The Sims 3 World Adventures Hands-On Preview

Is your Sim going out of their mind with boredom and wanderlust? Have you already mastered fishing, cooking, and making WooHoo with the neighbors? Then it’s time to sign up for new conquests in the upcoming stand-alone expansion pack, The Sims 3 World Adventures.

You can import your iPhone Sims 3 character as soon as you boot up World Adventures, which is a nice touch, but it only affects the way your Sim looks. All their personality and progress has to be reset– after all, who doesn’t reinvent themselves every time they travel? Your home and furniture are also reset, so say goodbye to all your fancy stuff. With enough traveling, though, you’ll eventually be able to deck out your home with exotic furnishings like a sarcophagus or pagoda refrigerator.

In World Adventures, your home town of Sunset Valley has received an upgrade. You can now visit a nearby museum, which will house any artifacts you sell them from your travels, and an airport, which will whisk you away to Sim versions of Egypt, China, and France. When you buy your plane ticket, you can spring for the cheaper economy class or the pricey first class, and it will make a difference in your flight. If you fly cheap, you’ll have to play a motion-sickness minigame that involves tilting the phone to keep the airplane’s window in focus. If you fail, your Sim will arrive sick and tired.

There are three other minigames in exotic lands as well: Bartering, tomb exploration, and overcoming the language barrier. Each new location also has a monument to see, like the Great Wall or Eiffel Tower, and visiting these will give you real-world historical trivia and a montage of your Sim happily snapping pictures.

While we really enjoyed the change of scenery, and the new tasks that let you marry foreigners and buy exotic furniture, this is mostly the same game as The Sims 3. That’s great if you enjoyed the last one, but don’t expect a radically different user interface or too many new kinds of social interactions.

Just like before, you can flirt your way into just about anyone’s life, or make enemies by breaking into their home at night and raiding their fridge. The main difference is that now, after you’ve ruined your reputation at home, you can fly on a plane and do it all over again somewhere new. The Sims 3 World Adventures will be available next month.