The Sims 3 Island Paradise Preview

We have been invited by EA Benelux to visit a presentation of The Sims 3 Island Paradise on 29 May.
We also got the chance to play The Sims 3 Island Paradise. You can read this preview to find out our thoughts.

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The new world: Isla Paradiso

Isla Paradiso is a new world included in The Sims 3 Island Paradise.The world consist of several large and small islands, some of them which still need to be discovered by your Sims because they are so far unknown (uncharted). The main island has colourful buildings and community lots. There are several diving spots where your Sims can dive and there are also 3 resorts available in Isla Paradiso: a beach resort, a modern resort and a Spanish styled resort. Besides that Isla Paradiso is just like a normal world where your Sims can permenantly live, unlike the World Adventures expansion pack where they could only go on a vacation.



Private lots

In The Sims 3 Island Paradise you can own multiple private lots where your Sims can live. Private lots can be normal houses, houseboats, resorts and lots on a (uncharted) island. For example, suppose your Sims live in a normal house. Next they can buy a houseboat or a resort via the telephone. They then become owner of the lot and that lot becomes their private lot. If a Sim discovers an uncharted island, it also will become a private lot. Private lots where Sims can live are indicated with a new purple icon. Your Sims can live on one lot at the same time (their main residence), but they can always swap between private lots.

Take for example your Sims move to their houseboat, their normal house will change from ‘main residence’ to ‘private lot’. The houseboat will then become their main residence until they decide to move somewhere else. Your Sims will retain ownership of all private lots.



Houseboats are new in The Sims 3 Island Paradise. A houseboat can be seen as a complete house on a floating platform which you can use to travel around the world. There are several platforms to build a house on:
Barge, Small – 10×8
Barge, Medium – 15×10
Barge, Large – 20×15
Barge, Narrow – 14×6
Curved Bow, Narrow – 14×6
Curved Bow, Wide – 12×8

The building options for houseboats are the same as for normal houses. The only difference is that you can place walls up to the edge on houseboats. You can place walls, objects, normal roofs and even basements (which you are not able to look outside from) on your houseboat. You’re also able to place swimming pools on the first floor or higher on your houseboat. It’s not possible to build a swimming pool in the basement or on the deck (ground floor). Sadly it’s not possible to place pre-exisiting houses on a platform to make it into a houseboat. This is because houseboats are a new type of lot. However, you can place a houseboat on a matching empty houseboat lot. There are five pre-made houseboats available in the library in the game (lot bin) and a few more to find in Isla Paradiso. With Edit Town you can place houseboats at a port.

Houseboats work in any world where a port for houseboats is constructed. You can also play in worlds other than Isla Paradiso with houseboats if you place a port in that world. These ports can be found on community lots so you are completely free to dock with your houseboat. You can determine which direction you sail yourself and you can also travel from port to port. All services (such as the postman and repairman) will sail to your houseboat if you are not in a harbor. This is only a bit more time consuming if you are far away from the coast. The life of your Sims on the houseboat is the same as they would still live in their normal house. For example, children still go to school. If they are on the open water, they will take the (free) water taxi to the mainland and from there on travel by bus. Babies and pets are also allowed on houseboats. You just have to imagine your houseboat as a mobile version of your normal house.
Some Sims will become seasick if they are on a houseboat for too long. If your Sim is seasick, they will only start to feel better if they get to dry land or a docked houseboat. Vomiting will also do the trick. On a houseboat lot you can not only place houses to live in. You can also create a community lot or even a resort. In Isla Paradiso there is already a restaurant available on a houseboat lot. According to SimGuruGraham you can let these community lots sail if you own them. If your Sim doesn’t own one you can always consider moving the houseboat to another port by using the testingcheatsenabled true cheat.
To save space you can now also place ladders. Adult Sims will carry toddlers with one arm as they climb the ladder. You can even fish on your houseboat if there is enough space on the deck (there must be a clearance of at least three tiles lond and two tiles wide to fish).



