- c.185mb (gold version)
- 86 lots (Res 45, Com 41, 7 completely empty)
- Pre-populated with 55 Sims (not counting service/homeless).
- For: The Sims 3 Store
- Price: c.US$24.50 for the world itself. c.US$37 for the world with venue on sale.
Sunlit Tides. It's a bit cheesy, but in a good way. It's not trying to be a beautiful South Pacific island nearly as much as it's trying to be a dramatically photoshopped picture in a tourist brochure, but it does this very well. If I hadn't spent so much time in the Pacific personally, I suspect this is the sort of place I would imagine, and it also resembles what I've heard about the tourist-y regions of Hawaii and American Samoa. It's based on the ideal of paradise. It may also just be that I've never been to the parts of the Pacific it draws from most. Like Lucky Palms, the world brings us fantastic new CAW assets for a hefty price. Sunlit Tides is volcanic, and consequently lush, with coconut palms, frangipani, and hibiscus. It has all the basic elements of a South Pacific island, though not the hues. It's still beautiful, and combined with NRaas Traveler it will satisfy many players' desires for an official vacationing world.
As with Lucky Palms, there are two versions, standard and gold. Standard includes a sauna/mudbath object with heaps of interactions. Gold comes with a venue and additional premium content - a massage table. Some of the most exciting additions for CAW users will be the new flora and the customised thatched-roof rabbit holes. The rabbit holes all fit the island, and they are all beautifully crafted. The flora is, annoyingly enough, distributed between the standard and gold editions. In the standard edition of the world you will find two varieties of coconut palm, a pongam tree, three colours of hibiscus, a frangipani bush, and an immature traveller's palm or banana that is labelled "jungle scrub". The gold edition yields a giant fern, a swiss cheese plant, and a bird of paradise. Most of these plants look quite a bit more lurid than their real world counterparts, but they are all beautiful models and CAW users are getting pretty skilled at recoloring objects.
The climate tunings are a mixed bag this time, with beautiful sunsets and sunrises, but the developers seem to have been a bit shy about making the water sea-coloured, erring heavily on the side of the whole ocean being nearly the same colour as the lagoon itself, despite a lagoon-coloured terrain paint that would have done the job no matter how dark they went with the tunings. Consequently, the ocean looks very strange when you zoom out too far. There is differentiation, but it is so slight it's merely confusing. The skies are beautiful, the very perfect authentic blue. The slightly overcast tuning is exactly the same as the clear tuning that I could see
, although I might have had the non-loading cloud layer bug. Edit: It seems that this world has only two major climatic variations, cloudless and clear, or totally foggy. The overcast and stormy tunings are very foggy and exciting. This world will look amazing during spring storms when The Sims 3 Seasons releases.
The world has played moderately well on my machine (Win 7, 64bit, 8mb RAM, ATI Radeon HD 4890) with some choppiness at times, but never sustained. Nevertheless, the routing in Sunlit Tides is particularly poorly optimised, with lots of disjointed nodes and spots that will trap Sims if they ever have the misfortune of landing in them. To be perfectly blunt the routing data looks an amateur's work, but given that there's no sudden rash of stuttering complaints on the forums, it may be no big deal that it's sloppy.
The range of objects is mostly tailored to the South Pacific, so won't fit particularly well in other worlds, barring the excellent spa-themed premium content. Lucky Palms was, to me, a must buy because its objects were so versatile. Sunlit Tides is much more situational, where I would say that if you need coconut palms and you're particularly OCD about them looking like actual coconut palms (and I am) then the standard version is a must buy on sale. The premium content would probably sell extremely well if it was unbundled from the enormously expensive world and venue. Youtuber Quxxn breaks down the price issue well in her review of the world
|“||The regular price for this item is 4350 simpoints. Okay. That is forty-three dollars and fifty cents in US dollars. Okay. Just to... for those of you who have no idea, y'know, that're from different countries, I'm gonna break this down to you here. Thirty dollars. It costs thirty dollars for an expansion pack, okay. It was forty dollars for the Katy Perry edition of Showtime. You can get two stuff packs - Two! Stuff packs - for forty dollars. But the gold version of this is forty-three dollars and fifty cents . It's very, very pricey.||”|
— Quxxn, (source)
I was definitely going to buy Sunlit Palms, but probably only the standard version would have been within my price range. I have the gold version through the generosity of others (If you are reading this: Thank you!) With Sunlit Tides I've finally gotten past the "well, if you were on an especially high income this might look like an okay purchase" attitude about the Sims 3 Store. The prices are impossibly steep. I don't think even rich people see this as value for money, given what a stuff pack costs. Sunlit Tides is expensive even when on sale, and on sale is the only time you might be able to afford it, especially as you're probably squeezing together your pennies for Supernatural and Seasons as it is. The craft is beautiful, the premium content is hilarious and fun, the flora and rabbit holes are exactly what CAW users have needed for the tropics. You do want to own this product, the full gold version. The question is if you, or anyone on a working class wage, will be able to. Also, given the pricing, if you make a CAW world with these assets, how many simmers will you realistically be able to share it with?
Here are the screenshots:
- Terrain - 7/10
Beautiful sculpting, but like Hidden Springs I take issue with the tacky palette. All the terrain paints are beautiful individually, the composition of the island is fan-bloody-tastic to say the least.
- Lots - 10/10
The lots are all beautiful and integrated into the world. None of them look lop-sided and confusing. I could take issue with some decorative pools that Sims can't access, and the fact that horses don't play friendly with these lots, but they're all beautiful and soon we'll be able to turn horses off which I'd recommend doing to Sunlit Tides.
- Objects - 5/10
All the objects are beautifully crafted, and those with new interactions are amazingly good. The rabbit holes are great. It's really A-grade set of objects. I would score this very high if not for more conflicts between store objects - this time the deep frier and ice cream maker prevent the sauna interactions from working. With all the premium content conflicts in the past, why are they not testing them all against each other?
- Sims - 9/10
The faces are really cute, with some exaggeration to their features at times. Awesomely bright Pacific style clothing, and the inclusion of a male sarong/lava lava/tupene is great.
- Playability - ?/10
It looks really bad in terms of the technical polish under the hood, but so far it's playing okay. Could play better. Could play a LOT worse. I'm not scoring this because it's just too early to tell. Edit: Score is looking a bit worse as time wears on. If you try to summon an out-of-world NPC to The Overlook lot they spawn directly in a routing hole (that shouldn't exist anyway) and cause freezing, happens consistently.
- Flavour Texts - 7/10
The ones that exist are great mostly, but then some of them look more than a little rushed. Gilberto Gonzalo has a great Household description, for example, but then his personal description is fairly unengaging: "This island is fantastic! Beautiful beaches and great fishing!" Well. Yes. But I wanted to know about Gilberto, not his feelings about the island. Not the greatest storytelling.