The Sims 3 Store: Grandpa’s Grove Review

38
4,192

 

Disclaimer: This article may contain dangerous levels of squeeing. Please note that squeeing comes with a number of side-effects, including spontaneous diabetic comas and spontaneous depletion of monetary resources. Do not squee and operate heavy machinery. Please squee responsibly.

 

 

First Impressions

ORANGES! Oranges oranges oranges oranges oranges! And some tractor thing. Oranges!

Okay, I admit it: I was more excited about the oranges hint than I was about the tractor. After all, I already have farming equipment that fertilizes and waters, and with dragons harvesting isn’t difficult. So, I really wasn’t that impressed with it at the beginning, and was prepared to sigh and just toss it in my premium content collection as an item I don’t use much.

Needless to say, I shouldn’t have counted my oranges before the tree grew.

Oh, and I certainly didn’t expect it to be an actual house. Kudos to the Store team for surprising me!

————————————————————————————————————————————-

 

CAS

For CAS, I decided to use the witch housemate of my avatar and just alter her a lot. The witch’s name is Char WhipperWhirl. The name serves as a useful warning to burglars that if they rob that house, they can expect to be charred. If the burglar is really unlucky, she’ll hand them an apple first. Mmm, roasted apples…

Screenshot-117 Screenshot-118
Screenshot-119

I love these clothes. I was expecting another set of farm clothing that I didn’t really need, but… I love these clothes! The outfit with the scarf is also probably the best of the bunch, as it looks like an outfit you could see just about anywhere. And they are all enabled as outerwear for colder weather!

Screenshot-120 Screenshot-121
Screenshot-123

Note the third outfit is actually a combination of a top and bottom that came with this set; I put them together for this for simplicity.

The first and third pictures show what I like from this set; that is children’s stuff that actually fits them. The second I do not like; it just doesn’t feel like an autumn outfit and just seems intended for a much older person in design.

Screenshot-124

Everyone, look! It’s Char as a toddler! Isn’t she cute? You would never know she would grow up to launch flasks of bees at paparazzi just because she’s bored… Kinda like how you don’t expect an orange seed to end up as such a massive tree.

It’s a good toddler outfit, and toddlers need more clothes!

Screenshot-126 Screenshot-127
Screenshot-125

This is pretty much all of the male clothing. It’s nice and it fits the theme.

Overall, the clothing are mostly good additions. One outfit I don’t think was, but the rest definitely are.

————————————————————————————————————————————-

 

Decor

 

Screenshot-101 Screenshot-102
Screenshot-103 Screenshot-104
Screenshot-105 Screenshot-106

I can’t say I am in love with the decor. The chair is nice looking, but overall I found the items to be kinda… meh. The stats do not help either; most of the actual set items are low quality to nonexistent quality, with a rare couple of gems shining through. This is really a house where I pretty much would remove everything and redecorate the entire place from the ground up. Top it all off, the items from this set don’t necessarily fit in as easily with other farming related sets; the Farm Fresh Folk and Country Livin’ sets and this one fit together, but Stones Throw Greenhouse items do not fit in with this set at all… which is a shame, considering the way the two venues would compliment each other if combined.

It gets even worse when one gets into the actual construction of the house. I’ve been to several houses converted from barns; this one is, judging by those, completely unrealistic in how much space it just openly wastes. The second floor would not be left so incomplete, and I’ve never seen one with room for a third floor, like this one has, that didn’t take advantage of it. And they certainly don’t have foundations. Overall, the building itself fails to impress and actually renders itself partially useless due to how the foundation interferes with adding a basement.

If I were judging this venue entirely on the decor, I would say to give it a pass; the decor items themselves fail to impress, the building is badly constructed, and the entire building is a waste.

————————————————————————————————————————————-

 

Grandpa’s Grove Tractor

 

Screenshot-107 Screenshot-113

While the oranges are what I was excited about, the tractor ultimately overshadowed them. The tractor itself turns out to be an item where, once the track is laid, you can change how much of the track it covers, what directions it goes, and lay out a complex pathing system that allows you to alter the amount of land you farm as you need to. In addition, it fertilizes, waters, and harvests without your sim doing anything other than driving.

Okay, I’m impressed.

I did find a minor problem with the pathing: It’s not entirely obvious how you control it. When you click on the tractor, you can check it to see if it has a legitimate track; when you do, the path it would follow is highlighted in green, as shown in this pic:

Screenshot-112

However, to change pathing, you have to click on the t-shaped track pieces with hay bales and select to change direction. For this lot, elanorbreton has a lovely image of the correct positioning to have the tractor cover the entire lot and the pathing lit up. But, if you are looking for an up close image, use this as a reference:

Screenshot-116

For actual harvesting, it appears that the harvest range is up to seven squares beyond the edge of the track. When it runs the full track, it will harvest every plant that comes default with the lot. However, due to the limit on how many harvestibles it will grab at once, it will take you four passes to harvest everything on the lot. On the other hand, one pass each is enough to water and fertilize the entire lot. And these both still take far less time than hand harvesting or using a dragon.

The hay ride is just a sim riding in the back of the tractor while it follows the set path. There’s not actually a lot to it, but combined with pumpkins and a few other items and it has potential to be a lot more. In fact, I suddenly have a new idea for a certain grim manor…

Overall, I would say this premium content is probably the best large-lot farming item that has been released. The Store team deserve endless kudos for this.

Here’s a couple of images of the harvesting, with the first being from the first harvest I did and showing a section the tractor missed and the second showing the harvest smoke on that section:

Screenshot-108 Screenshot-111
 

————————————————————————————————————————————-

 

Orange Trees

The downside of this venue? The lot does not come with any oranges pre-planted; however, those can be easily obtained (just head to the grocery store) and planted. I don’t have any pictures of them, due to the images I did take being too horrible in quality to post, but I do have an image of my sim turning them into nectar:

Screenshot-114 Screenshot-115

Unfortunately, I am not the only one who thought of turning oranges into nectar. I did combine oranges with apples, which are readily available on the lot, to instantly produce a good-quality nectar, but have not experimented that much with them yet. However, I suspect my competition is far, far ahead of me on experiments… But no worries, Cinderellimouse, I’ll catch up to you 😛

I must say I like the oranges. I asked for them, and they were delivered. Now, I plan to have a lot of fun with them!

————————————————————————————————————————————-

 

Final Thoughts

I have to admit it: The Store team surprised me and blew me away with this one. I may not be fond of the way they built the house, and I am definitely not fond of the nonfunctional buydebug auto-soil that has no name (the other one, not the one for oranges), but the fact it is a house was totally unexpected, and even more unexpected is that the tractor turned out to be much, much better than expected. I am thoroughly impressed with the job they did on that tractor, and I don’t think I can say that enough times.

So, is this venue worth it? Yes! Even with my criticism of the building’s construction, it could still be turned into a themed nectary/restaurant. Plus, there are the two different gardens, in addition to all of the trees, that may make up for the lack of house internals.

Screenshot-109 Screenshot-110

Oh, and did I mention the oranges?