The popular life simulation game, “The Sims 3,” continues to enthrall new players with another expansion pack. “The Sims 3: Generations” gives players fresh and fun ways to raise their Sims from infant to elder. “Generations” completely changes how Sims grow and age by adding new activities and goals to each life stage. Children focus on their imagination with make-believe games. Teens give into their wild side and have crazy parties. Adults aim for a stable life, but might have a midlife crisis. Elder Sims reflect on their past experiences. Each of these life stages introduce additional game mechanics, such as throwing bachelor parties and pulling pranks.
Like previous expansion packs, “Generations” includes new outfits, hairstyles and game objects. Child Sims receive the bulk of the new content, including an impressive collection of playground equipment and costumes for make-believe. Elder Sims may now carry a cane as part of their outfit. Sims can also interact with each other in new ways, including giving gifts to each other. Each additional interactive mechanic adds subtle complexity to an expansion that lacks massive changes.
The beloved memories feature from “The Sims 2” returns in “Generations.” The game records a screenshot to save each Sim's special events. Memories may include major events such as the Sim's wedding or first kiss. Other recorded memories are more mundane, such as putting together a new outfit or picking up a baby. Players can review these memories at any time. This feature is similar to achievement systems found in other games. The game notifies players each time a Sim records a new memory, which can get annoying. Luckily, this feature can be turned off in the game options. With the excessive notification turned off, the new memories feature is one of the true delights of the game.
“The Sims 3: Generations” is ideal for players who enjoy giving their Sim characters a richer life. “Generations” does not radically change the game, unlike some of the other expansion packs. Players will delight in trying out the new mechanics and finding fun surprises, but the expansion loses some luster after repetitive play. Most of the new content centers around younger Sim characters, so players who favor adult Sims may find more satisfaction with other expansions. This expansion pack is best suited for players who are more interested in developing each of their individual Sims rather than exploring exotic locations or fun nightclubs.