The Sims: Vacation will also introduce players to Carnival Games. At each resort location, there is an area full of carnival style games, such as throwing darts at balloons or shooting a water cannon into a clownís mouth until his head bursts. Aside from being fun for Sims on holiday, these games help earn tickets. So, what does one do with these tickets? Just like at a real carnival, game tickets may be redeemed for prizes. With enough tickets and a bit of luck, Sims can take home a stuffed penguin, quartz skull or a few other surprises. Adding to the carnival atmosphere, costumed figures, such as the Yeti and Archer, dance about entertaining Sims young and old with their loopy antics.
Sims may also rent a metal detector in the hopes of finding the ultimate vacation souvenir, buried treasure! As of writing this preview, I have yet to find any treasure, but I know itís out there somewhere...
Of course, vacationing isnít all fun & games. Sometimes, things go awry and the fun turns sour. Pick-pockets sometimes prowl Resort Island, leaving vacationing Sims with a heavy heart and lighter wallet. Perhaps, the Sims would be better off using travelerís checks instead of Simoleans. There are also bratty children about that may spoil the vacation mood. For example, one such little hellion kept trying to mercilessly tickle my Sim. This ended after the kid caught my Sim on the way to the restroom and he unfortunately wet himself. After that, I had to checkout and venture to a different part of the island. Itís bad form for a Sim to stay somewhere after he wets himself at the buffet. The previous is why the Sims is such an enduring series; it can be highly unpredictable.
Lastly, after all the merriment is had and memories are formed, Sims can purchase postcards and mail them to friends back home. Sure, they were stuck at the house watching paint dry or something even less fun, but at least theyíll know that YOU were out having a good time.
For those creative types who would love to design their own resort paradise, The Sims: Vacation will offer a nifty resort editor. Players will be able to construct bars, restaurants and hotels, then add attractions such as swimming pools, half-pipes for those snowboarding Xtreme Sims, fishing holes, camping tents and more. Players should be busy with this Sims add-on for hours on end.
All in all, The Sims: Vacation looks to be one heck of an expansion pack. With its added focus on group activities, spiff-o-rific carnival games, genuine vacation souvenirs and endless surprises, gamers will have plenty to write about in their postcards from the edge. Look for The Sims: Vacation to be published by Aspyr Media in the not so distant future.
Now, I leave with a little trivia. Again, itís not Simpsons trivia. Itís not that Iíve run out, believe me, I have not. I just feel the need to mix things up. So, there is a Shirley MacLaine film title hidden somewhere in this preview. The first person to find it wins their very own copy of The Sims: Vacation upon its shipping. (Note: We have a winner! The correct answer is "Postcards From the Edge")