In The Sims 3 Island Paradise your Sims can stay in luxury resorts or try to run their own. Infants, toddlers, children and pets are allowed at resorts. If you Sims check-in at a resort, they have the option to stay there for 1 to 4 days. If they want to stay longer, they can prolong their stay by checking in again. You can let one or more Sims from your household check in. If not enough VIP rooms are available at the resort, the remaining family members will stay in the rabbit hole. During your stay you will see other guests in the resort. It should also be noted that resorts only work in normal worlds. You won’t be able to find any in travel destinations from the World Adventures expansion pack or the university area from University Life.

There are three resorts present in Isla Paradiso: a beachfront resort, a modern resort and a Spanish styled resort. If your Sims buy a resort, it will automatically become a private lot. You can also convert your Sims’ private lots into a resort. Your Sims can stay in their own resort for free, but they can also live in their normal house. You can even run multiple resorts simultaneously. Furthermore, you have all the freedom to organize your resort the way you want. Prefer a small and quiet hotel? No problem. If you’d rather own a large five star hotel or everything in between, you can build it.
If you want to run a resort you can do so in two ways. You can buy a pre-made resort that is already present in the world but you can also build your resort from scratch. To help you with that there are new blueprints with resort designs. This allows you can place complete rooms with just a few clicks. Then you can adjust some details and you’re done! There is also a new category for resorts in buy mode. There you can find items which will make your guests happy. If you use this in combination with your guests’ reviews, you can quite easily build a good resort.
There are new resort-specific blueprints to choose from:
– Lobbies
– Guest Rooms
– Gyms
– Resort Dining
– Bars and Lounges
– Pool Area
– Outdoor Party Area
– Ballroom and Wedding Chapel
– Art Gallery

Required objects for resorts are: the frontdesk and at least one resort tower. The resort tower is a so called rabbit hole. You won’t be able to look inside the resort tower. Your guests can however fulfill all their needs here (if no other VIP rooms are available) as well as the staff that resides there. You can upgrade this building for a fee. There are three different levels. A building with the highest level is not only larger, Sims can also get different treatments here which you can also get in the spa, such as a massage.
Each tower style will have 3-preset colors. Unfortunately you will not be able to use create-a-style on them. Here are the footprint sizes for the resort towers:
Small Beach Tower = 4×8
Beach Tower = 13×8
Spanish Style = 9×29
Modern Style = 16×22

Keep in mind that you need some spare space for proper routing. For example, the small beach tower needs at least 4×11 square build/buy room.

However, it does not stop at the building and furnishing of the resort. As the owner of a resort you will have to organize everything that is involved. This means you’ll have to take care of finances, hire staff if needed and keep your guests satisfied. In buy mode a new category has been added where you can find items that contribute to the quality of your resort. At the front desk you can see what guests think of your resort under “Resort reviews panel”. Here you can find reviews and you can see what guest (dis)like about your resort. Swimming pools, a bar and/or a resort buffet table will contribute to a positive experience for your guests. Junk and broken objects will contribute to negative reactions from your guests. If your resorts is poorly taken care of, you can even get cockroaches!
You can also hire staff to work in your resort. You can hire up to three employees of low, medium or high quality. Staff of low quality will be more careless while high quality staff will deliver an excellent job. This however means high quality staff comes at a higher price compared to low quality staff. You’ll have to find a balance between cost and quality. Furthermore you can set up a lot of things at your resort. You can determine which work outfit your staff wears, sey up day and night shifts for staff and determine what they do, choose which special drinks will be served at the bar, add extra chlorine to the pool, and so much more.
The Resort Buffet Table is one fo the new items exclusive to a resort. Here you can set different meals for you guests. You can also place a bar or a cooler to provide your guests with snacks. For more information on the resorts you can visit our Sims 3 Island Paradise lessons page.


