As the name implies, this expansion primarily focuses on growing up, starting a family, childhood, and intergenerational activities. The whole point of The Sims being a simulation of real life, and having kids and experiencing the challenge of raising them is an important part of the experience. The new expansion is able to show the fun and quirky side of taking care of babies alongside new clothes, areas, and items. It almost convinced me having a kid might be a good idea.
The New Map
The first notable piece of new content in The Sims 4 Growing Together is the all-new map: San Sequoia. This is a bayfront community that has 12 different lots and has three neighborhoods to choose from Anchorpoint Wharf, Gilbert Gardens, and Hopewell Hills. It’s a unique set of levels thanks to the outdoor attractions with a combination of traditional and urban lifestyles.
Your Sims can have a perfect suburban experience at the park, where they can take a walk together, learn to ride a bike, jog, and even hike along the natural path by Gilbert Garden Lake. There are a number of cool activities to fool around with like using the playground, leisurely fishing, watching movies in a renovated theater, or just grabbing a bite to eat. If you like giving your virtual citizens a lot to do, this place will keep them occupied.
Creating your infant
Of course, the big new attraction is being able to make Sim babies, the youngest sims you can create. The little tykes have a lot of customization compared to the previous versions including far more options for skin tones and even adding birthmarks. There are also far more clothes to dress the rugrats like bunny ear pajamas and baby helmets.
The customization also extends to mother Sims as well. You can also add stretch marks to them and it’s possible for them to optional breastfeed the infant. There are a lot of small details like this to make the act of childrearing seem just a little more authentic.
Raise your infant
Before the update, newborns will instantly spring up into toddlers. After the update, however, newborns will now grow to babies which are around two months old. You can then raise them to 12 months old, where they will then change into toddlers
Like a real-life baby, infants need an adult Sim to take care of their needs like feeding them or cleaning their diapers, otherwise, they don’t last long. The baby Sims have a lot of personalities with different reactions and is sweet to see them laugh or smile as they’re playing or being cared for.
Becoming A Toddler
Once your child grows into a toddler, you now have access to 18 newly discoverable toddler traits that will change their behavior. These traits are gradually discovered over time, making each toddler unique and going beyond their essential characteristics. Some examples include being active, picky eaters, early birds, becoming passionate about singing, and so on adding a lot of replayability to the function as you can take on different paths to see how each kid grows up.
Of course, taking care of a child involves bonding as a family. The relationship between parent and child can be seen through the “family dynamic”, which is categorized into types such as ‘Close’, ‘Distant’, ‘Difficult’, and ‘Jokesters’.
The family dynamic refers to the overall emotional atmosphere and interactions within a family unit, and it can significantly influence the relationships between family members. Therefore you need to be careful cause it might also affect the child Sim in the house. These lead to various different ways in which family members interact with each other, potentially resulting in more complex and nuanced relationships. With this in mind, it will be possible to decide the degree of closeness between two siblings and the level of tension between a spouse and their in-laws, among other factors.
The natural chemistry between two Sims is determined by their social compatibility, which influences their interactions with each other. Sims with good social compatibility is likely to get along easily, while those with bad compatibility may experience more conflicts. It’s an interesting feature that enhances the realism of the gameplay and added another layer of gameplay to consider while playing. It all goes into making the experience feel more authentic and lifelike.
The Sims 4 Growing together Expansion adds another important area of life to the Sims experience, allowing for the little people on screen to raise children. While it’s not quite real life (and that’s probably a good thing) the complex web of family dynamics makes for an interestingly nuanced take on family life that can lead to interesting new interactions.
The new expansion will be available on the 16th of March 2023 for the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.