Thursday, November 7, 2013

Grandpa's Grove Store Venue Review




Hey guys!

After a month break from playing The Sims 3 and not being on for a while, I am now picking back up reviewing new content, especially this mouth-watering, wallet-destroying, eye-gouging new venue known as the Grandpa's Grove. This venue focuses on mostly the Gardening Skill and is themed for farms and more, like past sets. I will be reviewing using the price breakdown, the venue, the premium content, and the content that it utilizes, like all past sets.

I would like to thank Reachsims for gifting this wonderful venue for reviewing and sharing purposes.
Thank you to Valgon57 for the for the banners and blog logo.

Collection File: http://www.mediafire.com/?7ltq7mdsc7q44nw

Hope you guys Enjoy!
AznSensei




Theme

While we have been given many gardening/farming sets, I feel like the store team is giving us more and there's still not enough. We have been giving the following to utilizing the gardening skill and also add farming to our games:
  • Stone Throws Greenhouse (Gardening Station + PVZ Sunflower + Greenhouse Roof Pieces)
  • Al Fresco Street Market (Market Stalls + Lemon Tree + Eggplant Plant)
  • Country Livin' (Chicken Coop + Country Dining Room)
  • Fresh Farm Folk (Cow Corral + "Luxury" Country Living)
Now, we get this brand new venue, which adds a tractor premium content object and another type of country living, if not pretty adorable furniture and decor. Personally, while I'm not too much of a fan of the country and farming theme, it has started growing on me, and more gardening/farming content has never made me happier to use. I hope that in the future, we get a Farming/Gardening-themed world with another new object. 

This venue was no exception that excited me and made me want to throw my credit card at the computer screen (literally) and I decided to purchase it (along with a good friend of mines) as it adds on to the farming theme.

If you aren't a fan of the farming theme, then by all means don't buy this set as it's not for everyone, and you shouldn't feel forced to buy it. Otherwise grab it while it's on sale. 

Price Breakdown
The price of this venue is like all other venues, it is at 1700/1900 Simpoints until November 14th, 2013 (Pretty much November 13th would be the final date of sale, so grab it before then). It includes a lot that utilizes the content that this venue is based around, 1 premium content, and 22 Build/Buy and CAS Content.

The price breakdown is below, and please take note that NONE of the items will be sold individually, with a small chance of the tractor being sold by itself via in-game Featured Items in Build/Buy Mode

Grandpa's Grove Tractor: 500 Simpoints
Bookshelf: 100 Simpoints
Living Chair: 100 Simpoints
Wall Clock: 25 Simpoints
Rug: 75 Simpoints
Flowers: 25 Simpoints
Rocking Horse: 25 Simpoints
Wall Art: 50 Simpoints
Sofa: 100 Simpoints
Coffee Table: 50 Simpoints
End Tables: 50x2 = 100 Simpoints
Female Outfits: 75x3 = 225 Simpoints
Male Tops: 75x2 = 150 Simpoints
Children Outfits: 75x2 = 150 Simpoints
Children Bottoms: 50 Simpoints
Children Top: 50 Simpoints
Toddler Outfits: 50x2 = 100 Simpoints
Orange Tree Harvestable: 100 Simpoints

Total Cost of Individual Items: 1975 Simpoints
Cost of Set: 1700/1900 Simpoints
Savings: 275/75 Simpoints

Honestly, I kind of wished there was more content that came with this set, especially in Build/Buy as I feel this set could have used more content focused on that, and maybe even a set of teen outfits. Perhaps if it was around close to 30 objects, it would have been a nice deal for the price it's asking for. Sadly, like all other venues, it's purely overpriced and one can just treat it as if it costs money to build the lot itself in one form and we would be "saving" money for buying the lot.... *scoffs at the idea of charging for a lot*

Other than that, if you don't like the price, I'd suggest wait until it's around 1200 Simpoints, or even less. Sadly, we will never know when it will be on sale for a deeper price, instantly or not.

