The Sims 3 Barnacle Bay Review
Barnacle Bay is the fourth town available for The Sims 3 and its expansions. It's available at the Sims 3 store for 1,650 Sim points. For the mathematically challenged, that's about $16.50 in U.S. Dollars. Unfortunately, if you've never bought Sim Points before, you'll need to spend at least $20 to purchase a 2,000 point package to afford the new town. For the price, you'll get a new pirate town to play in along with 18 new items, all with an appropriate pirate theme.
Barnacle Bay -- The Town
While many of the landmarks in Barnacle Bay are labeled with pirate names, they don't have much of a pirate theme. The primary exception here is Hogan's Deep Sea Diner, which is actually a pirate ship Sims can dine inside ala rabbit hole. Sims who want to be talented in Cooking can also take up the culinary career track there.
Some have complained that the Sims around town don't dress like pirates. I suppose it's meant for your Sims to be the pirates, as you are given a few pieces of pirate garb to dress like a swashbuckler. The town functions largely like Sunset Valley, Twinbrook, and Riverview otherwise.
Exploring Barnacle Bay
Barnacle Bay is a good place for Simmers who enjoy exploration and beautiful scenery. There's no shortage of collectible items to be found here, however there's one annoyance for gardeners: an utter lack of special seeds. This downfall is offset by the availability of life fruit plants in a couple of residential lots in town. Sims looking for Death Flowers will be out of luck, as only Green Thumbs can get more than one.
The only seed spawners are located at Lookout Park and Pirate's Hideaway, but our forum members have yet to report a special seed being found.
Barnacle Bay looks to be a great spot for fishing. There are spots all around the island. It should be a fun challenge to hunt down all the rare fish. There are no reports of problems finding rare metals, insects, and the like, however, so the only real shortcoming as far as collecting goes in the town are the seeds. Players who don't mind cheating may use the buydebug cheat to place their own.
A small oversight from Electronic Arts when developing Barnacle Bay was their omission of the new venues that come with The Sims 3 Ambitions. There are several commercial lots where you can place them yourself, however. This will be a definite source of frustration for Ambitions owners who take issue with having to do something like this themselves. Editing the town one time in a game is not unreasonable, but it really should have been taken care of from the get-go. After all, Sunset Valley is updated with Ambitions' installation to take advantage of the new venues.
New Stuff Included with Barnacle Bay
You'll receive 18 items when you install Barnacle Bay. This includes 6 pieces of clothing, several bits of home decor such as a life preserver and pirate tavern sign, along with the pirate mailbox that's often seen around town. The pirate clothing and founding crew statue are by far the coolest additions in my opinion.
Is Barnacle Bay Worth It?
I took a stroll through The Sims 3 Store to have a look at prices for other objects, and found that the price of the town itself is not very high when compared to the price of buying clothing sets and other miscellanea. Still, there are two types of Sims 3 players: those who will and those who will never buy SimPoints. If you fall into the first category, you're already wondering if you should buy the new town. If you like Pirates, go for it. If you want another town to explore, you've got it. It's every bit as good as Sunset Valley in terms of gameplay value and may bring some new life to your game while you wait on the next expansion.
The shortcomings can all be corrected with a little edit town and buydebug. People who are making their first purchase of SimPoints for Barnacle Bay will have some left over, and may find some other nice things they like at the official store. It's very easy to navigate, and there are loads of ways to spend some of your hard earned cash there. In fact, I found a Bucaneer's Bounty item set that would complement Barnacle Bay quite well.
If you've got 1,650 SimPoints or are considering your first purchase, have a look at Barnacle Bay.