It feels like forever ago that EA announced the release of the newest expansion pack, but the day has finally arrived… Welcome to Henford-on-Bagley! This quaint country town is the latest addition to The Sims 4 franchise and arguably one of the most anticipated packs of all time. Featuring highly requested farming-style gameplay, country living was an instant hit within the community, and it does not disappoint.
Simmed Up Magazine explores this enchanting new world and reviews the endless possibilities that it has to offer.
More than a month ago, Harold the Llama introduced Sims players to a beautiful new world in the Cottage Living expansion pack trailer.
Since the glorious day when the new expansion pack was revealed, Simmers everywhere have been eagerly anticipating their arrival to Henford on Bagley. The ability to own llamas, chickens, and even cows has had fans swirling with excitement.
Outside of farming (which, by the way, is a lot of work), there are plenty of other things to do in this small country town and plenty of people to meet.
Besides the obvious additions of farm animals and wildlife, like foxes and bunnies [Pics of the animals], this new expansion takes gameplay to a whole new level. The Sims team has added new interactions for children that include the ability to help adults prepare meals, tend the garden, and care for livestock. When an adult Sim is selected, you can click on the stove and choose to "cook with…." You then select the child Sim and the meal you wish to prepare. Children will help your Sim create the meal by completing an autonomous task, such as kneading dough.
Cottage Living advertisement for The Sims 4
Cooking in Country Living is a little different than it usually is in the game. To create any meal, you must have the ingredients on hand. Milk, eggs, bread, flour, and sugar are all available at the local grocery stalls or by placing an order for grocery delivery.
Grocery delivery allows Sims access to required items quickly and conveniently. So if you do not want to wait for chickens to lay eggs (which they do around 6 a.m. each morning), you can either travel and buy the items yourself or arrange for them to be delivered to your door. Grocery delivery is a fantastic feature that makes farm life a little bit easier.
The rural, British-inspired world of Henford on Bagley is a stunning array of rolling hillsides and magnificent farmland. Broken up into three distinct neighborhoods, Henford on Bagley has 12 lots for your Sims to enjoy country life.
Finchwick: A tight-knit community lined with small shops where your Sims can 'window Shop,' Finchwick holds a weekly fair and market where you can purchase goods or enter your livestock into contests. Finchwick is the heart and soul of Henford on Bagley, and there is plenty to see and do in this area.
Old New Henford: This area of Henford is known for its lush estates, rolling hills, and extensive community garden. Home to a variety of wildlife, Old New Hendford is rich with love and history.
The Bramblewood: A wooded area that sits on the outskirts of town, Bramblewood has a storybook feel that locals love and visitors are sure to enjoy. This area is filled with wildlife, and many of the world's wild animals can be found happily scurrying here. Wildlife, such as wild birds, bunnies, and foxes, can be found freely roaming the world, and while you cannot keep them as pets, you can place a home on your lot for them and befriend them through a variety of new interactions. Bramblewood includes many places to explore and even houses a swimmable lake for your Sims to enjoy.
A common practice in Henford on Bagley, you are encouraged (continuously) to help neighbors with errands. At some point in your gameplay, you will receive a message from a local explaining that help may be needed around town, and you are encouraged to lend a hand if you can.
It seems that many of the NPC's in this pack are programmed to repeat this message of encouragement endlessly and will often respond to anything that you say with the same message telling you to help out the locals.
The only problem with the helpful neighbor system is that you are given very vague instructions. For example, one task asks that you 'retrieve the package from… someone,' but it does not tell you who. Thus, you must go around for this task and talk to everyone within reach asking for the parcel.
Once you finally find the person with the package, you are told to deliver it to the mayor. If you are like me and did not pay attention, it can take time to find the Mayor of Henford (it is Lavina Chopra, by the way), Completing errands provides you with rewards. Eggs, milk, meat, and wool are standard gifts for a job well done. The tasks vary in nature but can quickly help you acquire some exciting items for your inventory to keep or sell for profit.
Ah, farm life. The one thing that everyone in the community can agree on, at least most of the time. Henford on Bagley brought with it the ability to own livestock, and Sims fans everywhere rejoiced with glee.
Although Cottage Living is not technically a farming pack, it does have many fantastic farming features for players to enjoy. From livestock to gardening, the option to build the perfect country life comes easily in this pack.
As mentioned earlier, your Sims can become the proud owner of some livestock and essentially create a hobby farm that you can enjoy. Sims can purchase and raise chickens, cows, or llamas with this pack, and they are all so darn cute! Sims need to care for the animals, or you may get a notification that they are thinking of leaving due to inadequate care. Animals must be fed regularly, and their homes must be kept clean. To clean their accommodations, you click on the items and select 'clean coop' or 'clean shed.' You must also take time to socialize with your livestock. Happy animals produce better products.
Chickens live in the chicken coops, which you can purchase from the build buy catalog and place on your lot. Each chicken coop can hold up to 8 chickens or roosters, and these chickens will provide you with a regular supply of eggs. You can assign specific chickens to each coop, and you must have both hens and roosters assigned to the same enclosure if you want to receive hatchable eggs
Hatachable eggs are placed in the coop to incubate until they are ready to hatch. Once an egg is ready to be hatched, you will receive a notification and can help the chick hatch, or you can wait for it to hatch on its own. Baby hens and baby roosters are adorable, and you can socialize with them and shower them with love as you watch them grow.
Cows and llamas live in animal sheds. These large enclosures can also be purchased from the build buy menu and placed on your lot. These animals are contained in the area around their shed, but you can socialize with them there.
In Cottage Living, Cows will provide your Sims with milk - or meat if you are heartless - and llamas will give you wool. The milk you receive from your cows will be used in cooking and baking, or you can drink it when you are thirsty. Once again, different treats will lead cows to produce various types of milk. You can also sell the milk you have collected to the shops in town when you have more than you need or your Sims needs extra cash.
Llamas have a purpose in Cottage Living as well. Llamas produce wool that can be used to create items with the new cross-stitch activity. Sims of all ages can complete various cross-stitching items, and the things you make can be sold at the local shops in town. Sims can stitch from patterns available in the game, with more and more unlocking as the skill increases. Sims can eventually cross-stitch from reference as their skill increases. Stitch from reference works much as it does in the painting skill
While receiving milk, wool, or eggs is a lot of fun, your animals must be happy if you hope to obtain these items. Thankfully, there are a variety of animal treats that you can buy or create in the game that can improve your animal's mood, increase their social skills, or help you create these unique items. Each of the animal treats will affect your animals in different ways. Friendly treats, for example, will help you increase the connection you have with your livestock. On the other hand, Golden treats will make the animal gold and provide you with higher quality items, such as gold eggs or golden milk. Golden animals that produce golden items are a sought-after commodity in the game, and these items can sell for quite a lot of Simoleans
Gardening is a central theme of the Cottage Living expansion pack, and we are here for it. Growing produce can both save you Simoleans and help you make Simoleans as well. You can plant many items by placing them on the garden bed and choosing 'plant' from the interaction menu. However, many of the items in this pack require you to purchase seeds from the local shops in Fenwick. You can also access various kinds of fertilizer that will help you grow bigger, better produce. Giant produce can be entered into a contest at the weekly fair for a chance at winning a prize. If your Sim (or their entry) wins, you are given some cash and a ribbon that you can proudly display to visitors.
While it can be a bit overwhelming at first, you will soon discover your deep love for all things farming with the Cottage Living pack. Everything, from the fantastic new gardening items, the build buy décor, the new adorable farm animals, and the stunning landscape, makes this pack worth every penny. Cottage Living has captured our hearts, and we have decided that country life truly is the life for us!