the many islands that make up the new world, Isla Paradiso. Sims can suffer seasickness on these and any other boat though, so care may be needed when creating seafaring Sims. Luckily there are 2 new Traits: Loves to Swim, and Sailor.

New activities include driving these boats around the islands, snorkelling and more importantly, diving. When Sims drop below the water surface they start to use the new Scuba Diving skill, looking for shells which are a new collectible item, treasures, fish and other underwater goodies (and baddies). Look out for sharks, as being mauled underwater is a new way to die!

If your Sim really likes the ocean they might want to take up the new Lifeguard Career, spending their days patrolling the beaches and saving lives, though they need to know when they are being duped as if our Lifesaving hero is a hottie, the victims may actually be faking it to get attention!


Mermaids are the newest addition to the collection of abnormalities that EP's tend to thrust on our perfectly formed Sims. These already exist in the waters of Isla Paradiso and befriending one might enable you to invite one into your household. If you aren't that lucky (or sociable) you could spend some Lifetime Reward points on some Mermadic Kelp to send your existing Sim spinning in a wet haze, emerging as a full blown Mermaid/man. I have to admit though, it looks a bit weird when Mermaids exit the water and switch their beautifully flowing tails for some scaly looking colourful legs and feet which I guess is needed if they are to spend time on land, but I was left feeling a bit underwhelmed there. You can drag your Mermaid into CAS and change their scale colours if you want to.

Mermaids are exotic sea creatures who have adapted to life on land. They differ from regular Sims in several important ways.

Mermaids can eat regular food but they prefer things that come from the sea, like fish and kelp. Kelp can be harvested on dive lots or purchased at the grocery store.

Mermaid skin dries out easily and requires constant hydration. Frequent baths, showers and dips in the pool or ocean are a must! If their hydration motive drops too low, Mermaids start to dry up and eventually become dehydrated. If a Mermaid is dehydrated for too long they'll get a visit from the Grim Reaper!

Mermaids' natural habitat is the ocean. They need to swim in deep water regularly or they will develop a salt water deficiency. Mermaids who do not swim in salt water regularly will eventually lose their scales and tails and turn into regular Sims.

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