Lauryl on Lost Island (A Simmie World Review)

Published 27th February 2010

One of us has been playing with the Sims World of Lost Island, which we’d reviewed a few weeks ago, and has been enjoying the challenge immensely.

In noticing Richdre saying on another thread at Crazy Town that he didn’t always get a lot of feedback for his creations, we now have a more in-depth review on what you can expect should you send your Simmies here.

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Lauryl on Richdre’s Lost Island (World Adventures Required)

Lost Island is a very small Simmie world that first appeared over on Crazy Town early January 2010. Richdre thought it more as something to fool around in rather than try to have any sort of real Simming game on, but there’s no reason why you can’t.

The Basics

There are 12 lots available, which amount to 3 types:

The huts in the island’s centre:

The empty plots on the west side:

And the ‘bunker’ by the wrecked ship on the south:

‘I’ve got no idea where we go from here, maybe that’s why we’re living in bunkers.’

You have to smile at the cleverness of this one, and Richdre has certainly done his homework, for on some islands (particularly the Pacific) some people do indeed live in underground bunkers, in some cases abandoned US/UK/French/Japanese bases from World War 2/the Cold War, in others plain pragmatics in areas that get battered by hurricanes, etc.

It may look grim and forbidding, but by going underground, you’ve got the entire garden available for growing food – and with lots of high-value seeds available to collect all over the island, you’ll be glad you picked this spot.

The South Side Bunker also has four superb fishing hotspots all of which can be reached from your own backyard (you can see two in the picture here, there’s another two off screen to the top and the right close to the ones you can see)

First error in the world is that the Food store included doesn’t work at all. It’s always empty, there is nothing in it you can buy, making its only use as an extra fridge to get a quick snack from if you are in that part of the island.

To be honest, this feature would have defeated the whole purpose of the island anyway, which is self-sufficiency.

There are also two parks – Queen’s Park to the north for fishing and relaxing (there is a pool there, but you can’t fish in it), and King’s Park to the East which contains a tomb – but the real value of the latter is the mountain of seeds so often available.

The island itself is uninhabited, so if you want other Sims, you’ll have to port them in first. On the other hand, if your Simmie is a loner, they’re going to have a ball, up to a point – remember that their Social bar will go down the same, although there’s always the Paper Delivery and the Postie to provide some brief social interaction.

Simplest solution to the Social Interaction problem is to get your Simmie a laptop (don’t get a PC, they take up room, and room is precious here), then they can talk with people over the net.

Lauryl prefered to do any computing on an outdoor table rather than the one in the bunker, which meant she got the Beautiful Surroundings moodlet and having rolled the Loves The Outdoors trait, meant she had the At One With Nature moodlet too.

The Loves The Outdoors trait gives a positive moodlet whilst gardening and fishing, or if you are writing books/playing/chatting on the laptop outside.

Lost Island is an island to be out and about in – make the most of it.

‘No Man Is An Island’

Occasionally random people appear on the island, more often than not running by, but that was it, although Lauryl did get a mysterious phonecall at least once a week that she became cross with and hung up on immediately, so it appears that amongst the residents or the tomb mummies one of them is a telephone pervert.

If you are going to import extra people into the island, the best thing is no more than four on the west coast, no more than two in the centre.

Convert the rest and that useless Food Store into community plots that will be of some use to the Simmies, certainly a Communal garden of two would be a good idea if you don’t want to be reading about constant Simmie deaths from mass starvation (never underestimate the stupidity of Simmies to fail to use the fishing rod they’re all equipped with).

Some sort of central community hub would be an idea too.

Gardening At Night

No matter what your plans are in the long term for your Sims, concentrate on the gardening and fishing first to max up on those (eating only the top quality fish and using the rest as fertiliser for your plants if they’re good, or selling them by dragging them over to the simoleon symbol on your inventory). Eventually, once Lauryl’s cooking skills were maxed, it was found to be best to favour the fish for fertiliser first, eating second.

Now for the cool bit, you don’t have to take the Green Thumb trait to be a superb gardener (although this can be useful to revive high value dead plants and to alleviate loneliness by ‘talking’ to them!). You’re going to be spending a lot of time gardening anyway, so you’ll become a Master Gardener simply from time well spent.

