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The Sims 4 Parenthood embraces teen drama

The Sims 4 version of Kevin the Teenager

The Sims 4 [official site] Parenthood pack is out now. The Parenthood pack is distinct from the toddler update which arrived in January and fleshed out that post-baby, pre-school period for the characters in your digital dollhouse. Toddlers were a free update, whereas Parenthood is paid DLC which seeks to change the relationships between parent and child characters making it more about guiding the development of your young charges and having interactions that are specifically designed around that caregiver/kid dynamic.

It’s interesting in that the interactions between parent and child will influence the character values of that child. There are elements like conflict resolution and manners as well as empathy and emotional control. The idea is that as parent characters level up their parenting skill they unlock new skills. They can also learn new options by talking to other parents, looking online, or consulting grandparents. The interpersonal management now includes things like dealing with sibling rivalry, issuing time-outs and punishments as well as reassurance when kids need it. Or withholding it like a jerk, I suppose. LIFE IS PAIN.

I’m interested in how much fun this actually turns out to be as I’ve never found the child sims engaging before. I’m also wondering how much variation there can really be here because I can’t imagine The Sims devs wanting to go near anything that might be construed as cruelty? Although you could have your kids taken away from you in earlier games so perhaps that would happen here if you lean too hard into mean options?

At the moment I’m curious to see what people do with the pack and whether it adds that meaningful depth to the family dynamics. If you do pick it up let me know how it goes – I know that from the community responses I’ve seen so far there’s a really positive buzz about the pack. I’ve also been poking through the crop of let’s plays which have cropped up like mushrooms since release to see how it actually works in practice. Here’s one from Andrew Arcade which helped me see what was what – it’s incredibly in-depth compared with what I was expecting!

I recently dipped back into vanilla Sims 4 to play with the PlantSim event. I found myself considering some of the expansions and other packs but it was in that slightly irritated way where I feel like I’ve got the bare bones of the game and am now expected to shell out for the bits which make it the experience I actually want.

I think I’ve spoken before about how I wish The Sims 4 had a subscription model so I could go back to it for a few months at a time with all the bits I want available. As it is I tend to play, feel kind of unsatisfied in vanilla, look at the paid expansions of various types, feel annoyed at feeling pressured into spending more and then stop. Obviously if The Sims is the only game you play or is the main game on your roster it’s a very different value proposition so this is more by way of an explanation as to why I’m unlikely to pick up the Parenthood stuff. But yes. If you do play and if you do pick it up tell me your thoughts!

The Sims 4 Parenthood game pack is out now and costs £14.99.

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Philippa Warr

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