Grandpa's Grove Venue

Grandpa's Grove is a 64x64 RESIDENTIAL lot, the first venue that isn't a community lot. It is built utilizing the build/buy content and the Premium Content Tractor and tracks in order to make a functioning farm lot for families to enjoy. It is a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom home so you would need to add your own children/toddler content yourself if you want a family living here.

It comes with a different variety of harvestables (Note: Orange Trees are found in buydebug and are not pre-placed) and you can use the tractor to go around mostly the trees and perform your gardening duties on them.

The tracks are pre-placed and you can customize where the tractor will go using the T-Track pieces to take it to the appropriate direction. More information will be posted in the next part of the review. Other than that, enjoy the images of the venue shown below.













Grandpa's Grove Tractor (Premium Content)

Included, and also the main item of this setc is a brand new premium content object known as the Grandpa's Grove Tractor. This object is a vehicle that will go around a track that you can make yourself, and harvest, water, and give hay rides to multiple sims, even toddlers! 

The tractor is said to help with the following:
  • Water Plants
  • Fertilize Plants
  • De-weed Plants (Seems automatic)
  • Harvest Plants
  • Give Hay Rides
  • Ask for Hay Rides
You can also make your own track using the 5 brand new Dirt Road Track Pieces that come with this venue set. You can use the T-Tracks (the one with the hay stack) and click it to pick where you want your tractor to go.






You can also test the track to make sure all the pieces are placed properly and can allow the tractor to maneuver around it. This provides a creative way for simmers to make their own farming dirt roads for use of the tractor and further expands the homes to make it a true farm at last (not entirely). Anyways, I find this item to be quite useful and one of my favorites. 

It has 3 different recolors shown below:





When gardening with this particular tractor, it looks like the weeding is automatic when you ride it, but as for the rest of the features, each of them have a different look to it when you do the following:


  • Fertilize Crops
  • Water Crops
  • Harvest Crops
Fertilizing the crops will have the tractor shoot compost out of the pipes in order to fertilize the plants that are near the dirt tracks and not on the entire lot.


Watering the corps will of course shoot jets of water in order to water only the plants that are near the rode (not all plants on the lot also).


Harvesting the crops will have the tractor use a huge vacuum that will suck all of the harvestable plants and put them in your sim's inventory.



If you are unsure if your track will get all of your crops, you can test the track and it will turn all the dirt roads that your tractor will go on in green for a few seconds.


For hay rides, you can only give up to 3 sims a hay ride, ranging from toddler to elders and you can also be the sim that can ask for a hay ride. Toddlers and Children (maybe teens) cannot operate the tractor, so only YA/Adult/Elder can operate them while the other age states can ride in them. There is a special seat for toddlers when you place them in the tractor. Sometimes, a moodlet called "Hay Now!" can occur when you drive past a sim who wants a ride in the tractor.

What's disappointing about this particular feature is that sims just sit in there and stare out onto the field. Instead, there should be some special interactions such as sims talking or playing games like thumb power, etc. I find the lack of interactions disappointing and would have been a great asset to add for this premium content.

Below are the images of giving a Hay Ride.



That is pretty much it for this premium content and there's really nothing else, making this venue either worth it for you or not. Personally, I think another premium content object would have been nice to add to this, but unsure what I would suggest adding.

Build/Buy Assets
Included with this venue that it utilizes are 11 Build/Buy objects that are focused mostly around the living. Sadly, I'm slightly tired of the repeated use of chairs and sofas, and I'm sure I'm not the only one..... Even the use of Living Rooms in a set is quite tiresome. I'd rather see an outdoor set, or some other set that isn't "Living Room"...

Anyways, below are the images and "color channels" of all of the objects. Please excuse the horrible recoloring as they are bright just to show which parts can be recolored.

