- 168 lots (Res 104, Com 65, 9 completely empty)
- Unpopulated, but with a save file.
- For: WA/AMB/LN/GEN/PETS/SHT
Crystalline Cove is a lovely, bright, impressionistic world that mixes many features one might might not think would combine well - particular EA lots spanning a wide range of EP and SP, but also some very confident and bright textures. However, creator geminiagre combines all these features successfully, and with such simplicity and competence that her world has come out quite beautiful. As you wheel your camera around the the cove for the first time, you will find lots of interesting features - train tunnels, bright white beaches, and winding streams - and you will find angles where the world is just scenic, and crafted so well.
The cove is presumably the large beach, inset into the otherwise stony shores with white sand. The water is very, very blue, quite tropical considering the town itself looks to be temperate. Immediately behind the beach is the main town, which is really packed, bustling with Sims in the middle of the day - a very fun town to play in. An impressive green hill overlooks the bay, and behind the town a series of waterfalls swoop up into alpine forest. The stream that runs through the town and up into the hills has a lovely pebbly feel.
As mentioned in the introduction, geminiagre has taken some big risks with this world. The most obvious one being that she has used so many EA lots from many different EPs and SPs despite their extremely different design influences. The town is very eclectic, but somehow lots meant for swampy Twinbrook blend in well with geometric, buzy Town Life designs. The thing that surprises me most is that I didn't notice immediately that I was surrounded by EA lots, they blended together so well, and it was only as I played across a Sim week that I discovered them.
It really doesn't matter that there aren't a lot of original builds, the lots fit this world, tweaked and turned to suit it. edit: geminiagre has pointed out that there are a lot of original builds in the world, so I think this idea of heaps of EA lots might have more to do with the lots I was using all the time than the world.
The world incorporates several of the rarer rabbit holes available through the Sims 3 Store. These can be challenging for some players to access, but they are easily replaced. Twinbrook's big brick stadium makes a good replacement if you don't have the Dr Pepper stadium which was only available for a limited amount of time. The Sims in the save file that geminiagre provides are an absolute delight, too, with pretty unique faces and engaging backstories. The English in the description text for this work is a little stilted, but English is not geminiagre's mother tongue, and the charm of her stories still shines through.
I highly recommend checking out Crystalline Cove, it is a worthwhile addition to anyone's collection of worlds. I've played several Sim weeks in it without any bugs, and it's got a dazzling charm about it in some areas, as the upcoming screenshots should show. It's also a featured world on EA's exchange, with many recommendations from other players. A job well done, geminiagre.
Here are the screenshots:
- Terrain - 6/10
Although beautiful, the terrain sculpting shows inexperience around its edges, as in areas that look like they were experiments rather than deliberate. The terrain paints could use more blending in places, and some of the textures themselves are little strange. Don't let this deter you, though, the terrain as a whole still works very well.
- Lots - 7/10
Although mostly EA lots, geminiagre has blended them so well you hardly notice at first. Bringing all these lots together in one world successfully is a real feat.
- Sims - 10/10
Wonderful Sims in the save game geminiagre provides with vivid and interesting stories to them, as well as original appearances. Quirky, themed families like Geldings work very well.
- Playability - 10/10
No sign of routing issues. No issues at all over a couple of Sim weeks.
Flavour Texts - 5/10
The text in the world is good in spirit although geminiagre's abilities, English being her second language, are clearly stretched a bit. This would be 10/10 if geminiagre got someone to edit the texts and do some clean up for her, because what is there is delightful, it's just not very fluent all the time.