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Appaloosa Plains

AppaloosaOverview

An overview of Appaloosa Plains by EA.

Specs

  • c.80mb
  • 69 lots (Res 42, Com 27, 5 completely empty)
  • Pre-populated with 82 Sims (not counting service/homeless).
  • For: The Sims 3 Pets
  • Price: The Sims 3 Pets expansion pack

Overview

Appaloosa Plains is one of the most perfectly designed worlds for The Sims 3 to date. It has a specific theme - rural ranches - and it sticks to it. It has a simple charm, with an excellent economy of objects and colours. There are no excesses in Appaloosa's design, but you most likely won't feel it lacks anything either.

Appaloosa Plains sits upon the hills and sprawls out across the lower flood plains. It is girt by flat, rocky outcrops that look appropriately eroded, with their pastel orange rocks bearing lime green grasses and mosses. All rabbit holes in Appaloosa are original, all of them perfectly detailed and versatile enough to fit into other towns - Appaloosa would be worth owning for this wealth of new CAW potential alone, but it also adds a host of new CAW objects, most of which are immediately available in the world-building tool's metadata pane.

Standouts among the new world objects include a giant "spooky" dead tree, and also an old mill and tourist trap, either of which would fill an empty space one might have with a convincingly disused building. These are beautiful, detailed objects. Also welcome are more vehicle wrecks - a rusted out truck and tractor - hollow logs, and a giant dinosaur statue. For those who are pedantic about realistic roading, there now exists every kind of animal crossing sign under the sun - including t-rex and bigfoot crossings.

All this extra sand in our sandbox is marred by a few high-profile exclusions. The aforementioned giant spooky tree will need to be modded to show up in CAW, as it's not automatically enabled. Worse still, (actually it is there, I was misinformed). Every single one of the new minor pet spawners is missing from the metadata panel. We can hope this is resolved quickly, but with EA's slow and often lacklustre patching efforts, nobody should be holding their breath.

The differences in climate from the base game standard feel pretty minimal, this isn't a world with a drastically different climate to Sunset Valley, the way Twinbrook and Bridgeport were, but it works as a perpetually sunny, slightly autumnal place.

There are, as we've come to expect from EA, some major construction flaws: Two very glaring holes in the non-routing paint, and one intersection not connected to its road. Aside from that, the routing data looks a bit suspect in places, although perhaps that was all broken in the process of getting the world file to open in CAW, it's hard to say. From a technical perspective, it's not a 10/10.

In the end, this world is superb to look at, and plays very well - although if anyone experiences mystery lag then the routing issues are liable to be the culprits, at least sometimes. Appaloosa Plains is a world well-worth having, with plenty to broaden the scope of Create-a-World projects, and lots of artistic details that will inspire world-builders to try that much harder. Its flaws are eclipsed truly by its beauty, so forget the horrible worlds we've seen from The Sims 3 Store recently , and pick up The Sims 3 Pets to see how a real world is done!

Here are the screenshots:

Features Showcase

Ratings

Terrain - 10/10

A beautiful palette with excellent sculpting, this is one of the EA's finest jobs. Lovely details, like snake dens, dinosaur fossils, and creepy eyes in hollow trees add just enough charm to the landscape.

Lots - 10/10

The lots are simple and all built well, and they are worked into the world seamlessly. Some of EA's best building and decorating to date. The all new rabbitholes are very welcome, and work into the town perfectly as well.

Sims - 8/10

The Sims are made well, although they are a tad pudding-faced sometimes. They're buoyed massively by good writing in their flavour texts. You could not ask for too much more in an EA world. Well done.

Playability - 5/10

The world is definitely playable, but there are only 3 cribs in the whole town, and with far fewer lots than the average EA world, it won't be surprising if some players feel pressed for room. There are routing issues, as well. There ARE skill bookshelves in the library.

Flavour Texts - 10/10

These are all very good, without typos, and the offer compelling characters for human and animal sims alike. The lots also have charming descriptions.

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