Scuba diving skill

Scuba diving is a new skill in The Sims 3 Island Paradise. By starting with snorkeling they can improve their scuba diving skills. They can snorkel both in the pool and in the sea. Sims with enough knowledge of the scuba diving skill can explore the wondrous underwaterworld at indicated diving areas. Each diving area requires a certain diving skill level. Hazardous locations require skilled divers. For the most difficult location your Sim needs at least 7 skill points for the scuba diving skill. Diving areas can be found on the map. Wherever you find a red buoy on the water, there is a diving area. Diving areas can aonly be found in the Isla Paradiso world. Unfortunately it’s not possible to add diving areas in other worlds.
You will also see other Sims who live in Isla Paradiso at diving areas. While diving your Sims can encounter kelp, coral and various fish including sharks. The small fish that you normally can catch while fishing also swim around underwater. While diving you can try to catch one with your hands. Caught fish will be added to your inventory. Sharks can attack your Sims, so you better be careful! Furthermore your Sims can discover treasuries and underwater caves while diving. The underwater cave is one of the new places in Island Paradise where your Sims can do Woohoo! Maybe they might even discover a hidden island during their diving trip! There are several underwater caves and not all underwater caves are entirely without risk. Your Sims could encounter the great sea monster (the “Kraken”) at certain underwater caves. This large squid can even attack covered speedboats. They won’t forget an encounter with the Kraken that easily!
Before you go diving it is wise to delete any flesh out of you Sims’ inventory. Sharks are attracted by the fresh meat your Sims carries with them. The chance your Sims will be attacked by a shark is therefore much greater if he or she has meat in it.



Uncharted (hidden) Islands

While traveling around various islands, you’ll come across treasures and bottles with pieces of a map. If your Sim finds four pieces, check their personal inventory, click on the map fragments, and reconstruct it! Not all uncharted islands can be found with a map, but if there is one, a completed map will show your Sim the way!
Uncharted Islands are discovered in a variety of ways! Play with resorts, scuba dive, and get involved as a local lifeguard for a chance to unlock these secret hideaways. Who knows, the locals (and maybe even a mermaid?) may also help you out. If you discover an uncharted island the fog surrounding the island will slowly fade away, resulting in the uncharted island becoming your private lot. You can build a house or even transform the island into a resort. There may also be hidden treasures on newly discovered islands, so keep your eyes peeled!



Sailing and other activities on the water

There are many new activities for your Sims to do on and around the water. They can go sailing, boating or windsurfing. Below you can find a list of new objects to use on the water:

  • Sailboat
  • Rowboat
  • Speedboat
  • Aqua-Sled
  • Windsurfing Board
  • Paddleboat
  • Waterskiing

There are two types of speed boats, one with and one without a roof. There is also a special windsurfboard for kids. Children can also ride jet ski’s and participate in some other water activities. Boats can only be placed at a mooring post, mooring cleat or on a boattrailer. As with cars, boats (and windsurfingboards and other things) will go in the inventory of your Sim if you’re not using them. You will also see other Sims surfing or sailing around in the world.



New interactions and objects in the buy and build mode

There are many new items added in the buy and build mode. There are 12 new plants outside, some new rocks and two new terrain paints. There is also a built-in bar at the pool. This pool has stools at the edge of the pool so your Sims can easily go to the bar for a drink to enjoy their drinks while they are still in the pool. There is also a new water slide for the pool and beach towels are added so your Sims can enjoy the nice weather at the beach or by the pool. On the beach, your Sims can now build sandcastles and play in the shallow water. Sims can for example splash each other wet and parents can gently play with their toddlers on the waterfront. Your Sims can build different sandcastles. This is some kind of hidden skill such as making snowmen in The Sims 3 Seasons. After a while your Sim will be able to build new sandcastles. After a while our Sim could build 4 different sandcastles: Best Buddies, Outpost, Starfish and Freezer Sand Bunny. Sims can now also relax on the beach on the new beach towels. They can sunbathe, read a book, listen to some music or unfold the parasol. Other Sims out of the world will also make use of the beach and play in the water or relax on a beach towel.

