We have reviewed the Build & Buy and the CAS items from The Sims 4: Parenthood for you before, so now it is time to take a closer look at the last aspect of the pack: the gameplay. As Parenthood is a game pack and not a stuff pack we get plenty of new interactions for our Sims to spice up our game!
Parents now need to take an active role in their kids’ lives, where previously kids could perfectly manage things themselves. Of course it is still possible to slightly ignore your kids and make them independent, but it benefits you a lot more if you don’t. Families have become a bigger part of the gameplay and I love that. I feel as if their connections are stronger as you are much more involved in their family life than before.
Doing chores, arguing with siblings or even farting all influence the lives of your kids. Toddlers, children and teens can gain (or lose) experience towards five new Character Values. You can the find five values in the Simology tab of your child. The way you treat your children influences their Manners, Emotional Control, Responsibility, Empathy and Conflict Resolution. Depending on how well you raise them, your kids will fill up the green or red bars with everything they do.
While it is a bit hard to figure out at first, raising your kids is a lot more fun now! Even their personality traits given to them when aging up influence their Character Values. A Neat sim gains a nice boost for their good Manners, while Outgoing Sims gain Empathy. Same goes for their flaws. If a sim is Mean or Lazy, it will reflect badly on their values.
Different personalities also react differently on parenting tactics. Kids that are naturally neat usually don’t mind doing chores as much, while their sloppy sibling or friend might hate it and simply refuses to obey. But don’t think kids that listened to their parents before, always will act like angels. Depending on their moods, children will try to push boundaries and might sometimes even ignore their parents’ requests.
It is important to work on the Character Values while you can. Character Values that are in the darker parts of the bar, either red or green, will lock in when teens age up into young adults. These values will then turn into new personality traits for your sim. They can give perks later in life, so I totally dig this new system!
Adults can level up the new Parenting skill to become better parents. This skill has 10 levels and is easiest to gain when you are actually parenting. You can research on the computer or read books, but that just doesn’t go as fast. Leveling the Parenting skill has been a nice experience for me. The perks that you can get at certain skill levels are well worth the effort.
One of the greatest things about the Parenting skill is that once you hit level 6, you can communicate with your baby about their needs. You will see a little thought cloud above the baby’s head, showing you what he/she needs. I really love this new ability as sometimes it can be a struggle to figure out what a baby needs the most.
The better your moms and dads get at parenting, the more options they will have to interact with their children. Where you can first only ask something calmly or strictly, you can later be more firm with your kids or just hug it out, you know, if you love to be the more relaxed, chill kind of parent. It also increases the success rate of the suggestions that you give your children. No more arguments with your teens! YAY!
Kids will have a lot of Teaching Moments in their lives. Once in a while your children will ask for your advice. At first your Sims are a bit awkward and don’t really know how to parent yet, they will only have one option on what to answer. With a higher Parenting skill, your Sims gain more options. Be aware, whatever you chose to answer will influence your kids’ Characters Value again. However, when the Parenting skill is maxed, your sim can predict the influence their advice will have on their kids, making it easier to pick whichever Character Value you want to gain!
Sims can pick a new aspiration too, called Super Parent. For the fourth milestone of this aspiration, your sim will need to go into Full Parent mode. When in the Full Parent mode, the needs of your sim decreases slower than usual. You will need the Parenting skill maxed out for this ability, which is convenient as that is one of the other milestone goals. The aspiration is reasonably easy to play through and the reward trait is really nice to unlock. Your sim will gain the Role Model trait, meaning they give their kids a boost for their Character Value experience, making it much easier to raise them.
The Sims 4: Parenthood must be one of my favorite game packs so far. I sometimes feel like The Sims 4 mainly focuses on young adults, so to get more interactions with the younger Sims has been delightful. The Character Value system is hard, but it makes it challenging and once you maxed out the Parenting skill it gets a lot more pleasant.
Playing around with all the new school projects is a lot of fun, as the whole family can participate (and they make great decorations too). Kids can be asked to make the table before a meal, which is super sweet to see. Grounding kids may sometimes be a necessity, but even that can be funny to do as your children sometimes react in the most hilarious ways. All in all, the family life comes together a lot nicer and I am very happy with the gameplay of the Parenthood game pack.