Country Charm Bookshelf

Quilted Chair

Country Charm Wall Clock

Snug Rug

Jar O' Flowers

Wooden Rocking Horse

Hodgepodge Frames

Country Charm Sofa

Country Charm Coffee Table

China Display End Table

Country Charm End Table

CAS Assets

Included with this venue set are 11 Clothing options for YA/Adult/Children/Toddlers. Again, teens are left out in this set YET AGAIN (Come on Store Team, just one set of clothing: an outfit for a female and a male teen at least). Also, surprisingly, Elders are not included in this set and have no form of clothing added. Another depressing thing to see in a way.

Most of the clothing is themed around fall clothing and works perfectly well as Outerwear items (all of them are categorized for Outerwear). Perfect for the season as it's November already.

Anyways, below are the images of all of the clothing, what categories they are found in, and the age group it's used for.

Falling for Fall
Gender Group: Female
Age Stage: YA/Adult
Categories: Everyday, Outdoor
Review: No clue why, I just don't like this.... nope not my favorite at all.



One Button to Rule Them All
Gender Group: Female
Age Stage: YA/Adult
Categories: Everyday, Outdoor
Review: The description... is just too funny... One Ring to rule them all, Lord of the Rings reference much? *takes note of The Hobbit sequel coming soon* Anyways, it comes with 4 recolors and is pretty basic, not my favorite though.







Turtleneck and Scarf Combo
Gender Group: Female 
Age Stage: YA/Adult
Categories: Everyday, Outerwear
Review: This is one of my favorite of all 3 outfits, just how the scarf is put on there is pretty nice and casual for outdoor clothing. 



Cozy Coat
Gender Group: Male
Age Stage: YA/Adult
Categories: Everyday, Outerwear
Review: I feel like I owned this item somewhere from a previous set... will have to go back and check. It just reminds me of an item so I feel like this was a remake of an item... I don't know... Odd....



Four Button Sweater
Gender Group: Male
Age Stage: YA/Adult
Categories: Everyday, Outerwear
Reviews: A bit different with how the collar is set up, but I like it. The jacket outside of the sweater is a nice touch and looks like something I don't have. Sadly this and the one above are the only clothing options for males, which are pretty much tops only.



Pocketed Dress and Stockings
Gender Group: Female
Age Stage: Child
Categories: Everyday, Outerwear
Review: This one scrams Pippy Longstockings and is quite cute and comes with 4 different stencil designs. I think I like this outfit for children, even though it looks like she's wearing no pants.... *chokes a little*






Alpine Attire
Gender Group: Male and Female
Age Stage: Child
Categories: Everyday, Outewear
Review: Enabled for both guys and girls (gender neutral ftw) it comes with 4 different designs, but the pants stays the same... Kind of wished the star was not included in all stencils *shrugs*






Monster Pants
Gender Group: Male and Female
Age Stage: Child
Categories: Everyday, Outerwear
Review: Has 4 different stencils, which I like, and makes me wished there was a "minion"-themed one from Despicable Me.... One can only hope >_<






Monster Jacket
Gender Group: Male and Female
Age Stage: Child
Categories: Everyday, Outerwear
Review: Goes well with the pants and has 5 different stencils. I swear one of them reminds me of the Pokemon Lugia... Yes, I know I'm a huge Pokemon fan, but surely I'm not the only one who notices it... 







Fuzzy Bunny Outfit
Gender Group: Female
Age Stage: Toddler
Categories: Everyday, Outerwear
Review: This is tooo freaking adorable! I plan on using this a lot for my female toddlers. It's just so cute, especially with the bunny design! Comes with 4 different designs.







Puff the Magic Vest
Gender Group: Male
Age Stage: Toddler
Categories: Everyday, Outerwear
Review: Yup... Puff the Magic Dragon reference. Anyways, it's a pretty decent outfit for boy toddlers, but it's not my favorite. There are 4 different options, but they all have the same stencil it looks like.








