11/11/17

The Sims 4 Cats and Dogs - Comprehensive First Impressions

House #2. The first house I made was HUGE & took forever,  but unfortunately got remodeled a lot and isn't picture ready. ;) 


I've definitely talked about The Sims here on the blog before. I've even done a review or two in the past (head on over to the search bar to find them if you fancy). So it's certainly no secret that I'm a huge Sims obsessive. The Sims 4 doesn't even compare to past versions of the franchise. It's a million times better. Sure, there are aspects of older versions that I miss - the ability to have platforms so you could have (easier) recessed or raised rooms for example. ;) But overall, The Sims 4 blows the others out of the water. 

But now... now, they've come out with the expansion I've really been waiting for: Cats and Dogs. Oh my goodness, I've wanted this for years!! I'm a huge dog lover and have three labradors at home, so it always felt weird to have no animals in my sim houses. This new expansion came out this past Friday (November 10th), and I've spent a good deal of time playing around with it. My love for the Sims actually comes from my sister who first started playing the game a long, long time ago. I got hooked with the very first version, and we've both been playing ever since. So, it made sense that she'd join me in putting together a thorough review of The Sims 4 - Cats and Dogs. We've put together our thoughts for a mega review of the new game, but you can easily tell our thoughts apart as I've divided them by name. 




Tina 

I didn't want any spoilers before playing this game, so while I did know a few things, it was a pretty big mystery when I finally got down to playing. On Friday, I spent hours and hours building my house. While the big feature of the game is Cats and Dogs, they added a whole new town, Brindleton Bay, and TONS of new architectural and interior design elements. I mean, it was honestly overwhelming (in a completely good way). There are new windows and doors, new siding, and new floors - all to compliment the New England vibes of the town. They could be used in so many different ways though and are pretty versatile which is great because I don't always make one style of house. I like to play around and try new things, or mix genres together. 

I really appreciate that they gave us a lot of decor items that aren't exclusive to having dogs and cats. There are new beds, new dining furniture, a couch, and some general decor accents as well. Of course, there are plenty of items for the animals like food bowls, litter boxes, toys and doggie beds. There's also a robot vacuum which is great - I love that you could use it even in a house without animals, because it adds a realistic aspect to the game. I love anything that makes the game feel a little bit more like real life. I will say though, that I didn't exactly enjoy that the vacuum went out and "cleaned" my backyard. That was a little bit bizarre! 

The choices for creating cats and dogs is truly endless. There are tons of breeds to choose from, and if you can't find exactly what you desire, there's so many ways in which you can customize that you can make whatever your heart desires. I personally stuck to pre-made breeds but if you wanted to try and make a doppelgänger for your pet at home, you definitely could! 


Missy

The latest Expansion Pack for the Sims 4 lineage was released this Friday at midnight. Of course, I was so excited to be able to play with cats and dogs that I could not wait - I stayed up until at least three in the morning downloading and playing.

I started like I always do with first creating a family and let me just start by saying that I absolutely LOVE the new clothing and hair options for female Sims. My favorite new additions include the adorable updos with bows while the amazing new sweater options are sure to keep your Sims warm and toasty while out and about walking their furry friends!

And then there’s creating your four-legged friends. The level of intricate detail that goes into creating pets is utterly amazing. There’s so many possibilities that it’s nearly mind boggling. I started off making a mix breed Dalmation and Beagle puppy, but then decided to try recreating my three dogs which sounded like a lofty goal at first, but the game’s options allowed for my creative needs to be met.

For another family I made in the game I made an adorable Weimaraner named Sinatra. Of course, Sinatra is a nod to Ol' Blue Eyes himself - it fits in perfectly with my holiday themed home. The clothing options given to pets is also amazing. Since I was going for an overall Christmas theme for both my family and the house, I was so excited when I saw the plaid bow-tie and the sweater options for dogs. It’s safe to say that Sinatra holds up to the dapper legacy held by his crooner predecessor.


Tina

In my first house I made a dog and a cat and I love the different traits you can give them. I decided to go with adult dogs because puppies and kittens do require a bit of parenting and I just wanted to keep it simple to start with. I like that you can now give your sims the traits of being dog lovers, or cat lovers and that there is a new animal-centered aspiration. As someone who really loves animals, it's nice that I can make a sim that I identify with even more now!

In my second house I opted for two cats - honestly, because I really do like cats but can't have them in real life so virtual cats will have to do. Please don't tell my dogs. I love how chill the cats are and that they'll give your sim affection, but they're also okay with just napping all day - a trait that truly reminds me of one of my dogs. ;)


Love the new beds and the cozy vibes the new decor gives. =) 


Cat nap for deux. 


