TSR Sims 4 Snowy Escape Review Part 1: The World of Mt Komorebi
This review is courtesy of the Game Changers Program
Are you excited about the new Sims 4 Expansion Snowy Escape? Well, you should be! This expansion has a whole lot to offer. New CAS items, new build and buy items, new skills, new activities, new deaths, new world, new interactions, new lot type, new culture, new a lot of things!
Your Sims can choose to vacation or live at Mt. Komorebi. The ability to visit and reside all in the same world gives a lot of playability options.
There is a lot in this expansion so this review will be in sections, tentatively I am planning for four sections but we will see how deep we dive into everything Snowy Escape!
This first section is going to be all about the world and its culture. There is a lot of emphasis on culture and tradition in Snowy Escape, even more so than Jungle Adventures. The Sims team has really gone above and beyond making worlds unique with their own cultures. This offers a lot more immersion and playability features within the game.
Mt. Komorebi expands on the types of things that have been done in previous worlds like Selvadorada and Sulani. The overall feel of the expansion is very immersive and a breath of fresh air. I think a lot of people are really going to enjoy this expansion pack.
Just so that you are prepared Mt. Komorebi is quite possibly the loveliest world yet within the Sims 4 universe.
About Mt. Komorebi
A large amount of this expansion’s content appears to have been invested in making the new Mt. Komorebi neighborhood. Not just on a purely graphical basis, but also to make it a believable representation of Japan in the game.
Komorebi means light filtering through the trees. There are tons of trees around throughout Mt. Komorebi and each neighborhood has its own distinct themes and perks. The new world Mt. Komorebi is a very unique setting for locals and tourists. Sims can either reside or visit these snowy slopes.
Each neighborhood in Snowy Escape’s Mt. Komorebi has unique features and five lots that come in the Snowy Escape expansion. The three neighborhoods in the world of Mt. Komorebi; Senbamachi, Yukimatsu, and Wakaba.
In Snowy Escape there is a traditional neighborhood called Senbamachi. The word Senbamachi actually means Thousand Leaves Town. The neighborhood focuses on Mt. Komorebi’s connection to nature, finding balance in lifestyles. There are beautiful forests that surround the entire town. There are legends that state that those who walk among nature in respect can meet the guardians of the trees.
This neighborhood includes five lots; three residential, one natural space, and one local bar. The natural space in Wakaba is a lovely gathering place for Sims.
Hiking in this neighborhood is very popular as there are a couple of places that Sims can hike to and enjoy the nature around them. This is a beautiful neighborhood and features points of interest; the Mountain Temple, The Graveyard, and Bamboo Forest. There are quite a few areas throughout the neighborhoods that are great places to relax within nature.
The Mountain Temple is a beautiful landmark that is the perfect place to make a wish or take a photo. You can interact with the two boards but that is about it here. Taking too many selfies is also considered disrespectful.
The Graveyard is said to be a place that Sims may encounter spirits that can curse the Sim.
The beautiful Bamboo Forest is the most incredible place for a Sim to take a hike! There is wildlife in the forest such as bats, hornets, centipedes, and forest spirits. Spray repellents will keep your Sim safe. You can also check your local information board to check for updates on wildlife conditions.
Aesthetically Senbamachi was my favorite neighborhood. The park, hiking trails, and overall traditional Japanese style of the neighborhood is absolutely gorgeous.
Wakaba is the newer, more modern part of the world in the Snowy Escape expansion pack. This neighborhood has beautiful sleek homes, a modern Town Center, and tons of green areas. Wakaba is also the location for the Festival of Youth. Wakaba is a residential area, the perfect mix for locals and tourists alike with its three residential lots, one rental lot, and one lounge.
The neighborhood features breathtaking views of the base of Mt. Komorebi. Wakaba features gardens and a waterfall that Sims can swim near.
The lounge is located in Wakaba and is a ‘swanky’ location perfect for locals and tourists. Visitors can listen to local musicians, relax, or have a drink.
In the center of Wakaba, there is a Town Center featuring Mt. Komorebi’s adorable mascot Yamachan. The Town Center has been a point of discussion as the train and buildings are not interactive. The Festival of Youth is held at the Town Center and there is quite a bit of Sims that went through the area. The Town Center looks nice but aside from that and a place to stage photos, the area is primarily static.
Let’s be honest it is the train. There was so much hype with the train in the trailer that I really wish it was useable.
The overall neighborhood is still lovely and a great residential location. The parks and little extra areas staged throughout balance out the no train interaction issue fairly well. You can also swim in the river!
Yukimatsu is named for the snow-covered pines found in this neighborhood. This neighborhood in Snowy Escape is your ultimate winter sports resort. Beauty, untamed wilderness, adventure, and sport are all found here in Yukimatsu. There is also the Snow Festival and the relaxing Onsen.
