The Sims 4’s 10th expansion pack Snowy Escape launches on Nov. 13, promising to whisk players away on a mountain vacation for PC, Mac, PS4 and Xbox One. The new pack introduces Mount Komorebi, a Japanese-inspired destination world for the life simulation game. It arrives on the heels of September’s.
Snowy Escape lets you take your Sims on a wild winter adventure with skiing, rock climbing and snowboarding, or on a relaxing mountain retreat with Komorebi’s bathhouses, meditation centers and peaceful walks. Mount Komorebi is the first Sims 4 world where Sims can either visit on vacation or live permanently as residents.
CNET got an early look at the game with Graham Nardone, the new expansion pack’s producer from Maxis Studios at EA Games, who showed off the new pack’s features. We also got to play a bit of the game early.
A carefully constructed cultural world
Snowy Escape adds two new aspirations — Extreme Sports Enthusiast and Mount Komorebi Sightseer. Players can take advantage of over 130 new Create-a-Sim items when making their Sim, like L.L. Bean-style winter wear and traditional Japanese kimonos and geta (wooden footwear resembling flip flops).
Build Mode will also have new options for players to build themed creations in or out of the new world. These will include shoji doors, windows and screens, tatami mats, paper lanterns, koi fish for fountains, rock gardens and Japanese maple trees. Plus there’s a new building option to create split-level homes (hallelujah!). The new stackable platform feature opens up floor plan restrictions. Players will also notice homes in Mount Komorebi featuring the sunken genkan entryway, where Sims will remove their shoes.
While developing the concept of Snowy Escape, Nardone’s team worked with an EA internal group called Aspire (Asian and Pacific Islanders Represent) to have conversations about aspects of Japanese culture that would better represent Sims players and expand on gameplay.
“One of my favorite things we collaborated on was coming up with a modified version of simlish — the unique language inherent to The Sims — to create simlish characters that are evocative of kanji, hiragana and katakana,” Nardone said in an email. “It’ll stand out in-game to anyone familiar with those characters, but, like basic simlish, there are no direct written translations.”
Aspire was also part of the team that developed, which came out last year. Nardone said that diverse representation within the game is a prominent focus for its developers, and players can expect to see more of it going