Lauryl proved a very keen gardener, although her tendency to wish to play with the sprinkler every 5 minutes got a bit annoying.

Unless shaking your booty at the plants has some hidden positive effect EA’s game guides never let on about.

Don’t go overboard with planting seeds – your Simmie needs to be able to get to each plant to give it the weeding and fertilising TLC it needs.

Save every one of those precious Unknown Uncommon/Rare seeds you find for later – don’t sell them, don’t use them for fish bait. Once your gardening level is maxed up enough to be able to plant them, you will be able to make a small fortune on Lime and Garlic, and the yield per plant you get from Potatoes also makes them worthwhile.

Treasure the Bell Peppers you can get, those seeds came up very rarely.

Your first Perfect fruit and veg should not be initially eaten, but sent right back into the ground, given the best fish fertiliser you can, and maintained so you are producing Perfect or Outstanding produce every time.

Also tinker with the sprinklers to make them work automatically between 4 and 6am. You’ll reduce your water bill considerably.

Fish-Heads Fish Heads, Roly-Poly Fish-Heads, Eat Them Up – Yum!

When fishing remember to keep checking the water after each catch – the moment the spot switches from being a Great Place To Fish to only Decent, move your rod to another spot, otherwise you’ll be wasting a lot of time.

Usually you will find that one active fish spot is very close to another, so it will simply be a case of moving the rod around to suit.

Jellyfish are your big friends in the early days – there’s plenty of them available, they love grapes, and they make for Outstanding fertiliser. Keep catching them, stack them in the fridge, then use them to fertilise.

Sharks, Tragic Clownfish, Angelfish and Blowfish often provide Outstanding fertiliser, and are plentiful once you’ve maxed on the fishing.

Lobsters seemed less common, so save any of those you catch for yummy meals and not the garden.

Thief!

There’s no police (phone them till you’re blue in the face – they won’t come. How realistic!), but there is a thief, and she’s pretty active, so getting an alarm is essential even if all you are staying in is the basic bunker. They will clean you out very quickly otherwise, and that happening early in the game can be disastrous, setting you back weeks.

The thief is the one major drawback of Lost Island. In her second sortie on Lauryl, she was stopped yet again by the alarm, but refused to go away, only going upstairs after several hours when Lauryl was forced to go to the toilet (would you want to stay in the same room as someone living only on fish and fruit when they’re parking their fudge?) but then remaining in the garden.

This proved a major bug, as in order to stop Lauryl from starving to death from her desire to continually confront the burglar it was necessary to put fruit in her inventory to eat – trying to get her to the kitchen to make anything was impossible, it was always cancelled out seconds later by the ‘Burglar!’ interaction. Even then, she fainted twice from exhaustion.

In the end, the only way to get around this impasse was to sacrifice 20 000 precious Lifetime Wish points on a Mid-Life Crisis, sacrificing one trait for Brave so she could tackle the burglar.

Interesting to note that despite being exhausted by this stage to the point of collapse, and only being level 4 in Sim-Fu, she gave the burglar a good hiding, which sent her packing.

So far she hasn’t been seen since.

But it meant losing 20 000 Lifetime Wish points, a whole day’s Simming, and a very long lie in the next day to recover.

The Mausoleum

Although you’re meant to survive by adopting an ‘alternative lifestyle’, you can still take a part-time job with the mausoleum (there is no graveyard though) to make some money, which I’m not too sure Richdre intended or not.

Note carefully the tomb entrance stairs to the left.

Having a part-time job can be very useful if you’ve been exploring the tombs and get cursed by a mummy, and so need money to get to Egypt fast.

Remember though that time spent earning a living could perhaps be spent on maxing some skills up instead.

Ahem, improving your high score at playing computer games isn’t a skill – get back to weeding that garden, you skeet!

Money’s Not Our God

Not on Lost Island anyway. You’ll make a fab income on Lost Island simply by gardening (plenty of seeds to find, keep the best quality from harvests and sell the surplus), fishing, and selling on the plentiful precious metals and gems which are so easy to find in such a small place to explore.

