It's been more than three years since EA's The Sims 3 came out and the game shows no signs of slowing down -- especially when one thinks that there is already another expansion (Seasons) on the way roughly two months after this latest one (Supernatural). Supernatural expands upon the somewhat limited eerie content already available within the game (and its many previous expansions) and puts it all together in the town of Moonlight Falls.
Moonlight Falls is more than just the quiet little suburb that most expansion towns are. After all, what would one expect from a town populated with faeries, vampires, werewolves, and witches. Sure, there's the "normal" human Sim here and there, too, but that's hardly the appeal. Honestly, on sim type alone, Supernatural pops quite the appeal -- especially with the "Twilight" crowd (there's a special potion that can be made to make your vampire immune to sunlight with a side effect being that vampire becoming sparkly). And, yes, vampires are not new to The Sims 3, having been introduced in Late Night, but their roles have been greatly expanded thanks to this latest expansion.
Zombies are also included with this expansion, thanks to a tie-in with the popular game Plants vs. Zombies. They're amusing at the start, but that amusement quickly wanes as they become more of a pain than anything. Like in PvZ, these zombies want to be a nuisance -- something they're quite skilled at -- and, like in PvZ players will be able to plant peashooters to deal with them. Unfortunately, dealing with more than one or two at a time is simply not worth the headache. Of course, this is a problem that only owners of the game's special edition need worry about.
While the expansion's different sim types all have their own individual appeals, players may find that the witch/wizard role is the most satisfying of the bunch. While they do not have a huge inventory in means of spells at their disposal, what they do have can be quite entertaining. Not only can they brew magical potions that act almost like dev hacks at times, they can also conjure up items that may or may not be worth a nice sum of Simoleons (the game's currency), charm sims to affect statuses such as hunger and bladder, and even cause a little mischief through invoking ghostly haunts or a case of pestilence. Fun stuff.
Of course, not everything with Supernatural is as super as it could be. While the game's "cast" is well spread out, as are the themed objects and actions that go along with them, players will be disappointed to find that there is only one career included with this expansion. Supernatural allows players to become fortune tellers and, while they'll have two different paths they can take as a fortune teller, it's simply not enough for more than the most casual of players.
The Sims 3: Supernatural also has some unintended supernaturalness of its own, thanks to a small assortment of glitches. The two most glaring of these bugs include Sims dropping drop beneath houses (causing the player to re-load from his/her last save to bring them back) and the game's lunar cycle will sometimes get hung up (adversely affecting werewolves and zombies). Luckily, EA is working on these issues and looks to have something down the pipe soon.
As expansions go, The Sims 3: Supernatural isn't half bad (bugs aside) and those bugs will need to get fixed sooner rather than later for it to really shine. That stated, Supernatural still brings quite a lot to the table with its assortment of Sim types, items, and supernatural-genre interactions and abilities. The fortune teller career is a bit of a bummer, but truly dedicated The Sims 3 players probably have more career options at this point than they probably realize.
After a rather underwhelming previous expansion (Showtime), Supernatural gets The Sims 3 back up to speed.
Final Game Guys grade: B-
(EA provided a copy of this game for review.)