In said second house, I went for a quaint cottage vibe and the picturesque town of Brindleton Bay really makes that possible. It's difficult to truly convey just how gorgeous this new town is. The scenic views, walking pathways and water features (the sailboats!!) just make for a stunning neighborhood. It's hands down my favorite town that The Sims has ever made. Ever.


Missy

When it came to building the actual house, I opted for a small lot in the new world of Brindleton Bay and the world is absolutely picturesque. Heavily inspired by a coastal Massachusetts sort of setting, the world provides a beautiful vista for you to create memories with your furry friends.

Once moved onto the lot, I got right to work on building a cozy house for my Sim, Rosemary, and her dog Sinatra. The new objects in build mode are just what I have been wishing for in the game. Some of my favorite new objects within build mode are the new window and door options (We’ll touch more on windows later on), the hardwood flooring options, and some new landscaping options. Thank goodness this is a virtual game because these new wood flooring options are so stunning and we luckily don’t have to worry about pet claws scratching these beauts! And last but certainly not least, I’m a fan of greenery both in real life and in game so when I saw the new Hostas I was ecstatic because I love Hostas and other green plants because they provide another option to play with the more colorful floral options when creating gardens.


Tina

I can get really into creating my houses, but with this new expansion, I also really wanted to explore the game play, so I started to sort of go back and forth between playing a bit and fine-tuning the details of my cottage. I love the independence of the animals and while at first I thought I'd dislike the fact that you can't control them completely, I've decided that I like it - it's more realistic that way. I do wish that we could see their needs though. I suppose that just makes it even more realistic...


Kitty wants some bacon and eggs. I don't really blame kitty. 


My one cat loves sleeping (I can relate), while the other is a bit more adventurous and curious. He jumps on the table while my sim eats, and loves sitting and sleeping on top of the fridge. You can scold them on this behavior if you wish, but honestly, I found it sort of cute?? I know, naughty, naughty... I do appreciate though, that you can go either way. The way you train and parent is totally up to you.


Missy


Now comes my absolute favorite part of the game: decorating and furnishing the inside of the house. I tend to take forever admittedly making my Sim houses because I’m really detail-oriented (Especially in my kitchen and bathrooms or when making themed houses) so seeing the new objects in Buy Mode left me utterly surprised and excited. The developers did an exceptional job with the content in the game overall, but the objects in Buy Mode provide a little bit of everything to Simmers like me.

Can I have this in real life??


One of my absolute favorite new addition hands-down is the new functional window seat. I’ve always dreamed of having a functional window seat for my Sims to peer out and look at the world outside, but seeing it in action doesn’t disappoint as Sims can sit or nap on these comfy seats while cats and dogs (Especially Couch Potato puppies) can sit and enjoy a nap on them too. I also love the furniture in general - it’s perfect to help make your house into a cozy home.


Sinatra in my holiday house. 



From comfy new living room furnishings to new cozy beds for your bedrooms to dining room furnishings including new chairs, dining tables, and a well-stacked hutch that are all dinner party ready - there’s so much jam-packed into this Expansion Pack that it’s hard not to feel compelled to check in on your furry friends daily and make new creations with the new content.






Overall the game brilliantly blends the new addition of having cats and dogs in the game alongside a brand-new and exciting world with the new build and buy mode content as Sims can showcase their latest threads from this Expansion Pack. The developers outdid themselves and honestly surprised me in producing such a stunning well-rounded Expansion Pack!!

Tina

I think that the new Cats and Dogs pack was definitely well worth the wait. It certainly makes up for the toddlers (yes, I said it. I know this is a very sensitive issue for some. ;) ...) and kid-centered content. It's the kind of expansion that allows me to be creative in terms of architecture and design, but that also gives me a desire to play which I don't always have. Sometimes I just want to make houses, but now, I want to do both. Another feature that I'm super excited for, but haven't played with enough to form a real opinion on, is the agility. I've always wanted to try out agility with one of our dogs, and now I can do it virtually at least. I was so freakin' excited when I saw that was a feature in the game. I've done one run through and can't wait to play with it more!!

Cats and Dogs is so far, an amazing game. If you're on the fence, I don't know what you're waiting for - YOU NEED TO GET THIS GAME!! The team at The Sims truly out did themselves with this expansion. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

If you're a simmer, we'd love to know your thoughts on the new Cats and Dogs!! What do you love! What do you hate?? Any glitches you've noticed or things you'd change! Share your thoughts in the comments!

Oh and thank you again to my sister for sharing her thoughts - with this big an expansion - I couldn't do this without her!! You can follow her on twitter here! 


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