Tiny Living Sims 4 Stuff Pack Review–Build/Buy and Game Play

Tiny Living is a stuff pack for The Sims 4 available for purchase on January 21, 2020 for PC and Mac and February 4, 2020 for consoles. I was provided with media pre-release access to the pack as part of the EA Game Changers program. Thanks, EA, for making this content possible.

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One of the changes I really love that came about in preparation for this pack was actually added to the base game and is available to everyone–now decor items with books have the functionality of bookcases. This isn’t just great for tiny builds, it’s also easy on the budget.

The Build/Buy Items:

Style-wise, the items in the pack are boxy, evoke enamel and/or melamine finishes, and can blend with Swedish style furnishings (IKEA’s plywood and veneer construction) and mid-century modern and seem to complement the styles from the Bowling Night stuff pack, Get Famous expansion pack, and Discover University with a more modern style. The Gurus called it hygge (pronounced like “hoogah”) style–and explained it is a Danish word which can mean cozy and warm.

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The shapes of the upholstered chair and love seat are curvaceous with angled, peg legs most evocative of the Bowling Night soft furnishings. The case furnishings are square with a plywood look and can have veneer/wood or enamel/melamine inserts, like Get Famous, Bowling Night, and Discover University. The textures of the items match the detail we’ve been seeing in the more recent packs with good details.

For build/buy, there are 34 items including two types of Murphy beds (one with a love seat, one without), a single bed, a bathroom sink and toilet, a picture with various images depending on the swatch, a stool, a dining chair, a living room chair, a love seat, three side tables (including the knit ottoman which only acts as a surface, not a chair), a coffee table, a desk, a counter-height glass table, a rug with a diamond pattern, a table lamp, a floor lamp, a ceiling lamp with three different lengths, three wall decor items (kitchen shelves, bathroom shelves, and plants for the wall), a tray with lit candles, a table top decor of books which also functions as a bookshelf, a bookcase which can snap to the sides of the Murphy beds to create a wider object, and two dressers.

Most of the items have a white and black swatch, including the wood color, making it easy to blend with other pack items, add to any color room, or create a white or black space. There are three natural wood tones: a light yellowish natural color like maple, an orange color like a natural cherry, and a dark brown which is an accent color to the light wood (none of the pieces are only dark brown).

If you are into exactly matching wood tones, I will warn you the wood matches very little from the base game. Personally, I like to coordinate tones more than match. Here’s the info for how they might match. The orange wood tone most closely matches the Mega mission-style objects. The dark wood is also close to a swatch available for the Mega mission-style furniture and French country furniture. The light wood tone works with the Anglette desk and coordinating bookshelf and Moon-Gazing chair and Shadow of the Moon table added in an update.

The orange wood tone matches some of the swatches from the following packs: My First Pet Stuff, Parenthood, Bowling Night, Get Famous, Spa Day, Get Together, and Seasons. The other packs with similar light wood tones include Get Famous, Realm of Magic, Bowling Night, My First Pet Stuff, Spa Day, Vampires, Parenthood, Island Living. None of the wood tones match the modern furniture from Discover University though the light wood tone matches a swatch available on the more traditionally styled furniture.

Along with wood tones, the items include multiple color swatches. The color combinations include: cyan and yellow, yellow and dark, greenish blue (not the navy blue used in base game or other packs*), cyan and orange, orange and purple (a dusty hue of purple which matches the purple used in Seasons), a warm red, think brick, and grey, orange and green. It’s a pleasure to see limited wood tones because it’s easier to use the swatches with each other and all of the items have swatches for the various colors. *Correction: A deep teal color is also used in City Living and Vintage Glamour–1/20/2020.

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The Game Play:

The Tiny Living pack comes with a game play mechanic that provides benefits for living in a tiny home which is triggered when you choose to change your lot type to a tiny home. Once you have selected the Tiny Home lot type, you can select the blocks icon next to the home icon to get more information about the build. There are three tiers of benefits depending on the house size from 100 to 64 to 32 tiles. The tiles are counted by whether they are a floor (basically, if they have, or would have if they were on the ground level, a foundation). Look under the tool bar to see how many tiles have been used (circled in red below).

Benefits:

The most benefit is at Tier 3, only 32 tiles. Bills are less, skills increase twice as fast, relationships increase faster, gardening is accelerated, items are more comfortable, and positive emotions last longer.

