Sims 4 Snowy Escape Scrooge McDuck

I love building lavish homes as much as the next Sims player, but one of my favorite ways to play The Sims 4 is to start my Sims off with absolutely nothing. Rags-to-Riches challenges, which were popularized after the release of The Sims 3, are a great way to transform The Sims from a life sim to a grueling survival game.

While there are plenty of variations on Rags-to-Riches, such as the Teen Runway or Rags-to-Retail challenges, there are a few basic rules you’ll see in every challenge, such as:

  • Your Sim (or Sims) must start out on an empty lot
  • Your Sim must start out with 0 Simoleans
  • Your Sim cannot get a job until they’ve completed the challenge goals

This means that your Sim might have to live in misery for a while. It’s likely that you’ll spend lots of nights napping on park benches, using public restrooms, and sneaking the food that other Sims grill before you can afford basic supplies. Your Sim has to earn money through unconventional methods, such as rummaging through the trash, digging for valuables, and fishing at public ponds.

The difficulty of a challenge like this can vary based on the world you choose to play in. The first time I tried a Rags-to-Riches challenge in Evergreen Harbor, the world that comes with the Eco Lifestyle expansion pack, I pulled a $14,000 fridge out of a dumpster on my first day. When you play in Sulani, the world that comes with Island Living, you can scavenge for items on the beach, which makes it easier to find items to sell.

The world that comes with Snowy Escape, Mt. Komorebi, seemed like it might be slightly harder to survive in. Sims can freeze to death, and the snowy landscape didn’t seem like a great place to find harvestable plants. However, this pack offers plenty of other challenges that I didn’t expect.

After creating my first character and depleting their funds, I began to explore the new world, looking for anything that I could sell for extra cash. While I didn’t spot any plants that I could harvest, I did find a new way to earn money: Forest Spirits. These spirits appear on hiking trails and can be caught and sold for $50 Simoleans a pop.

Unfortunately, catching and selling these spirits has an immediate downside. The first spirit I caught was understandably agitated, and I was left with what the game described as an “overwhelmingly negative aura.” The second time I tried to catch a forest spirit, I failed completely, but I did manage to catch a nasty curse.

Undeterred, I continued to explore the new world, confident that I’d find something valuable. When I spotted a cluster of geodes on a hill, I thought that my Sim might actually be able to buy a tent on her first night. I quickly sent my Sim over to dig them up.

My Sim started to walk towards the geodes, then stopped. I told her to dig up the geodes again, but the action was once again canceled. Frustrated, I had my Sim walk over to that part of the map, assuming that she’d be able to dig up the geodes when she got closer. Once she was there, I realized what the problem was. In order to reach the geodes, my Sim needed to scale the hill, and in order to do that, she’d need to learn how to rock climb.

Rags-to-riches challenges in The Sims 4: Snowy Escape are far from impossible. The snowy parts of the map are easy to avoid, and there are still a few reliable ways to earn money, like fishing. After a tough night or two, I’m confident my Sim will have a warm tent to sleep in.

Still, earning money in Snowy Escape is a lot trickier than I expected it to be. From vengeful forest spirits to inaccessible geodes, it’ll be a long time before my Sim gets to the riches side of the challenge. If you’re looking for ways to make The Sims 4 more difficult — or if you’re a fan of winter sports and hot springs — this is an expansion pack that I can strongly recommend.

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