Furthermore there are several fun new items. How about hot coals which your Sims can walk over (or run if it gets too hot for them!). There are three different temperatures you can set the hot coals: cool, hot and scorching. If your Sim manages to complete the fire walk he or she gets temporarily positive state of mind. If not they will just have aching feet for a while. There is a new underwater camera that your Sims can use to make photo’s while they dive. As with the other cameras you can aim the camera when taking underwater photos. In buydebug we also found a tree planter. Unfortunately you can not use it to plant trees and is therefore intended as decoration.
To save space on houseboats many new compact objects have been added. For example you can now place the all in one bathroom with a toilet and shower in a small space that only needs one tile. You don’t need to place the all in one bathroom against a wall and it’s also a kind of cabin so your Sims don’t need any privacy when using it. The all in one bathroom is also a new place where your Sims can Woohoo! There are now also ladders added to the game. Ladders work as normal stairs, but take up less space. You can place ladders anywhere: indoors, outdoors or even in a basement. Sims can also carry their babies and toddlers as they use a ladder. Sims can now also greet each other with the island greeting “Shaka Bra!”.


The new creature: Mermaid

Mermaids are the new special creature in The Sims 3 Island Paradise. Unfortunately you can’t create mermaids in CAS, but your Sims can still turn into a mermaid. There are both female and male mermaids. Female mermaids will wear seashell bras in the water. Mermaids are like other Sims fully playable if they are in your household. They can also have babies that automatically become mermaids when they grow up. If mermaids are in the sea or in a pool, they have a tail, but out of the water they have legs (with scales). In the bathtub or whirlpool they will have legs. The legs of a mermaid have scales that can have multiple colors like purple, green, yellow and blue. You can customize the mermaid’s scales/tail color.

The needs of a mermaid are blue instead of green. They can eat normal meals, but they prefer to eat fish or kelp. Kelp is also available at the grocery store now. Furthermore they are not affected by the need for hygiene, but instead, the need for hydration. The skin of a mermaid dries out quickly and must be constantly hydrated so that their skin remains soft and flexible. By taking a bath or shower or take a swim in the sea or in the pool they can maintain their needs. If your Sim changes into a mermaid they will automatically master the scuba diving skill (all skill points for scuba diving). They are also fond of scuba diving. Keep in mind that mermaids have to be in contact with salty water regularly. These particular beings are indeed originally from the sea. And if they don’t swim for too long in salt water then a salt deficiency may occur and they eventually lose their scales and tail turning them back into a normal Sim.
An advantage of being a mermaid is that the large sea monster (the “Kraken” or large squid) will not attack your Sim. Also sharks will leave you mermaids alone. They can swim faster and better than normal Sims. There are also a number of new interactions with other Sims. For example, they can discuss kelp recipes with other Sims or talk about dolphins, sharks, fish and shells. Also, they are enthusiastic about scuba diving or talking about their scales.


New career (profession) as lifeguard

In The Sims 3 Island Paradise, your Sims can become a lifeguard. This profession is similar to the professions in The Sims 3 Ambitions. On the map you can see where there are jobs. This will be a beach where the lifeguard keeps an eye on other Sims and if necessary rescues them. You can let your Sim walk or run along the waterfront but you can also station him at the guard post to oversee the entire beach.

If a Sim is in distress, a large flashing cross over their heads appears as a sign that they are in danger. Some Sims only pretend to be in danger, hoping to attract attention of the lifeguard. Usually it will be fairly quiet on the beach so your Sim can do other things. Be careful though, because before you know it a Sim is in need of help while your Sim is relaxing in the sun… If a Sim is in distress, you can pick them out of the water and perform first aid. The rescued Sim will be very grateful to the lifeguard. Sometimes maybe a bit too much like this Sim who immediately said the lifeguard was handsome and started to flirt with him after he saved her. Unfortunately for her, our Sim was married. Perhaps a profession as lifeguard is better suited for unmarried Sims.
There are no new careers, but your Sims can of course maintain their own resort and in addition they can also register as independent when they master the scuba diving skill. They can also search for diving jobs to earn extra money.



Lots that are partially placed over the water

In The Sims 3 Island Paradise there is a new foundation added so you can build over water. You can also place lots basically everywhere in the World Editor via Edit Town, so you can place lots partially over water now. In Edit Town there are also a few new trees and rocks that you can view below in the thumbnails.



