The Sims 4 [official site] has received a major patch and, true to form, the notes that accompany it are a delightful mix of the comic and the Weird. It's easy to imagine a Thomas Ligotti or Robert Aickman spinning some of the confusion within the code into individual tales of domestic horror. There are no garbled telephonic hauntings to match the unnerving dimensions of Your Tiny Hand is Frozen - none that have been discovered and purged, at least - but upon reading the entries below can anyone doubt that the suburbs that house our Sims have been infected with some uncanny disorder of the nerves?
Before digging into the devilish details, it's worth nothing that there are some additions along with the fixes. Basements are new, as is an extra floor above ground. Sims will also develop relationships with their co-workers and classmates now - presumably in a manner not dissimilar to the same feature in previous Sims games. Non-playable Sims now have jobs, which you'll be able to quiz them about. You can read the full list of additions and tweaks here.
It's good to see that the game is receiving free updates as well as paid expansions. Despite pouring hundreds of hours into the first three Sims games, I haven't spent much time with this one at all. It's good to know that if I decide to, four years down the line, it might have become something I'm interested in playing for more than a couple of das.
Without further ado, here are my highlights from the patch notes, along with the works of weird fiction that they are inextricably linked to.
Sims who went into labor while on a vacation lot, and went home, were finding they were in a perpetual state of labor. They will now be able to give birth as desired.
The Long Vacation aka Never Visit Venice - the uncanny tale of a couple who find that the rising damp of home and hearth is preferable to the healing airs that the doctor ordered.
Fixed an issue in which killing a Sim in a 1x1 enclosure was preventing the Reaper from completing their task of soul collection, which in turn resulted in the Sim remaining married to their living spouses, which in turn prevented the living spouse from being able to remarry... yea, well you'd be surprised how common this actually is among Sims players.
The Sequestered Spouse - Mr K, a bumptious and bureaucratic civil servant, discovers that no amount of paperwork will allow him to marry the woman of his dreams. Not while the small cellar pantry remains bricked up. Not while that terrible scratching sounds from within during the chill hours of the early morning.
Elders will no longer be the primary age group found at the lounge.
Appointments at the Hospice - Vincent Wright thought that life in London would be a frenzy of excitement but the dull throb of his social life is a symptom of something far more sinister than he imagines.
Teens should no longer lose muscle mass from aging from Teen to Young Adult
Soon We Will Be Dust (A Handful) - fastidious clerk Gregory becomes convinced that he is becoming smaller and less visible with every day that passes. One day the automatic doors at his place of work cease to register his presence and he falls into a state of quiet despair.
Sims will no longer talk to the dead space that was previously occupied by a traveling Sim.
Remember My Name - a lonely professor of linguistics does not realise that he is alone until he notices, to his horror, that he is no longer alone.
Your parents have left you all alone (they left to go adopt a child, and you, a baby, have found yourself at day care while they are away).
Time passes, your parents return, but you neeeeever do! Oooooooo! Woooooo!
The Unfortunate Infant - self-explanatory.