The Sims 4 Parenthood Game Pack was announced the other week and has the Simming community extremely excited. It’s been a long time coming, but it finally delivers some much needed family-oriented gameplay that The Sims 4 needed. Until now, other content has focused more around parties, gatherings, activities and jobs.

Game Packs are a great way for EA to plug the gap with content as they’re essentially mini expansion packs. The Sims 4 Vampires, for example, was impressive and in my view it seems to be the new path EA are going down. Especially as we only have 3 expansion packs, which isn’t many considering The Sims 4 will be 3 years old in September.

So what is The Sims 4 Parenthood, you ask? I was a bit confused until I read further into the game description as to what it actually consisted of, and in a nutshell I would say it is the spiritual successor to The Sims 3 Generations. And of course, the question on everyone’s mind is whether it’s good and worth your money, and that’s what we’re about to tell you in our review.

New Hairstyles, Clothing, and More for All Life Stages

Create A Sim offers a variety of new items for your Sims, and not just for adults either! Children also have a variety of new clothing and outfits to select from, which is great to see.

Let’s start off with the negative – I am disappointed that there isn’t really anything new for toddlers. Sure, they are still new to the game but this pack would have been the PERFECT opportunity to really give them some new things to wear. There are two new outfits for your tots, and one accessory, but apart from that. I feel it’s a missed opportunity.

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Kids have one brand new hairstyle and a selection of new trousers, tops, and outfits – including a new bear costume which I am sure many will be happy about! This particular outfit comes in a variety of different colours so you can create your Sims-inspired Care Bears if you wish. I also really like the feminine denim dungarees included for children, this has to be one of my new favourite items which I will be dressing all my Sims’ kids in.

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Teens, Adults, and Elders also have quite a few new clothing and hairstyle options to choose from, so every age group has something new to wear in The Sims 4 Parenthood.

Like I mentioned earlier, it would have been nice to see less for these life stages and more for toddlers, but perhaps that void can be filled in the future with a stuff pack.

For Men/Masculine Sims, there is also the addition of new facial hair too, which is a nice addition.

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For Female/Feminine Sims, there’s a nice mixture of clothing and some really good hairstyles too that I like and can see myself using often when playing The Sims 4.

The hairstyles with the highlights are quirky and may be appropriate for storytelling with rebellious teens, or young adult Sims and their new families. You can thank me later for giving you that idea.

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As you can see, there’s a lot of new items in Create A Sim that come with The Sims 4 Parenthood. Most of them are decent, some are not so great, but overall it’s a nice offering and I think many will be happy with it.

Build, Buy, and Stylised Rooms

The Sims 4 Parenthood is jam packed with new items in build/buy mode! The pack contains a good selection which will allow you to deck out your home in style.

From new kitchen cabinets (finally!), to nice coffee tables, clutter, and new items that bring along new gameplay, it’s all found in this pack.

One of my FAVOURITE items is the new coffee table, which you can see in the image above to the left. It’s 2×2 tiles in size and is a great addition to any home, and perfect for popping plenty of clutter and decorative items on top. For those laundry fans, there’s also a decorative laundry hamper too 😉

You may notice lot’s of boxes as well. This is new gameplay and is essentially projects that kids can work on, and their parents can join in to help them! This is a great way for them to build relationships, work on their skills (e.g. motor skill), and create something awesome, such as an erupting volcano like you’d expect at a science fair!

This can increase character values for kids, such as responsibility, and the parenting skill for adults (more on both of these later!)

In addition to this, there’s some new items in build mode too. This includes a new door and wallpaper for your home.

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There are also four new stylised rooms that are in build mode to make it easy for you to create the perfect build for the Parenthood Game Pack, or for inspiration of how you can use these new, colourful items. The Maxis team have done another great job at designing these rooms, which are perfect for people like me who are awful at creating interiors!

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These stylised rooms consist of a new dining room, a living room, and two new bedrooms for your Sims.

Overall, I am happy with the new items in build/buy in The Sims 4 Parenthood. To be honest, it’s worth it alone for that coffee table that I am obsessed with. But not only that, so many of these objects are bright, colourful, and fit in nicely with the theme of Parenthood, allowing you to upgrade your Sims’ family homes.

Parenting Isn’t An Easy Task

The Sims 4 Parenthood introduces the brand new parenting skill, which all adults can now learn. This is important for any of your Sims who are looking to raise children that are well behaved, as your parenting now has consequences if you don’t do it well!

There are a variety of ways in which Sims can increase their parenting skill. This includes researching on the computer, reading skill books, or by doing actual parenting itself. And this is the only way you can reach the top levels of the skill.