Here are some examples of a 32 tile lay out (more information in the captions, seen by hovering over the pictures):

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32 tile house for Tier 3 home in Tiny Living. A typical layout with all of the living space enclosed in rooms.

Space Saving Furniture:

TV/Radio/Bookshelf:

I was in love with the all-in-one wall unit bookcase-radio-TV and how little space it took up even though it cost 2,260 simoleons–until I realized the cost was far more than the items purchased separately and the fun was a one. Watching TV (the cheapest of which has a fun of four) became just as inefficient at raising the fun bar as listening to a cheap radio. If you want to use the TV to raise fun, you are better off, and will spend less, buying all of the items separately. You can purchase a radio and a bookshelf that use wall space so the only surface area needed is for the TV and it will have a fun of 5 for the TV and only cost 875 simoleons, saving 1,385. Of course, it won’t look as sleek.

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If you can find more surface area, you will save 1,775 simoleons by purchasing the cheapest of each type available in base game for only 485 simoleons and do better for fun while watching TV, a four instead of a one. Remember, book decor items now work as book shelves.

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The Murphy Bed:

The Murphy bed is an interesting addition to the game regularly requested by some Simmers. You still need to have just as much floor space available as for a regular bed, including all of the space to walk around it (if you want to access both sides). It costs 2,100 simoleons. The original bed has an energy of one and breaks every time my Sim sleeps in it. With a single bed with an energy of 4 in the same lot, I had to force my Sim to use the Murphy bed since Sims will automatically sleep in the better bed.

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With the included love seat and added game play around the Murphy bed, even though the energy is low, it offers something the other beds at the same price cannot: injury and death! I think this is a fairly reliable way to get your Sim killed in the game–which I expect will be a welcome and entertaining way to off your Sims and add some randomness, meaningful consequences, and finality for some players. For those who are worried their Sims are going to be killed, I had to play test for quite a while to kill Bella Goth and Mortimer Goth for this article; however, the chance of death is present, though very rare, even for unbroken Murphy beds.

When the bed breaks, it can pound your Sim to the floor when trying to lower it, or swallow them up by folding up with the Sim still in it if the Sim is sleeping. Once that happens, your Sim will be scarred for a while!

New Death:

Trying to lower the Murphy bed while it is broken makes the chance to meet a violent end more likely though even when it is fixed there is a small chance for death.

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Ghosts from the Murphy bed death have a new power: possess for energy. This is a necessary power for the ghosts since they are so traumatized by their violent death by bed that they develop a phobia to sleeping in any bed.

 

Upgrading Beds:

Once my Sim reached a handiness of eight, which didn’t take too long with the 2x skill bonus and the number of times I had to repair the Murphy bed, I was able to perform an upgrade to increase the energy gained while sleeping and it was much quicker. Upgrading beds is now available for all beds in the game except for toddler beds. You can also upgrade the Murphy bed to reduce how frequently it breaks.

bed upgrade menu

Tiny Living Benefits:

The benefits to keeping the home at the Tier 3 level are strong. The increase in skill gain and relationship gain is very noticeable. 32 tiles is larger than the 25 squares allowed for the Tiny Living Challenge. Fitting in items for more than two Sims is difficult. I took most of the these game play images in a 32 tile starter home which sleeps three and I often considered what I could have replaced the single bed with. Skill items can be kept outdoors in a “fake” room made with floor texture directly on the ground and walls drawn in place so they don’t create a full room with  a roof.

To Buy or Not to Buy?

Who should stay away from this pack? If you prefer to use money cheats so your Sim can live in the most elaborate mansions without needing to worry about bills or space and having everything you need on one lot, this might not be the pack for you. If wood tones, styles, and colors need to match a lot of other furniture, you might want to see how some people are combining this pack with others before deciding. If you build without modern furniture at all, this pack doesn’t have much along those lines.

Who might be happy with this pack? IKEA and Swedish style aficionados along with people looking for more options that work well with the Bowling Night and Get Famous packs might enjoy the furniture in this pack. You’ve been playing or have been seriously considering the Tiny Living Challenge, this pack will make that challenge not just challenging but also rewarding. If you are interested in using in-game mechanics to crush aspirations, achievements, and game play challenges, the benefits of the tier 3 micro house could make the most of your play time. You desperately want a Murphy bed, you need this pack.

*some images have been edited to convey additional information and are not standard screen shots.

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