The Sims 4 Outdoor Retreat is the first game pack that is being offered to fans of the Sims 4 to purchase and adds a lot of outdoor themed content to the game. The concept around the Outdoor Retreat pack is basically a new location for you to visit and explore, which your Sims can choose to visit, when they wish to go out on a vacation.
The new location you get to explore is called Granite Falls and it consists of one area which contains 5 lots for Sims to live in and a park area to explore, or go hiking through. There is also a national park location which your Sim can visit which contains collectible items and there is a special zone you can get to from there, however you will need to find the secret entrance to get there.
When you choose to stay at Granite Falls you will need to choose which lot your vacation will be in. This depends how you will want to play the game. There are house/cabin options which have everything you need and there is also a campsite you can pick to stay at. They all have different prices and you’ll have to decide if you can afford it or not. As you can see in the slideshow above, the campground was $111 a day to stay at for my 4 Sims and you can choose to stay for a maximum of seven days. You can also choose to visit the other lots if there are people staying there, so you can technically visit everywhere while you are there but often times when I visited they were empty, so I had to come back another time.
Once you arrive at Granite Falls you will be in a park like, path filled, tree environment that is actually quite large and takes a Sim some time to get to the other side. It’s a similar size to other locations already available, but it felt large to me and kind of empty at times. Most of it is just filled with so many trees everywhere that I think it needs to have more Sims walking around or something. It just feels very isolated all the time at Granite Falls.
There are many activities you can do while you are in Granite Falls. Your Sims can have a go at a ring toss game and can either play by themselves or with other Sim friends. You can sit by a campfire and tell stories to your group of friends or roast marshmallows and other pieces of food on the fire to satisfy your Sims hunger while they are in the middle of nowhere.
There is also fishing and hiking. When you choose to go hiking your Sims will walk along the path that goes all the way around Granite Falls and you can follow them as they pass by all the interesting looking trees around the park. There is some water areas you can stop at to go fishing as well. I enjoy going fishing in this game so I spent a long time fishing and catching a lot of things. There are a few different spots you can try and a lot of fish you can catch as well.
When you are out and about there is a station near the centre of the map which will allow you to buy supplies. All these things that you purchase will be placed in your inventory and you can use them anywhere in Granite Falls. I found the tents to be the best as they provide a lot of freedom for you and your Sims to really just sleep anywhere they like. You just take the tent out of your inventory and place it on the ground and you can just go right to sleep. Other supplies include things like chairs, coolers and apples your Sim can munch on while they are on their retreat. I put all the items out all over the place and when you see them all set up, there’s a lot of items in this game pack that you do get.
When staying in Granite Falls there a few people who you can encounter during your stay. One of them is the ranger who will give your Sim tips about Granite falls and can become a friend of yours if you keep chatting to him. He’ll follow you around and come check on your Sim from time to time, he’s a bit dodgy though and during a casual discussion one of my Sims uncovered that he is evil! So I don’t trust this ranger at all. There’s a strange feeling in Granite falls that because it’s isolated that maybe a Sim could be murdered in there easily, it doesn’t happen in the game of course, but it would be cool if there was some event like this in the Sims. Maybe Sims players who love to do the storytelling might make one, it would be fun to watch a murder mystery story in Granite Falls.
There’s another guy you can meet in one of the secret areas and I was going to put a picture of him up, but then I thought it might be a spoiler so I left it out. But the ranger is not the only weirdo living in Granite Falls.
One of the cool things about this game pack that isn’t to do with the new location is the new clothing. There are a lot of new clothing items available for your Sims to wear if you have this pack. The best ones I think are the bear costumes. I’m not sure why but I just find them funny to look at. There are three of them. A brown bear, panda bear and a polar bear and when I use them for everything it just looks funny all the time seeing these bears do these things. I also like the roar option that you have when you are the bear. There’s just something about a bear doing all the things a Sim does that just looks funny to me. I’m starting to like this goofy kind of comedic tone that this game has and I hope it continues with future game packs.
Apart from the bear outfits there are ones for the Sims as well. There are new clothing items for both the males and the females and there are also a few hairstyles as well. A bit too many for me to showcase with pictures, but I thought it was a lot. When you get the game pack there will be a golden highlight which is there to show there are new items for you to look at. But there is also an option to just filter the game packs content and items so you only see the clothes from Outdoor Retreat. The new clothes are great for those who have been wanting new clothes and it’s a lot of clothes that match a Sim who is an outdoors type, so Sims with that personality can dress a lot more like it now.
My favourite thing to come out of this game pack isn’t actually Granite Falls itself, but the tents. I had a lot of fun with the tents when I got back to my neighbourhood. There is also a new set of room you can purchase for your house which has everything your Sim could need in it. So I established a type of squatters lot in my neighbourhood of bears that just camp. It looks really funny but I survived there for ages and I didn’t feel I really needed a house at all. Who would need one when you can just camp on your lot?
But after a while I realised something even better. You see if you get the tent from the Granite Falls station and put it in your inventory, your Sims don’t even need to live on their lot. You can just take your tents and just establish a home in someone elses lot. I went over to the Goth household with my bear family and just lived there. Once you befriend one of the Goths you can use their showers and everything they have and you won’t need to really pay any bills at all ever again. You can get your Sims to sleep outside the Goth family home and just never leave. I never did and this is where I ended up. All my bears are still there at the Goth family house!
Overall I enjoyed my time with The Sims 4 Outdoor Retreat game pack. As with most Sims stuff packs or expansions, it’s really what you plan to do with the items that will make it fun for you. I really enjoyed messing around with these tents and playing with the bear costumes. While the appeal of the tree filled Granite Falls was good at first it didn’t fully grab me as the best place to be, but others may love this outdoor world to play in, especially storytellers.
For a game pack of its price, it has a lot of content in there to play with. But I think it really comes down to your interests and if you like this theme or not, which will determine its value to you. As a game pack for the Sims series, if more themed game packs were to come along that were as full as this one is, I think if someone was to collect quite a few of these that their game would start becoming quite full. But in saying this, I have had this for a few days now and I feel like I have done everything I can think of, the longevity really comes out of how much you love the game and these new items. Overall I had a positive experience with The Sims 4 Outdoor Retreat game pack.