Be ruthless with the metals and gems – space, remember, is paramount. Keep the high value gems, but treat the precious metals and lower value gems as cash cows. You’ll need that money for those precious holidays abroad (more on them later).

Once you’ve got enough cash to spare, extend your basement to give you much needed extra living room to buy in the stuff you do need.

Pretty neat, eh?

You should also start getting used to repairing things yourself early on, as the repair people never come, no matter how many times you phone them (who said Sims3 isn’t realistic?!).

Quite aside from the certain to break down toilet and shower, the dreaded day will come when you need to repair your laptop – being electrocuted is not nice, not funny, and one sure-fire way to an early grave if you’re stupid enough to do so whilst still ‘singed’!

Invest in the best cooker you can as soon as you can – fires in a small cramped bunker are not fun.

Tombs

Richdre wasn’t daft in putting three tombs on Lost Island, knowing that this would be the attraction to many downloaders.

Now for the bombshell – leave well alone!

At least, at the start.

For sure, go downstairs into the one by the mausoleum, disable the trap by the stairs, and take the treasure from the chest in there – that’s too easy a raid not to be avoided.

But that should be your sole trip to the local tombs for a long time to come, unless you have the Brave or Athletic traits, or have maxed out on the Karate to counter the mummies.

Even then, unless you’ve got the money to fly to Egypt if it all goes wrong, leave them for later. There’s no point in seeing all your hard work with your Sim doomed because they are certain to die for the lack of a plane fare to Egypt. The mummies are no joking matter.

In fact, one of the attractions of Lost Island is working your way to the stage you can take on the tombs in your own little part of the world by going on holiday abroad to get all the tomb-raiding stuff you will need.

Holidays In The Sun

Holidays should be treated not merely as a chance for a change of scene and adventures. It’s a chance to buy up things you otherwise cannot purchase on Lost Island. Don’t go on holiday until you’ve got the money to justify the trip.

When you reach your destination, as well as the general store, hit the book stores (forget the internet Book Club – it’s hopeless) and the food stores for fruits or produce you cannot grow.

Forget buying relics – go excavating or to the tombs for those.

So where to go first? China’s the usual option for many, simply because it’s the cheapest. Get yourself a training dummy when there to max out on the karate back home (it will go into your Family inventory, remember). That is essential for the inevitable showdown with the mummies in the tombs – don’t leave dealing with them to chance.

Forget what JKTee511/Mummygaga thinks of them – mummies are complete bastards which need to have a can of whoop-ass opened on them at every turn – dangerous to all Simmies except children. The Mummy’s Curse is no joking matter in your situation unless you’ve got a big income coming in from gardening and/or writing to get you to Egypt three days later.

Parlez Vous Simlish?

But your best bet for a first trip is to head for France.

If you’re maxing out on the gardening, now you can really have some fun and make some serious simoleons by bringing home a nectar maker (remember, due to its size, it will go into the family inventory!), some special grapes (buy plenty – you want to be growing them as well as making them into nectar), and the biggest nectar rack you can afford.

Forget what the error-ridden official playing guide says – the nectar maker is bought only at the Nectary, not the General Store.

Nectar making not only makes money, but your Simmie has fun treading on the grapes, so it’s a winner all round.

No Lauryl, the Simmies world is not yet ready for Red Herring Wine – no matter how many years you lay it down in a rack in the bunker to mature.

Remember when over there to raid some tombs for easy money as well as entertainment.

Go on, Lauryl, there’s no spiders or centipedes in that ‘feely hole’:

There is however a Bengal Kitten very grigged at what your exploring hand was doing to its tummy.

Don’t worry, it’ll let you have what’s left of your limb back, eventually!

Lost Island is certainly a change of Simming pace, but with a little ingenuity, and some tinkering in the Edit Mode before starting your game, it’s an absolute gem to play, running incredibly smoothly, and making a lovely change from having your Simmies being stuck in the Sunset Valley and Riverview ‘rat race’.

Here’s where you can download it – enjoy!

Postscript: This download links to the thread which currently has the second and final version of Lost Island to date, with improved huts, the store non-attendance and waterfall bugs removed (all included, so you don’t have to go scuttling around the web looking for all the bits and pieces of CC!)