SimsVIP’s Island Paradise Preview by Hortensis

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The entire staff here at SimsVIP would like to thank The Sims UK for the opportunity to attend this amazing event. I was not personally able to attend the event – since I am waaaaay out here in the USA –, but we were able to send our very own Hortensis & DuckEggPie. Special thanks to them both for putting together the awesome previews! 🙂

A note from Hortensis:

My thanks go out to SimsVIP, and everyone working behind the scenes to make attending the event possible. In addition, I would particularly like to thank EA UK for hosting the event and looking after us so well.


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The Sims 3 Island Paradise Preview

It may have been pouring down outside but nothing was going to dampen my spirits on May 28th as the day of The Sims 3 Island Paradise Event had finally dawned. Having seen all of the officially released coverage of the expansion pack I was very excited to get the chance to try the content for myself and to find answers to the questions I know you have all been asking.
Island Paradise is a very unique pack that brings new features to the game never before seen in either of the previous The Sims series or in The Sims 3 thus far. For the first time ever Sims can not only explore the surface of the ocean but the depths beneath it too. This brings about a whole new style of game play and possibilities. As I sat with the beautiful tropical islands of Isla Paradiso before me my dilemma was what to explore first!

Diving, Dive Lots and Mermaids

With the little snippets of information I had gleaned previously floating around in my head I set about trying to discover how exactly my sim would find their way under the water so that they could perhaps ultimately meet with a mermaid. It turned out that the key is to snorkel…frequently! Initially the options available when clicking on the sea are swim, snorkel, windsurf and boat here but once your sim has practiced their snorkeling skills sufficiently the option to scuba dive will open up.
At this point switching to town view will reveal the location of dive lots which you can then click on to send your sim visiting just as you would any other lot. Dive lots in live mode are marked by a buoy with a coloured flag. The flag indicates the skill level you need to have in scuba diving before you can explore the depths. If your sim is not skilled enough the message ‘This area is dangerous. Try increasing your scuba skill first’ appears. I think the first dive lot I encountered had an orange flag which required only a low skill level.

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Once beneath the waves you can enjoy a vibrant setting of ocean plant life, sea life in various forms, collectables and treasure chests.


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Of course there are also dangers beneath the water and sharks swim ominously close at times. If your sim is unlucky enough to encounter a shark attack and lose you can expect the Grim Reaper to pay the ocean bed a visit.

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However, even the mere presence of a shark can cause your sim to have a bladder accident which will give them the ‘warm wetsuit’ moodlet! Whilst on the subject of moodlets there is also the ‘breathing comfortably’ moodlet and more significantly the depressure moodlet. Whilst the ‘depressure’ moodlet is active you can no longer scuba dive.



If you explore the ocean bed long enough eventually you may spot another type of ‘being’ swimming through the coral. This being has a tail and is of course a mermaid. You can click on the mermaid and interact with them as you would a regular sim. One of the interactions had several of us chuckling at the event but I’m not going to spoil it in this report. If you DO want that spoiler though it is definitely there in my accompanying images so check them out; I’m sure you will guess which one it was.


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Also amongst those interactions is another important clue. Mermaids are very interested in kelp and you could find that they have placed some in your inventory. If your sim eats the kelp your sim ‘may’ become a mermaid. Unfortunately my sim was VERY uncooperative and didn’t like her vegetables. The kelp made her nauseous on both occasions so the opportunity to make my sim a mermaid passed me by.

Mermaid lesson 1 Mermaid lesson 2 mermaid lesson 3 mermaid lesson 4

Kelp can also be found in buydebug (I’ll assume for underwater harvesting) and Mermadic kelp is a lifetime reward for 25,000 points. I did see some awesome footage during the event and I know there will be another preview posted to this site that will have LOTS of information and images. Therefore, I am not going to go any further into mermaids other than to say that I have included the ‘in game’ Mermaid lessons with my additional pictures which give more information on their general care.


Once you have befriended a mermaid you can click on their icon and perform ‘signal mermaid’ which your sim will do with a shell. I thought my sims response was very cute!


signal mermaid


Boats and Discovering Islands

House boats can be built from scratch or you can buy one to move into. To choose your house boat base enter edit town and then select one of the six choices available. Find a vacant port to place it and then build anything your heart desires…well, almost! The new one tile bathroom and ladders help to maximise the space available and there are lots of new build/buy items to use too. Boats move around the world in the same point and click fashion that is familiar with any travel, be it on foot, or by horse or car.
Isla Paradiso feels REALLY big, even with some islands hazed over. You have instant access to two larger islands and several smaller ones. I didn’t have time to even begin exploring the islands in detail but some of my images give glimpses of rabbit holes, the lovely new plants and the islands in general.

