The Sims 3 Showtime Expansion Pack Review and Game Guides
A Summary of New Content and Gameplay Features in the Showtime EP
The Sims 3 Showtime is all about the quest for the spotlight in the new town Starlight Shores (think Hollywood). Players can take on one of three new performance careers that synzergize very well with Late Night's celebrity system. This guide to the new features of Showtime will show you what you get with this EP, while linking you to in-depth guides for more information. I'm not really covering the Katy Perry edition of Showtime. If you're into her, you'll get stage props from her California Dreams tour, and Katy Perry hair. It's pretty much for fans only. Others will question, "Why fruit?"
New Careers - Performers
Showtime gives three types of stage performers: Acrobats, Magicians, and Singers. These function similar to the self-employment professions from Ambitions, giving the player a weekly stipend along with flexibility in when they perform. All three must schedule gigs at several new venues that award money based on the performer's level and the size of venue.
Here's a brief summary of what you can expect from each performance career, with links to in-depth guides:
- Singer - Singers do sing-a-grams on days without gigs, and players can micro-manage the flow of their songs (verse, chorus) on stage.
- Magician - Perform tricks out on the street for tips, and put on great magic shows.
- Acrobat - Starting off as mimes and perform for tips, they learn to juggle and eventually perform daring fiery feats.
All three have the ability to earn side money and gain career ranks, but the ultimate goal is to take the stage. The Sims 3 Showtime lets you design your performer's stage and grow an inventory of stage props. These are saved in the Family Inventory, and can be bought at any time before a performance or to decorate your Sim's home. The variety of props is nice. There are statues, backdrops, lights, and even special effects that can be placed on the stage. The design of your stage does have an impact on the reviews of a Sim's performance. Simmers who would like to take this customization a step further and make their own venues for performances can find stages under the Sims 3 buydebug menu (see Cheating).
Showtime brings in four new types of Venues in which Sims can perform: coffeehouses, live show venues, private venues, and large venues. The largest, such as the Stadium and Theater in Starlight Shores, are rabbit holes at first glance but actually have stages and a nice dark "crowd" area when you schedule a gig with the proprietor (click summon propreitor on the building). The biggest park in town will also have a stage (you may need to add it with buydebug), which is the first place a Sim should perform to practice their stage presence.
New Social Features
The patch that came with Showtime introduced a nice in-game system through which to view badges and communicate with friends. You can share memories and pictures from your games, and post facebook-style to your wall to chat with your friends from thesims3.com. Along with this, comes a way to connect with your friends through gameplay...
Simport lets you send, request, and accept visits from performing Sims owned by your friends from the official site. Friends who work together will not only earn simoleons and career experience for Sims involved, they'll also unlock item sets that can only be obtained by participating in Simport. You must have two Sims in order to send one of your Sims away, but can host Sims either way. Sims are gone on a Simport tour for about twelve hours. To access the Simport menu, you click '...' in the bottom left corner to open the game menu. You'll find the option which lets you access the interface there. It's a little clunky that way.
New Occult Sim: The Genie
One of the new Lifetime Rewards in Showtime lets you purchase an Old Dusty Lamp for 30k Lifetime happiness. Cleaning this will summon a genie and reveal it to be a magic lamp. These lamps can also be found through the explore catacombs activity at the graveyard, and a level ten handiness upgrade that converts the new gyroscopic machine Sims can buy for fun into a dimensional gate that functions similarly. However you get it, you'll get three wishes with your magic lamp:
Genies can grant a variety of wishes, but if you befriend them, you can get a special opportunity to add them to your household after successfully picking the free genie wish. Genies can control other Sims and magically clean the house. They can also summon a perfect quality group meal of any food (no ambrosia as it does not have a group portion). Of course, Sims can make genie babies with the blue Sims having a 50% chance to pass their powers down to offspring.
New Hidden Skill Objects
There are several kinds of new ways for Sims to have fun, compete, and impress each other included in Showtime. You can at last build the perfect hangout with Pool Tables, the new DJ table and even a mechanical bull. You can also purchase a golf driving range for your lot, which lets Sims improve their drive and improve athletic skill. Also, Sims can raise their logic skill by playing Dominoes on the new domino table.
New Lifetime Rewards
Showtime brings a few performer-specific Lifetime Rewards, the standard fare that improves performance and helps your Sim to earn gobs more money at what they do. There is another pair for Simport, which affects Sims being hosted or going away on tour. Interesting for all households is the new Born to Cook Lifetime Reward that lets Sims make Perfect dishes much earlier into the cooking skill. There is the aforementioned lamp, and lastly the ExtraordinAIRe-inator that allows Sims to meditate to improve their mood.
New Traits and Lifetime WishesThe new Traits and Lifetime Wishes mostly relate to the new professions in the game. There is a LTW for making it to level 10 in each profession, along with Traits that help Sims to perform. The Diva and Social Butterfly traits can be taken at your discretion, but Natural Borm Performer is the perfect pick for any Sim that's going to perform on stage.
While there are also new clothing items, objects and hairstyles for Sims to use in Showtime, overall this Expansion feels like it offers the least new content of any EP in the Sims 3 era. Simmers who have and love Late Night will definitely find Showtime goes very well with that expansion. While some of us will get any scrap of Sims 3 content EA throws at us, if you are on the fence about owning this one you might want to shop elsewhere. If the new performance careers really appeal to you, pick this up. The stuff pack to come out after Showtime does not offer a Katy Perry edition, but will be entirely made up of KP stuff. The combination of the Katy Perry Showtime Edition and the Katy Perry Sweet Treats Stuff Pack will appeal to a specific niche of Simmers who like Katy Perry and pop while the rest of us groan and await content with more broad appeal.