Overall Review

Price: 7/10 - It's the same price as all of the previous venues, so it doesn't give much variety in prices and judging prices based on individual content always varies between venues. One minute you see a venue with 3000 Simpoints worth of content for 1700 Simpoints, the next you find a venue with 1400 Simpoints worth of content for 1700 Simpoints... It's inconsistant and this venue is another venue that just doesn't bold well for the price. If you think it's worth paying 1700 Simpoints for the use of the tractor, then that's your decision, but please don't force yourself paying 1700 Simpoints for just the tractor as there's tons of objects to utilize in this particular venue set and unless you plan on using those objects, then don't get the set only for the tractor.

Theme: 9/10 - I'm starting to grow on the farming theme and the tractor just made it so I can enjoy playing as a farmer instead of seeing the bland gameplay that we had before (of course previous gardening objects further made it fun to play with). I'm sure many people may seem "tired" of the farm theme, but honestly I think it's going the right direction and hopefully we'll see more farm content, or even a world focused mostly on farming! I can't wait to see what the team does.

Venue: 5/10 - The venue is quite big, but it's to be expected considering that it's a farm and it's better to have a huge lot to utilize the tractor and the tracks. I think the home could have been fleshed out better, but thankfully we have other content to add on to it to make it a better home that fits the "Country Livin" Lifestyle. Other than that, I don't think I'll use the venue much unless I modify it myself.

Premium Content: 7/10 - I'm giving it a pretty decent score as it would actually help gardening without giving it the "cheaty" aspect of it like past items, but this is a simulation game of course, and this provides much more concrete gameplay aesthetics than any of the previous gardening objects. I love the tractor and the use of the tracks, which hopefully hints in seeing further content that utilizes tracks *cough*roller coasters*cough* Anyways, I am giving it a lower score as the hay rides just seem bland, even though it's a nice addition for all sims, it doesn't provide any interactions within the tractor itself, making it boring to watch your sim stare into the sunset (No romantic implications used).

There is one thing I am glad of.... You do not Woohoo in the tractor *THANK THE LORD JEBUS*

Build/Buy: 5/10 - I like SOME of the decor that is included in this particular portion of the venue, but am still not happy with the fact we get another living set, especially since we already had one in the previous set. However, I will give props that it's not as luxurious as the Fresh Farm Folk set and more "classic country" to it. I do find it lacking in a way as it would have been nice to see this part focus more on the Bed and Bath set (I'd rather have more bed options than more chair options imho). The only thing I like of this particular set is probably the China Display End Table.

CAS: 5/10 - Another miss for me as I think some of the clothing are just remakes of what we have in the past. The only ones I do like is the female outfit with the Turtleneck and Scarf Combo and the Pocketed Dress and Stockings. I'm still cringing for the fact the child looks like she's not wearing pants, but maybe I'll get over it. There are plenty of references to movies and animations based on the naming of the clothing, so props to whoever is being creative with the names. I am still not happy with the fact teens get neglected AGAIN and wished they would just add AT LEAST ONE, and I repeat ONE outfit for each gender in the teen state. Elders don't get added into this also, which seems odd considering it's "GRANDPA'S" Grove, not "DAD'S" Grove... *ponders*

Overall: 6.3/10 - It's not the best set, nor is it the worst set. There are some great aspects to it, and there are some not-so-great aspects to it. I personally like the tractor and the gameplay it provides, but I feel like the team could have done more, especially for animations and interactions. But other than that, it's enjoyable and good that Toddlers to Elders can enjoy the premium content. Other than that, I wouldn't recommend paying full price for this unless you really like the gardening aspect (like I do) and utilize most of the content to the most you can.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Anz. I really enjoyed your review. I am enjoying the set. My Sims are living in a future house, so I made the lot into a commercial lot and the family goes over there to enjoy the tractor. I also added a cow, chickens and the bee hives. It really turns into a nice hangout.

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