The Sims 3 Supernatural review

More than three years after its release, The Sims 3 has shown no signs of slowing down. In addition to constant content made available through The Sims 3’s online store, EA has just released the seventh expansion to the base game. The Sims 3: Supernatural expands on the game’s already-existing eerie elements while introducing a lot of new ones, providing plenty of potential for new gameplay situations. Though it’s not without issues, Supernatural has enough power to attract lapsed Sims fans, and will undoubtedly be appreciated by those who have never missed an expansion.

Watch The Sims 3 Supernatural trailer!

The biggest additions Supernatural provides are witches, werewolves, and fairies, all of which have their own unique powers. Witches can learn and cast spells, werewolves can hunt and transform others, and fairies can use their magical auras for a variety of effects. Witch and fairy powers are well-integrated; simply clicking on Sim allows these supernatural types to use their abilities on themselves or those around them, and the more they use their skills, the more they learn. Werewolves, on the other hand, can be a bit of a pain. They can go on the hunt in wolf form and find rare, valuable items, which is useful, but their transformation is controlled by the lunar cycle. This means that if the full moon rises while your werewolf is at work, he’ll ditch the job–so much for that promotion. Werewolves can also turn other Sims and form packs to hunt together, though you can expect a sharp relationship decrease once you’ve given the cursed bite to your friends. Eventually, werewolves can control their transformations during non-full moon days, but early on you might be stuck in werewolf form longer than you want to be.

Vampires, first introduced in The Sims 3: Late Night, have been expanded upon in Supernatural, and like the other special types, they can now be made from the start in Create-A-Sim. Players can even insert ghosts and genies into their Sim families, instead of waiting around for death or a magical transformation. Being able to create these unusual Sims from the start of the game is a great improvement; previously, if you wanted a family of vampires or ghosts, you had to create normal Sims and wait around for them to get bitten or die.

Another major feature of Supernatural is a brand-new location, Moonlight Falls. The foggy town, inspired by the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, features plenty of supernatural neighbors for Sims to befriend. The new town is a nice touch, adding to the spooky atmosphere with pre-built Gothic-style houses, and adding more places for your Sims to live expands the playability of The Sims 3 even further. There are also the usual new clothing and hairstyle options, objects, traits, moodlets, lifetime wishes, and Alchemy, the expansion’s only new skill. The clothes and hairstyles are fun and supernatural-themed, and some of the best additions to the base game yet. While the single new career, Fortune Teller, may not be enough for more ambitious Sims, it does have two branching paths allowing for different outcomes.

Zombies are also part of the expansion, and while they’re amusing at first, they soon become more trouble than they’re worth. Zombies will emerge from the ground to destroy your property, starting with your plants and then moving into the house. Thanks to a limited edition Plants vs. Zombies tie-in, they can be stopped with a downloadable peashooter, or deterred with a witch’s spell or some fairy dust. However, it can be frustrating to deal with multiple zombies before they kill your fruits and veggies, and you might find yourself using cheat codes to move them or delete them out of existence, rather than dealing with the undead the way Supernatural intended. Strangely, zombies can’t be turned off in the game’s population settings, and they’re more of an annoyance than a perk.

The Sims 3 is no stranger to glitches, and Supernatural brings a few of its own to the game. Sims sometimes disappear below the house, forcing a load of the last save and lost progress. The new lunar cycle, which dictates when werewolves transform and provides bonuses for other supernatural types, got stuck in the same state for a few Sim days. We eventually fixed this by messing around with the lunar settings, but that workaround put a damper on what could have been a cool new feature. The problems aren’t game-breaking, but it’s frustrating to encounter problems like these within a day of installing a new expansion.

While it might have its share of annoyances, the positives outweigh the negatives in The Sims 3: Supernatural. It’s one of the strongest expansions for the core game yet, and might even give lapsed players a reason to return to the game. Being able to create a supernatural Sim, whether a new breed or one that’s already existed since the game launched, in Create-A-Sim makes a huge difference in gameplay, and the combinations of supernatural households that can be created are virtually endless. Whether you want to lead a pack of wolves, master the art of witchcraft, or just throw a party in your fairy house, The Sims 3: Supernatural is full of fun.

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