Although the latest Sims 4 release is a stuff pack, it also includes several new gameplay features, including a new lot type, a new career, and all kinds of spooky content. This Sims 4: Paranormal Stuff Pack gameplay review will give you a better idea of what to expect when you download this pack.

If you’re in love with the new furniture or just want a few more hairstyles, and outfits, but would prefer to keep your home ghost-free, you shouldn’t have any problems with this pack. The hauntings are very much opt-in, and it’s unlikely that you’ll see any of this gameplay content unless you seek it out.

If you are in the mood for a scare, however, there are two easy ways for you to access more creepy content. Setting up the new Séance Table, you’ll be able to contact the dead, host séances, and raise your medium skill. As you level up your skill, you’ll gain access to new options. For example, at level 3, you’ll be able to summon skeletal maid Bonehilda, an NPC that’s been a part of the franchise since The Sims: Makin’ Magic. At level 4, you’ll unlock the mysterious Ghastly Ritual.

I had assumed that kids wouldn’t be able to use the Séance Table, but a little testing confirmed that’s not the case. Your child Sims can contact the dead, join you in séances, and get in touch with the afterlife. You know what they say — the family that summons the dead together stays together!

The best way to experience the new gameplay, however, is to live in a haunted house. The pack comes with a brand-new haunted house created by Sims 4 builder Doctor Ashley. You can also convert any residential lot into a haunted house by editing the lot settings.

I was pretty disappointed to see that there’s no way to stack lot settings. For example, you can’t designate a lot as a haunted house and a tiny house. You can’t make haunted community lots, and you can’t designate apartments as a haunted lot either. The last bit seems like an especially weird omission, since you’ve been able to give apartments the “Haunted” trait since The Sims 4: City Living.

Aside from these complaints, however, I’ve found playing in a haunted house to be pretty funny. While I occasionally saw ghosts during the day, most hauntings happen at night, which means you don’t have to cope with hauntings around the clock.

Some ghosts are hostile, but others are pretty friendly. You can expect to see plenty of traditional ghosts floating around your place, but you’ll also encounter specters, a new type of ghost that is downright adorable.

The most notable of these ghosts, however, is Claude René Duplantier Guidry. Guidry is a dashing young man whose life was cut short in an unfortunate Murphy bed accident. Now, he serves as a spirit guide. (He’s also permanently flirty, so if you want to romance a ghost, this is your chance.)

Guidry will show up on your second night of living in a haunted house, and will continue to show up more nights after that. You can come to him whenever you have an issue with the paranormal, whether you’re curious about specters, you accidentally sold your soul, or you’d like to make your place a little less spooky.

Guidry can also help you out if you’d like to try the new Paranormal Investigator career. Once you’ve reached level 5 in the Medium skill, let Guidry know that you’d like to obtain your Paranormal Investigator License. He’ll hand over the license, and from there, you’ll be able to start a career as a Freelance Paranormal Investigator.

Since this is a freelance career, you won’t have standard working hours. You can use your phone to search for gigs whenever you’re strapped for cash. I’d recommend starting with the Beginner-level gigs — completing a job can be pretty tough.

When you take on a Paranormal Investigator gig, you’ll be sent to a lot that is extremely haunted. Your job is to cleanse the lot and leave it ghost-free. You’ll need to get rid of creepy dolls, mop up piles of ectoplasm, and chat with specters to see if you can convince them to leave.

While it all sounds fairly easy, stepping into a haunted house is going to make your Sim feel pretty spooked, even if they’ve spent a lot of time around ghosts. If your Sim is terrified, they won’t be able to do much of anything. You’ll need to keep their fear in check so that you can take care of everything before the sun rises.

Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to keep your Sim calm on the job. Sacred candles, which can be purchased from the Rewards Store or crafted from Wraith Wax, can soothe you when you’re terrified. If you don’t have candles on hand, screaming incoherently at your client or jumping into their bed and hiding under the covers could also help.

Alternatively, if you have a lot of Satisfaction Points, you can purchase the Brave Trait. This trait, which costs 8,000 points, will help you to keep your cool in even the scariest situations. The Rewards Store also gives you the option of purchasing your Paranormal Investigator license without working with Guidry. A license is just 3,000 points.

If you want to enjoy some scares without starting a new career, you can try to spend seven nights straight living in a haunted house. While the hauntings will be fairly minor at first, things will gradually ramp up. On the fifth night, Guidry’s rival, the always-angry Temperance, will show up. You can try asking her to leave, but if she doesn’t comply, she’ll probably do some damage.

If you stick it out for seven nights, you’ll be rewarded with some fun new items, including a version of Guidry’s outfit that your own Sim can wear. You’ll also be able to collect creepy paraphernalia that will materialize as they days go on. Once the week is over, you can keep on living the spooky life, or you can cleanse your house and get a much-needed break.

This pack introduces a lot of fun options for story play, and I’m impressed by how much gameplay is available here, considering that the pack is just $10. However, I couldn’t help but wish that EA had made this a full-fledged Game Pack so that they could have expanded on these features a little.

I would have loved to create a haunted community lots — how much fun would a haunted bar be? — and no haunted apartments feels like a huge omission. I also really wish there were some paranormal-themed aspirations. It would make it a lot easier to unlock the Brave trait!

I strongly recommend picking this pack up. The new Build-and-Buy pieces are fantastic, the Create-a-Sim content is solid, and for me, Bonehilda alone is enough to justify the price of purchase. However, aside from the Séance Table, I can’t see myself using most of these gameplay features on a regular basis.

It’s fun to play through the spooky challenges, and I’ll probably play around with them some more. I’m a big fan of Rags-to-Riches challenges, and I’m eager to try out this challenge on a haunted lot. However, if you’re more interested in new gameplay than new stuff, I’d recommend picking up another Sims pack instead.

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