on 18 May 2011
A fantastic guide that details all of the new features in the expansion pack. The first chapter (which is quite lengthy) goes over the basics of the sims 3, which will be very familiar to those owning the prima sims 3 guide. The guide to each individual country is good and the individual tomb solutions are shown in depth. The guide is a fantastic help for searching for collectibles. I would recommend this guide for people who enjoy doing the challenges that come with this expansion pack, if you just use the expansion to have a look around the new neighbourhoods however, it might be worth just giving this one a miss. However, the book is well presented and apart from the odd spelling and grammar mistake, it is very good.
I was not impressed with the Sims 3 manual, as you'll see from my review of that book. Some of those criticisms still remain in this manual. However, the information contained herein is more important to make your experience with this expansion pack a success.
The manual is divided into 11 sections, but for simplicity sake I will divide into four:
1. a re-cap of the Sims 3 manual,
2. an overview of the new adventures which awaits your Sims, with all that that entails,
3. details of each of the three new lands, including maps, and
4. the usual catalogues of items and interactions.
The first section, a recap of the Sims 3 manual, is some 60 pages long. It could fairly be described as a replacement for the Sims 3 manual itself, although obviously several of the sections are curtailed, and some non-essential sections are excluded altogether. It still suffers from the same problem as the previous manual, in that it reproduces tables from the previous manual which seemed to have been updated late on in the manual's production.
For example, the moodlets table is mostly in ascending order of value, apart from those which seem to have been altered late on. This results in an oddity of seeing a run of moodlets with a value of 15 mixed with one or two that have a value of 10 or 30. Also, the same mistake on page 63 of saying that there are seven commodities, and then listing the eight commodities, remains.
A case can still be made for purchasing the original manual, as there is some curtailment and deletion of some sections, such as the "a Day in the life" section of the original manual, which was quite interesting. (However, despite its deletion, references still made to this deleted section on page 17.) Overall, if you don't have the previous manual, this one will probably suffice.
Thankfully, I can be much more positive about the remaining three sections. Whilst there is still a lack of detail that was previously in the Sims 2 manuals, especially with regard to your Sims' needs (e.g. in the Sims 2 manual it may have said "can learn charisma at 30% faster rate"; here it is "can read faster"), the detail here is more sufficient for its purpose -- that of helping you enjoy your holiday.
Additionally, there is more than sufficient detail for the new photography skill, the tombs (maybe essential information), and gems and meteorites. There are also detailed maps for the new lands in the style of a Tomb Raider manual. For me, reading this section in depth would reduce the fun of playing the game; for others, this would definitely help in getting every last bit of exploration possible.
Overall, this is a much more essential manual than the first Sims 3 manual, and is a must buy if you want to get the most out of this expansion pack.