New traits, lifetime wishes and lifetime rewards
New traits

Sailors love the open sea and would much rather be on a boat than on land. Their aquatic experience means they are better at catching fish and are less likely to get seasick.
– Your Sim loves being on boats. Cruising around the ocean gives them a mood boost!
– Your Sim has better luck fishing from a boat!
– Your Sim’s stomach doesn’t have much of a problem with the rocking of a boat!

Loves To Swim
These Sims are like fish in the sea and gain a special joy being in the water.
– Your Sim loves to swim. Being in the water gives them a mood boost!
– Your Sim builds Scuba Diving Skill at a faster rate!
– Your Sim can swim for a longer period of time before getting tired!

New lifetime wishes

Deep Sea Diver
The bottom of the ocean hides treasures and creatures never seen by land dwelling Sims. Only the bravest and foolhardy divers can survive the deadly deep searching for underwater riches. Be sure to bring your oxygen tank!
– Master the Diving Skill
– Collect 40.000 Simoleons in Resort Profit

Grand Explorer
There are mysterious lands yet to be charted by any Sim. To find them, your Sim must set sail, brave the high seas, and dive the deepest oceans. Search high and low for these uncharted islands and claim them as your own!
– Own all Uncharted Islands

Seaside Savior
Anyone can be a lifeguard, but a Sim that rescues drowning Sims is a true hero! Be a hero in your town.
– Rescue 50 Sims as a Lifeguard

Resort Empire
To become a true hotel mogul, your Sim will need to manage employees, maintain a profit, and always satisfy patrons. Once your Sim has created the perfect resort empire, travelers from all around will flock for a chance to stay at your luxurious getaway.
– Own a Five Star Resort
– Collect 40.000 Simoleons in Resort Profit

New lifetime rewards

Strong Stomach (2.000 Lifetime Happiness points)
Nausea and seasickness are things of the past!

Lungs of Steel (15.000 Lifetime Happiness points)
Go Scuba Diving without the fear of running out of air.

Hotel mogul (15.000 Lifetime Happiness points)
Learn to squeeze every ounce of profitability out of your resorts. Hotel Moguls receive a bonus on all resort income.

Mermadic Kelp (25.000 Lifetime Happiness points)
Gives you a bite-sized bit of Mermadic Kelp strong enough to bring out the fish in any sim.

Uncharted Island Map (25.000 Lifetime Happiness points)
If there is a uncharted island to be found, this map will surely reveal it.

Friend of the Kraken (30.000 Lifetime Happiness points)
The fearsome Kraken bows to your will! Boats that you are on will never be targeted by the Kraken. You can also order the Kraken to wreak havoc on any boat that you wish.



There are some new fish that you can catch in Island Paradise:
Sea Urchin
Hermit Crab
Sea Polyp

Now your Sims can collect shells. You can keep track of the shells you’ve found in the Collection Journal.

New shells
Shark Tooth
Nautilus Shell
Abalone Shell
Conch Shell
Cowry Shell
Scallop Shell
Ancient Fish Fossil
Clam Shell

There are some new spawners in buydebug:
Seashell and Bottle Underwater Spawner
Seashell and Bottle Land Spawner
Non-collectable Sea Life Spawner
Sealife Spawner
Bottle Spawner
Surface Shark Spawner
Underwater Shark Spawner
Mosquito Spawner

You can buy Mosquito Repellent for your Sims at the grocery store.
With the new surface shark spawner, you can see sharks swimming on the surface.


New music

There are two new radio stations in The Sims 3 Island Paradise: Beach Party and Island Life. The trailersong Uppsie Bray by The CayMan is a part of the new Beach Party radio station.



New cheat

discoverAllUnchartedIslands – Grants current active household all undiscovered Islands.


Create a Sim (CAS)
Hair for women


Hair for men


Hair for girls (children)


Clothing for women


Clothing for men


Clothing for boys (children)


Clothing for girls (children)


Clothing for toddlers