Rabbit holes

The islands shrouded in mist are not available to travel to initially and must be unlocked. The lessons on uncharted lands give a little more information on this.

unchartered 2 unchartered 1



Resorts have been designed to be as easy or as complex as you want them to be and can be placed in any world. I can imagine many happy hours delving into the micro managing of them. My sim purchased a small lot on which to create a very basic resort. Once designated a resort the front desk was already placed for me, to that I added the basic small beach tower rabbit hole and a few things for the guests to do. I was really surprised that once I switched back to live mode, within a short space of time, there were twelve sims on my lot!
I’m not sure my reviews would be very good at that level of service but it certainly works. Again the resort lessons are there with my other images for further information. The basic beach tower lets your sim turn in for the night, freshen up, toggle room service, change colour scheme. The spa rabbit hole provides the option to: freshen up, finish for the night, get tattoo, get massage, get facial, get body treatments, salon. The food quality can be set to low, medium or high with a correspondingly higher upkeep price.


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resort 2 resort 3 resort 4 resort 5 resort 6 resort 7 resort 8 resort 9 resort 10 resort 11

The uniforms can be set for employees, there are blue prints that can be used for quick building, there are finances to be managed and maintenance work to be done; so much to do but I know I will enjoy the challenge and I’m anticipating having lots of fun. I personally am really looking forward to playing with this particular feature in greater depth.
However if you don’t want to micro manage you don’t have to. Simply visit one of the existing resorts, check in at the front desk to use a room and then fire walk and sip classy glassy cocktails at the pool bar to your heart’s content.

coal walking yes I did it

classy glassy

Of course no tropical island holiday is complete without a visit to the beach and children and big kids alike can build best buddies, outpost or starfish sand castles or the grown ups (I’m not sure about the other age groups) can lay out the beach towels and enjoy the sun or play in the sand.

building sandcastles


Skype interview with SimGuruGraham and SimGuruSmitty

During the event we were lucky to be able to ask questions live via Skype. The Producers had no prior knowledge of our questions. Here are some of the things we learned:


♦ Can controllable supernaturals go diving? (with relevant EP’s also installed)

Yes, supernaturals can dive too.
How many islands are there to visit?

There are nine islands to visit
How do the seasons affect resorts in terms of numbers of visitors? (Seasons EP installed)

Seasons do not directly affect the number of visitors to a resort although resorts themselves have naturally busier and quieter times of their own.
Can dive lots be placed in other worlds?

Dive lots have been specially crafted for Isla Paradiso as they require extra depth to function. However, the items found on the ocean bed can be found in buydebug and used anywhere. See some of them below.


underwater decor treasure chests

A big thank you to Graham and Lisa for taking the time to talk to us. I really enjoyed that aspect of the event, even if we were all a little nervous at the time!


♦ I discovered two new traits: Loves to Swim and Sailor.
♦ There is a new gnome known as Mr Mariner gnome.

Mr Mariner Gnome

♦ Some of the collectables that can be found are nautilus shell, scallop shell, cowry shell, ancient fish fossil, and octopus.
♦ There are two new radio stations known as Beach Party and Island Life.
♦ There are five new tattoos



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♦ There are a number of new hairs including one for female children, and there are also new clothes for toddlers and children.

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hair 12 hair 11 hair 10 hair 9 hair 8 hair 7 hair 6 hair 5 hair 4 hair 3 hair 2 hair 1 hair cas7 cas6 cas5 cas4 cas3 cas2 cas 1

In build mode there are nine new doors, five windows, one arch, three columns, twelve trees/shrubs and one flowering plant (<3), three rocks and three pier/foundation objects (I really like the new pier feature). In buy mode I also discovered five potted plants, six sculptures (some of which also have plants as a feature) and lots of new decor items as well as some new furniture items. Over and above that there are also new items in buydebug and other content for use in resorts and on houseboats. There’s a lot of content to work with.  
Scultptures 2 sculpture 1
resort food stand paddleboats buymode 1 buy mode buildmode newtrees build items build buy



I know I have barely scratched the surface of this expansion pack but it promises to be a huge amount of fun and very absorbing. The locked islands ensure that you can’t see all there is to see immediately and finding and producing baby mermaids and building up a successful resort all takes time. I feel this pack has the capacity to engage players for a long time and I can’t wait to receive my own copy to explore it all fully.
Until next time,


Shaka bra ☺

HUGE thanks go to EA_UK for inviting us to the event. We were incredibly well looked after and everything about the day was very tropically themed and good fun.



view 8 view 7 view 6 view 5 view 4 view 3 view 2 view 1 splash interaction resort spread mermaid interactions kelp no thank you fish sculpture dive 10 dive 9 dive 6 dive 4 dive 3 dive 2 dive 1 checking into a resort