It is rumored that you can gain access to a large fifth lot by completing the climb to the summit. Sadly, none of my sims were prepared for this feat. But, we shall try and try again!
The Snow Slopes of Mt. Komorebi offers tons of fun and adventure. Your sims can sled, ski, or snowboard. There are four different trails that sims can choose from, beginners should start with the bunny trail until their skill goes up.
There is also a Gondola that helps get your Sims all the way to the top of the slopes. The Gondola also leads to mountain climbing as well as sledding, skiing, and snowboarding. The Gondola just teleports you from the top to the bottom very quickly, so it takes you out of immersion for just a quick second.
Yukimatsu has a lot to offer its tourists and locals with all the year-round thrills and relaxation opportunities and it provides two rental lots and the peaceful Sutefani Onsen Bathhouse.
The Sutefani Onsen Bathouse
So if you did not know an Onsen is a hot water spring, the water is geothermally heated from volcanic activity, well at least that is the case in Japan. A Rotenburo is an outside Onsen like the Sutefani Onsen Bathhouse.
The Sutefani Onsen Bathhouse is a rejuvenating adventure of relaxation for your Sims. It is the perfect place to unwind or just enjoy a natural hot spring. In real life, the springs have water packed full of minerals that are great for general health and your skin. So it is no mystery why a trip to the Onsen can improve your Sims’ wellbeing, refreshing their injuries, fears, and stress.
In almost all Onsens there are rules and specific etiquette that needs to be followed while your Sim is visiting an Onsen.
To go into the hot springs you must abide by the rules to gain entry. No unrinsed sims can gain entry to the springs. This is to ensure that the hot spring water stays up to hygienic standards. Apparently, if Sims break the etiquette of the Onsen other sims will react differently to them.
Culture & Tradition
Culture and tradition are huge components of the Snowy Escape Sims 4 Expansion. After playing this expansion for a short time it is easy to see that the creators worked very hard to integrate a good deal of Japanese culture into the world of Mt. Komorebi.
Some of these actions or elements may seem small, but together they create a great immersive world full of interactions. A lot of these elements are inserted into the world of Mt. Komorebi focusing on respect, reflection, and good hygiene.
There is a new greeting within the Snowy Escape expansion, it is called a ‘respectful introduction.’ This is a sign of mutual respect and directly ties to some Eastern Asian cultures.
One thing that I have always wondered is why Sims wear shoes inside their homes. Although I am not of Eastern Asian descent, this is something I do in my household as well. We have ‘house shoes’ or sandals we only wear in the house. All shoes that have been outside staying in the three seasons room at the home entry.
This is customary in many Eastern Asian homes and now in the world of Mt. Komorebi. For $110 Simoleons there are ‘Taming of the Shoe’ signs that are outside of their home that tells visiting sims to take off their shoes. Once this sign is placed on the lot most Sims will remove their shoes upon entering the home.
The neat part about the sign is it changes the settings to footwear. Your three options are; allow shoes indoors, wear slippers indoors, or remove shoes indoors. You can also find these options on a shoe rack as well. However, then Visiting Sims may not know the proper shoe etiquette.
School-aged Sims that live in Mt. Komorebi will wear school uniforms when going to school.
Floor seating and dining is another implication of Japanese culture within the Snowy Escape expansion. According to my Japanese-American friend, this is done due to a number of reasons; safety, floor space, and cleanliness. According to my friend heavy furniture can cause marks or damage to the floors. Keeping everything light and moveable allows for more floor space to be efficiently used. Also, earthquakes, lighter furniture, and more floor space is a good thing when you are trying to get out as fast as you can.
So obviously with the inclusion of this element, we have some new build items added to the expansion so you can set your Sims’ homes up perfectly in the Mt. Komorebi traditions.
Speaking of dining brings up the fifteen new recipes and drinks. There are also new food items in the vending machines.
Hot pot meals are a neat addition similar to the Kava Bowl in Island Living but a bit different. The Hot Pot is a very social experience, but cannot be used at this time in restaurants.
Sims either use chopsticks or Western cutlery.
Japanese Folk music is added to the radio station in Snowy Escape. Listening to Japanese Folk music is a great way to relax in Mt. Komorebi.
One of the elements I was most excited about is the Koi. I absolutely love Koi and I have always wanted my very own Koi pond. Well now in Sims 4 I can make that happen EVERYWHERE! Koi ponds for EVERYONE! YES!! Ok, all kind of joking aside, you can place the Koi fish like decorations in outdoor spaces. So yes that means bodies of water including fountains!
As you have noticed the theme of culture in Mt. Komorebi is all about being in the moment and being respectful. Respectful to the residents of Mt. Komorebi also includes good hygiene practices and is respectful to monuments and nature. Tourism is a big part of Mt. Komorebi and respectful tourism is a big deal. Being disrespectful and breaking etiquette, will have consequences. AKA put that phone down!