High School Years Review – GameSpew

Who would want to go back to high school? Not many of us. But you can, if you wish, thanks to The Sims 4′the latest expansion: High school years.

Certainly, in the world of The Sims, that’s an exciting prospect. For years, we’ve seen our Sims’ offspring leave the house at 8 a.m. and magically reappear at 3 p.m. What happens during those seven hours doesn’t need to be a mystery anymore, because now you can accompany them to high school. We have good news and bad news for you. Here’s the good: it’s a lot of fun, and it opens up a whole new world we’ve never experienced in The Sims. And the bad? It’s as stressful and traumatic as the real thing.

Our newest Sim, teenage Lana, found herself being bullied by the budding cast of Mean Girls from her very first day. This was after a hard day of running between classes, skipping lunch to study, and trying – and failing – to befriend the surely famous Cassandra Goth. The last bell rang, Lana went to do some extra study in a classroom, only to be besieged by a group of bullies. Typical.

Naturally, Lana’s mood quickly changed from pleasant to angry. We had the option to fight back: we could have gotten Lana to insult the girls back, or get caught up in an argument. We decided to be the taller person, letting Lana leave the room. Fortunately, there is a free gym in the school basement. Blowing off steam on the punching bag quickly settled Lana’s mood.

The Sims 4: High School Years

Admittedly, we should have gone up as soon as the last bell rang at 3 p.m. But with so much to see and do at a new school, we ended up staying there until 8 p.m., exploring the rooms and trying to make new friends. EA designed a believable high school, albeit scaled down to manageable Sim proportions. The canteen only has a handful of tables, for example, instead of the dozens you’d expect to see. And you’ll visit the same classroom over and over, instead of every class having their own.

But the feeling of high school has been captured beautifully, and for those of us who want our Sims to live an entire life as fully as possible, it’s a fantastic addition to the game. Not to mention the new town of Copperdale, which is perhaps our favorite Sims 4 region to date. Even better, EA worked with community creators who crafted some of the city’s hotspots. There is a wonderful thrift store cafe, designed by MsGryphi and a public library, designed by JOL1990both beautiful and fantastic meeting places.

As always, there’s a range of new homes for your Sims to move into, and a few empty slots if you like to start from scratch. The little cottage we moved into with Lana and her mother is perhaps one of the most beautiful starter homes we have ever seen: small but perfectly proportioned and much better designed than we could have made it ourselves- same.

The Sims 4: High School Years

The Sims 4: High School Years bundles in lots of new items too. There are new posters and decorations to dress up teen bedrooms, new bookshelves, new chairs and more, allowing you to customize your Sims’ homes even further. The focus is on bright, bold colors, which probably won’t appeal to everyone, but we found a lot of things we like. Including a neon bedside lamp in the shape of a heart.

Related: The Best The Sims 4 The expansions you really need in your collection

Back in school, it’s not just classes and studies that are on your young Sims’ minds. You can play pranks on your classmates – a stink capsule in a locker, perhaps? – if you are the mischievous type. Or you can be left alone decorating your locker to show off your personality. When it comes to the end of the year, you also have to think about the prom, let your young Sims dress up in their finery, plan the big night down to the smallest detail. A sheet has been taken from the book of Wedding Stories here, allowing you to plan dance routines, choose snacks, choose music and more.

Unfortunately, High school years hasn’t been a full top since launching last week. Many players have reported serious bugs introduced in the game alongside the latest update, including rapid aging of sims, new features not working as expected, etc. Luckily, we didn’t encounter any issues during our time with the new expansion, and EA is actively working to fix any remaining issues, with some fixes already live.

In the end, there’s a lot to love about The Sims 4: High School Years. It’s like the Sims community has been waiting a long time to finally get their teenage Sims to school – and we think it’s been worth the wait. Provided you haven’t been affected by a bug, this is a fantastic and well-balanced expansion, bringing a beautiful new neighborhood, lots of new items, and a whole new experience to The Sims 4. All the stress of high school, without ever leaving your home. Oh, happiness.


The Sims 4: High School Years Review – GameSpew Score

This review of The Sims 4: High School Yearsis based on the PC version, with code provided by the game publisher. It is available on PS4, Xbox One and PC.

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