Get your stuff on.
Sims fans can never have enough stuff. So if you’re among them, you’re surely happy to know that the first Sims 3 “stuff” pack is finally here: The Sims 3: High-End Loft Stuff.
In case you aren’t familiar with the series, unlike most PC game franchises, entries in The Sims series are always followed up with two different types of expansion packs: gameplay expansions and “stuff” packs. The latter releases are always low-priced additions (20 bucks, again, in this case) which include a few dozen additional furniture items and a marginal expansion of the clothing and hairstyle selections. That’s precisely what we get here in High-End Loft Stuff—around 50 new pieces of furniture along with several new hairstyles and outfits to choose from (as well as some other minor additions, such as additional patterns and metals).
I just love it when my wife and I share a game of Madden NFL 10. ...hrm.
If that doesn’t sound appealing to you, don’t fret: this pack isn’t meant for everyone. You’ve got to be a pretty big fan to purchase all the expansions of any PC game, let alone mere item packs. On the other hand, HELS (heh) is only $20, so it’s not much of an investment—and it’d make a thoughtful gift for anyone who seems to cherish their digital Sim life.
With that preemptive disclaimer out of the way, let’s get into what precisely is included in this pack. It’s essentially your typical million-dollar eccentricity fare; a great opportunity to fool around with stuff in game form that you’d never actually spend your hard-earned cash on in real life. Some of it’s pretty exorbitant, so don’t expect to immediately procure half the items from the pack unless you’ve got some seriously wealthy Sims on your HDD. Of course, there are items available in every price range, so it’s not all prohibitively expensive.
"Listen, my wife clicked on this link and now I've got this damned fake antivirus thing wanting me to buy it."
So if you’re living cheap (you tightwad), you might spring for some of the more reasonably-priced (but still adequately chic) additions, such as the Lumina Technica audio/light fixture device (§200), or perhaps even the slightly pricier Console 7 game console—just §900—if you happen to be a gamer (are you?). Or maybe you’re a little more well-off, and you don’t mind blowing your money on a §1,250 toilet (the Flushmaster Hi-Fi… wait, a high-fidelity toilet?) or a pseudo-viscoelastic foam-air-magic bed like The DuoDreamer by Starloft (§4,500). Whatever your budget, provided your tastes are sophisticated, the list of colorful additions included in HELS will please.
The best items? Well, my personal favorites happen to be the classic All My Fishes Aquarium and the FormFunk G-Shelf, just because they fit quite well already into my furnished space. A lot of fans had missed the aquarium, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that was among the more popular additions in this stuff pack (up to six fish can call it home). It’s one of three celebratory items in honor of The Sims’ 10th Anniversary as a series—the other two are the classic Vibrating Bed (the Vibromatic LN3000) and the electric guitar (Das Kauker R86). I have to say that I personally would have liked to see a greater number of items included, but at $20, it’s around the same price-to-content ratio as the Sims 2 stuff packs, so it’s hard to complain much about it.
"Did you hear about Kathy? Her parties don't even include caviar hors d'oeuvres."
That’s really all there is to it. It’s a content pack—what did you expect? If you fancy the idea of additional upmarket items all crammed onto a $20 DVD, you’ll be happy with your purchase. On the other hand, if you’re happy with what your Sims already have available to them or you only occasionally resort to the Sims Store for other selections, you probably would do just fine without it. If you’re looking for a more substantial expansion pack that expands the actual gameplay in addition to the library of items, you’ll want to check out World Adventures instead, which is $40, but considerably deeper in the way of content.