The Sims 4 have been rolling out one hit after another with their “Summer of Sims” event. First we got The Courtyard Oasis Kit, then Dream Home Decorator which introduced a new profession, and now Cottage Living – which is an entire expansion pack! Cottage Living is PACKED with new content, and it’s been such a nice change of pace.
The biggest thing (in my opinion) that comes with Cottage Living is your Sims can now own farm animals. If you place a chicken coop on your property, you can keep chickens, which will produce fresh eggs, hatchable eggs which you can produce chicks from, as well as other types of eggs depending on what you feed your chickens. You can also keep llamas and cows on your property if you place a shed. Cows will produce fresh milk, and llamas can be sheared for wool which you can use for the new cross-stitching hobby (more on that later in the article!). Much like the chickens, the cows and llamas can be fed certain treats to produce different products, all of which you can use in your homestead.
Not only do we have the super cute farm animals, but there are also wild rabbits, birds, and foxes that you can befriend. You can find birds and rabbits across the Henford-on-Bagley map, or you can place their housing enclosures onto your property! If you build up enough of a relationship, they will do all sorts of things with you or for you, an example being rabbits helping with your gardening! Mischievous foxes will often try to come in and steal eggs from your chicken coops, so be on the lookout. You can build friendships with them as well, and each animal has different things they like and dislike. One of the highlights of Cottage Living for me is the adorable interactions when showering your animals with love. You can tell your llama is super happy and loving the attention, and nuzzling your baby chick just makes my heart melt every time.
Your Sim can give and receive gifts with rabbits and foxes, and each individual one will have their own personalities. You can get cross stitch patterns, ingredients for cooking, and more, so make sure you talk to and interact with them often to build up a good relationship!
As if all of this wasn’t adorable enough, you can dress both farm animals and the rabbits and foxes up in clothing. Yes, you read that right. Your majestic cow can sport a cap and top. Has your rooster always dreamed of being a dapper gentleman? Now he can wear his very own top hat and sweater. Llama feeling a little chilly after her shearing? She can don a sweater to stay warm. There are several ways to obtain clothing in Cottage Living, via crafting, quests, or purchasing through Michael Bell aka The Creature Keeper.
Cottage Living also introduced new Lot Challenges, and one of them is called Simple Living. This challenge uses the ingredients you have in your inventory, which is perfect for using our fresh eggs and milk from our farm animals! But fear not, if you don’t have what you need on hand, you can pop over to town and pick up ingredients at one of the stands in the town square, or you can use the new grocery delivery service and they will bring it right to your door! Just make sure to accept the delivery when it arrives, unpack it, and put it away or else the ingredients will go bad, which I found out the hard way.
Not only are there a bunch of new ingredients and recipes, but now you can also preserve your fresh fruits and veggies by canning them. Sims can now plant and harvest oversized crops, which you can use to cook with, or if you get something impressive you can enter it in the Finchwick Faire in town.
Don’t feel like cooking tonight? No sweat, now your Sims can order in with Zoomers Food Delivery. Available from your phone, you can order local food to be delivered to your doorstep. The more packs you have installed, the more choices you have. You will need to be home for your delivery, and the items go in your Sims personal inventory, so be sure to enjoy them before they go bad.
Something else that was added with Cottage Living, which I think is just precious, is the ability for your children to cook with you. I usually create new Sims for review purposes, and this time my son was in the room when I installed and he wanted to create our family to play through Cottage Living. He absolutely loves having our Sims cook meals together. Cottage Living added in a lot of really cute, homey details and I am still discovering more each time I play.
Our Sims have a whole new world to play in called Henford-on-Bagley, which is a quaint little cottage village. Something I’ve loved with previous titles in the franchise, like Journey to Batuu, is the addition of quests. Cottage Living has several NPC Sims which offer you quests, and all of them give pretty decent rewards. I’ve gotten cross-stitch patterns, meals, materials and ingredients, and even pet clothing. Speaking of cross-stitching, it’s a new hobby and in the same vein as knitting. You can sell your items on Plopsy (if you have Nifty Knitting), or give them out as a “Finchwick Favor” which is an exclusive action in Cottage Living. My poor Sim has had sore fingers many times while leveling up her skill, but it’s worth it in the end, because you can create some beautiful pieces of work!
I am currently working my way through The Sims’ very own version of a Bridgerton episode with a quest from Agatha Crumplebottom. Pub Owner Sara Scott will give you quests which usually reward you food and recipes. Augustus Hawthorn, the town grocery delivery guy has given me quests which reward upgrade parts for my animal shed. The town mayor, Lavina Chopra also offers quests, though I have only just picked them up so I am not totally sure what she has to give as rewards.
If you’re like me though, you’ll want to collect every single clothing item for your animals that the game has to offer. The Creature Keeper, Michael Bell (who looks a lot like Steve Irwin), will give you quests that generally reward you with pet clothing that you can’t buy in his store. He lives in a house within The Bramblewood, and you can usually find him hanging out there. You can trade berries with him, and ask him to craft animal clothing for you, providing you have the materials needed. Pro tip: Sara Scott at the pub will send you on a quest which requires a blueberry, if you can’t find wild ones, you can trade with Michael Bell for a blueberry!
I’ve had a blast with all of the releases for The Sims 4 this summer, and all of them have been fantastic. It’s not often I give out 100 scores, and I’d highly recommend picking up Cottage Living, as it adds a lot to the game and is packed with content that will keep you busy.
The Sims 4 Cottage Living is currently selling for $39.99 on Origin PC, Steam, XBOX One, and PS4.
Holly Hudspeth is a best-selling author living in Fort Worth, Texas. She has six published novels to date; The Skyy Huntington Series, which is an epic dark fantasy adventure, and One Small Detail, a stand-alone medieval fantasy. Holly also enjoys writing fan fiction based on her avatars from games such as EverQuest, Elder Scrolls Online, and World of Warcraft. Her first major purchase at the established age of nine was the NES, and she has been gaming ever since. She enjoys fantasy games, city builders, RPGs, MMOs, SMITE, and The Sims franchise. Most nights she is in SMITE with her husband and friends, or playing ESO. When she isn't gaming, she is probably either at Disney or planning her next trip there.
The Sims 4 Cottage Living
I’ve been playing Cottage Living for an hour or two each day for a week now, and still feel like I have a lot left to discover. There are plenty of quests, and I really like the laid back simple living feeling to the expansion. Caring for and dressing up my farm animals is an absolute delight. Cottage Living is a total home run in my opinion, if you’re a fan of the game this is a must-have for your collection.