If you have been wondering whether Spa Day is a pack for you, you’re in the right place. I’ve been exploring what the new pack has to offer all evening, and although I have not yet played enough to provide a detailed in-depth review, I’ll do my best to share as much information as possible along with my first impressions.
Whenever I get new content for The Sims, I typically gravitate towards CAS first. More specifically, the hair section. There are three new hairstyles of men (two of which are actually unisex options) and five new hairstyles for women. While the former is quite meh at the very best, the female hairstyles are gorgeous and I can see using several of them on a regular basis. The only small complaint I have is that it is not possible to change the colour of the headband of the female updo with bangs, but alas, it’s adorable nonetheless.
In terms of clothing, there is plethora of fitness gear for both men and women – 8 new tops and 6 new bottoms for each gender to be exact. In terms of full body outfits, these are mainly robes and towels, which actually act as quite a fun part of gameplay – but I’ll get to that later. Your sports-minded children are less fortunate than their parents and older siblings; they only get one top and one pair of pants (plus a robe, of course).
4 venues come with the pack, out of which three are classed as a spa and 1 is considered a gym: The Center of Center Massage, Aham Ashram Yoga Studio, Perfect Balance Spa and Luxe Health Club. All of these will automatically pop up in your library and can be plopped in any of your existing worlds – this includes Granite Falls if you have the Outdoor Retreat pack. I play tested this and am thrilled to confirm spas are fully functional in Granite Falls, giving getaways a whole new meaning. Hello relaxing honeymoons!
Depending on the objects placed in the venue, your spa will be populated by NPC yoga instructors and reflexologists whose sole purpose is pampering your sims and helping them achieve enlightenment.
Before I jump into the obvious premium content objects, let me get the less exciting items out of the way – there’s an all new kitchen and some very swanky gym equipment, so even sims who have no patience for zen moments may appreciate the new additions.
One of my favourite new objects came as quite a surprise to me: Lockers. Upon arrival to a spa, your sims will automatically head to the locker rooms to change into their robes and slippers. While technically this is not something that is necessary for gameplay, it adds a nice element of realism to the spa experience. Not to mention, spas are the perfect place to gossip and scheme (so much for the said enlightenment).
Picking your preferred way of relaxation is as hard as it gets for your sims with this game pack. This is now tied into the new Wellness skill – the better your sim gets at relaxing, the more they become at one with sim earth… or something like that. Meditation is where the Wellness skill becomes most obvious; while quite boring on its own, if your sim gets good at it meditation will turn into levitation, and ultimately teleportation. None of my sims got quite that far on the –ation scale as of yet, so this is something I’ll need to report on later.
Unlike watching your sim meditate, yoga is a very entertaining sight, in particular if your sims are beginners. The animations of them struggling to keep balance are priceless. If you sims are willing to shell out some cash, they can ask a yoga instructor to start a class and have a pro show them how it’s done. Note that both yoga and meditation are tied to the new mat objects, s you can’t just do them anywhere. However, this does make me wonder if placing a couple of yoga mats in the park would spark outdoor yoga sessions – certainly worth a try.
Your sims can now also soak in several types of relaxing and get or give a variety of massages; either on a massage chair or table. The fertility massage could even help you get a jump start on your big happy family. Speaking of which, there is a new woohoo spot, the sauna. Don’t get your hopes up too much though, as the animation for this is essentially having your sims disappear in the mist.
I still have a lot more exploring to do with Spa Day, but I would wholeheartedly recommend getting the pack as it does seem to enrich your sims’ lives quite a bit. While the lack of items and activities for children is a bit disheartening, what seals the deal for me is the way Spa Day compliments Outdoor Retreat and vice versa. I was afraid the two are going to be completely isolated experiences, but seeing how compatible they are makes me very hopeful for future game packs.