The Sims 4: Dream Home Decorator, the newest DLC for The Sims 4, lets you channel your inner HGTV host, fixing up other sims¨ homes with lots of beautiful new furniture. This pack has a little something for every kind of Sims player. Whether you like to build or prefer to focus on gameplay, Dream Home Decorator offers a little of everything. I tend to spend most of my time building and creating elaborate backstories for sims I will never actually play, and this new DLC?lets me do exactly that.
The new career offers a hands-on experience, and it¨s incorporated into the gameplay really well. With most careers, you send your sim off for hours at a time to work at an undisclosed location. With the Interior Decorator and other active careers, you actually get to tag along with them at work and influence what they do. This feels necessary considering you¨ll be building and redecorating people¨s homes, but there is the option to send your sim alone if you¨re feeling burnt out and want them to deal with the clients for a change.
The work is pretty simple: you select a gig that you¨re interested in, head over there the next day, and talk to the clients about what they want before you start renovating. There are several different types of gigs you¨ll be given access to as you get promoted within your career, but you¨ll start out renovating single rooms. Some require specific room changes, while others let you choose which room to decorate. I realized how player-driven this career really is, and how much of your own creativity you can bring to the job. However, you still need to stay within the constraints that clients dictate or else they¨ll be very unhappy and your reputation will tank.
As an example, I renovated a room for the Pancakes family in one of my very first gigs. They didn¨t give me much to go on besides liking the color white, so I decided to use some of the newer furniture to modernize their home a bit. I could tell from how their home was decorated that they prefer a more antique style, but since they didn¨t tell me what decor they wanted, I chose to update it and go with what I liked. Unfortunately, Eliza was pretty furious that I ruined her perfect Queen Anne decor in favor of the more modern Scandinavian style of furniture from the new pack. I¨m pretty sure she even sent me some hate mail afterward. It¨s not my fault that I have good taste and she doesn¨t.
But that¨s one of the main lessons I learned while trying out this new career: you need to go above and beyond to figure out what it is these people actually want. They¨ll tell you that they love patio furniture when you¨re renovating their bedroom and that they enjoy snowboarding and playing the violin. Okay, I¨ll put a violin in your kitchen, but what do you want it to actually look like? This is where players can make use of new dialogue options to get to know what each household member¨s favorite decor styles and colors are. I started to enjoy the work a lot more once I started taking an initiative and finding out their preferences on my own. It was nice to be able to easily see the items they like from the career UI, but if they only told me about hobbies and styles they hated, I needed more to go off of.
Besides the ambiguity, I ran into quite a few bugs while trying my hand at interior decorating. Sometimes I would try to reveal the beautiful renovations I¨d completed, but the game would skip it and end the workday instead. The day would just abruptly conclude, and I couldn¨t participate in the fun reveal event with the requisite slideshow of before and after photos I¨d taken. It¨s not a huge deal, but I liked the anticipation of waiting for everyone¨s reactions after spending the day renovating their home. And since I was focused entirely on the career, it felt like the day was wasted.
While the interior decorating aspect is fun, I do wish there were some skills or projects I could work on outside of gigs. There are no interior design skills to improve when you¨re not at work, and it feels more like a job for the player than something that your sim does. Dream Home Decorator is more interactive for the player, but my sim isn¨t as involved or invested in the career. At the very least, this pack is great for teaching players how to build and decorate, something that can be really difficult to learn from scratch. It starts with one room, eventually allowing you to renovate entire levels or community lots, like bars, lounges, and gyms. I tend to focus on residential spaces, so I was able to finally branch out a bit. Dream Home Decorator does a great job of teaching players how to build while also letting players who know how to build actually play through the game in a fun, engaging way.
The pack also comes with some gorgeous new furniture, as well as some clothing items that are actually on-trend, unlike the monstrosities they released with Eco Lifestyle. The new items are all fun to build with, and it was hard for me to use any other items. The new pieces are all Scandinavian-inspired with lots of minimalism, muted colors, and amazing modular shelving that snaps together to create wonderful, functional storage spaces. There¨s furniture for walk-in closets, a stovetop that can be placed on counters, and lots of clutter items that make the space feel lived-in. I¨m really impressed with the new items, and I think they make the pack worth it regardless of my issues with the new career and all the bugs.
I really like the direction the developers took with The Sims 4: Dream Home Decorator, and it¨s got something for everyone to enjoy. It¨s lacking in a bit of the gameplay outside of the career, and it¨s still filled with bugs, but I love how interactive the Interior Decorator career is, and how gorgeous the new furniture and clothing are. It could do with a little more gameplay and content for the price, but I¨ve already gotten a lot of enjoyment out of it, and know I¨ll be using the new furniture in just about everything I build from now on.
This review is based on the PC version of the Dream Home Decorator DLC. A review code was provided to us by Electronic Arts.