It’s down to your Sims to now decide what behaviour they want to encourage, or discourage, which will help shape how your child will end up. If your toddler is making a mess, for example, you can choose between two options – a calm approach, or a more stricter yelling, depending on how you wish to parent.

You can also now guide your children through particular tasks, and like before it can be done in a calmer way where you try to influence them to clean the dishes or go to bed. But the more troublesome kids may need a more stricter approach, so you could give them no option but to do as you say!

Now one thing which I think is pretty awesome is that you can also use these new found abilities to temporarily solve some of their needs, such as hygiene or hunger. You could influence your child to have a snack, to hold off their hunger, or dust themselves off so that they’re quickly cleaned up.

You can also teach your toddlers and children new things, for example, the addition of teaching them to say please and thank you, or how to say sorry, helps their character values in a positive manner.

This new parenting skill is a fantastic addition to The Sims 4, and I think it will be adored by generational players. Parenting in the real world is a skill and you get better with the more experience you have, so it only seems logical to have a similar system in The Sims.

Character Values Change Sims’ Behaviours… For Better and Worse

Character Values are another new addition with The Sims 4 Parenthood, which we recently shared information about on our website.

Character Values determine a Sim’s ability to adapt and behave effectively in their everyday life, and there are 5 different character values that can be developed positively or negatively:

  1. Manners
  2. Responsibility
  3. Conflict Resolution
  4. Empathy
  5. Emotional Control

Toddlers, Children, and Teens can all gain or lose values based on their actions and how their parents utilise their newly found parenting skills. The really interesting thing about these character values, though, is that once a Sim becomes a Young Adult, these values are locked in and they will receive a unique trait depending on where their values lie – which is all down to how well your Sims do as parents!

You can access your Sim’s character values within the Simology panel, and you can see how well or bad your Sim is doing. To get tips on how to influence the value, you can simply hover over the value. This is useful as otherwise players may have found it difficult to work out how to influence each of these.

The traits you select for your Sims initially in Create A Sim could potentially influence their character values from the get-go. This is pretty awesome as everyone behaves differently in real life, so this extra touch makes it even more important for you to select appropriate traits and not just dish out random ones. For example, a Sim with the Slob trait will start with a bit of negative manners, but they can be influenced in the right (or wrong) direction.

There are tonnes of behaviours that your Sim’s – both parents and children – can perform to contribute positively or negatively to these five values. For example, to positively contribute to emotional control, you could play instruments when in a negative mood, or jog to clear mind. On the other hand, if you wanted to negatively contribute to it, you could shove or bite another sim, or smash a dollhouse!

Character values, paired with the new parenting skill, really open a whole new dimension to generational and family-based gameplay in The Sims 4 which makes the process more realistic and rewarding, as you have something to show for your Sim’s effort at the end of it all.

There’s so many small tidbits which adds to the experience, even your Sims shouting “forbidden words”. When that arises, you can go one step further and discipline your children now.

Discipline… to the chokey with you!

Now while discipline in The Sims 4 Parenthood isn’t like the approach found in the film Matilda, it is an important part of making sure your children listen to you. While things we’ve previously spoken about, such as discouraging them to do particular things, comes into play with discipline, there’s also more to it than just that.

A child won’t always react to discipline in the same way every time you do it. Sometimes they may listen, sometimes they will try to push your buttons and ignore you, continuing to do what they want.

A new object has been added which gives you some control over things such as curfew. Similar to that found in The Sims 3, this is the time that you expect your Sim to return to the  house by in the evenings. It’s up to you how strict, or lenient, you are and you can select a variety of different times based on this.

If your Sim’s do keep rejecting your calm or strict words of warning, then there is only one other solution that remains… they’re GROUNDED!

Grounding lasts for one day in the game and the parent can choose which one of the child’s favourite activities to ground them from. The more obedient Sims may listen to this and follow the rules now that they are grounded. But, The Sims being The Sims, you can push this if you like and try to get your Sims to get away with more. If they are caught breaking the rules, they can be grounded again.

Are you ready for Parenthood?

The Sims 4 Parenthood Game Pack offers a lot of new content that is clearly aimed at generational players who are looking to expand gameplay for their Sim families.

I’m happy to say that from playing with the game pack, it does just that. By bundling together new gameplay, the parenting skill, character values, and new interactions between children and parents. A pack like this is long overdue with a lot of heavy feedback saying that family gameplay was needed, and it’s good to see Maxis finally responding to that.

I am not a generational playe0r myself, so I am unsure of how much I will take advantage of all of these new features until I play it more over the coming weeks and months, but this is yet another solid game pack that I think everyone will enjoy.

You can find our final score and breakdown for this game pack below. The Sims 4 Parenthood launches on May 30th worldwide on Origin.