The Sims 4 For Rent Expansion Pack Review | Big Dreams in a Small World

The Sims 4: For Rent is nearly everything I've ever wanted from an expansion

The Sims 4 For Rent expansion pack review
Image via Electronic Arts

Historically, The Sims 4’s previous expansions have added features like apartments, expanded family dynamics, and environmental management, with The Sims 4’s fifteenth expansion, For Rent, taking this a step further. The pack allows you to take on roles as either a property manager caring for tenants or a tenant whose goal is to live while working to afford rent payments.

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Between the newly added traits, aspirations, and complex gameplay mechanics, For Rent sets you up to create pleasant Sims or entertaining chaos. I enjoyed it all much more than I anticipated.

Being a Property Manager is a Blast

For Rent adds limitless possibilities for creating multiple homes on one lot, mainly when designing apartment complexes and multi-story homes for you and your tenants. You can create residential rental properties nearly anywhere and separate rooms by household to split everyone into their respective living spaces.

Sometimes, this means dividing one townhouse into two or three households. In other situations, you can create a massive apartment building with six households, each holding eight Sims, to have nearly 50 Sims residing on one lot. While there are performance limitations for how many Sims you can have living on one lot, there is still plenty of potential for you to experiment with property management features, meet new people, and, most importantly for some, make lots of money while doing it.

“For Rent offers some of the most fun I’ve had in a Sims game in years.”

There is a lot to unpack with property management and how to design your lots, get tenants to live in your house, and make sure you keep up with maintenance. If you’re like me, you can thrive on the challenge of having multiple households in a lot and keeping up with their needs and demands. On the flip side, if you want some chaos, you can purposely be the worst landlord possible and see what events unfold as your tenants deal with peculiar situations. Either way, For Rent offers some of the most fun I’ve had in a Sims game in years.

With that said, For Rent’s property management system is more complicated than meets the eye, with features like daily rent, unit ratings, and tenant applications all influencing how your life as a manager will go. You can set up unit rules to manage what your tenants do, pick and choose who will live in your building, and even cause revolts if you handle things poorly. The pack rewards you for spending time decorating your lot, repairing appliances for tenants, and being attentive to their needs, which all ties into how successful you’ll be.

If your tenants are unlucky, they may even experience mold, giving them dazed and uncomfortable moodlets. In extreme cases, it can even kill them, so it’s important to keep an eye on this if you want to avoid (or witness) any unfortunate Sim situations.

Community Relations Has Never Felt More Satisfying

Similarly, if your Sim is a tenant, you’ll face similar situations that you would never encounter in other packs. If you have a great landlord, you can have them fix all your problems for you as your Sim focuses on working and enjoying their life. On the other hand, if you have a poor experience, you can start a revolt with others or leave and rent another house. Your day-to-day actions feel much more impactful, especially once you start socializing with other tenants, sharing spaces with them, and participating in community events.

What if you want to give others an unpleasant experience as a prankster or evil Sim? For Rent introduces features like eavesdropping, snooping for secrets, and breaking into homes, allowing you to learn more about others that you typically wouldn’t know or unleash your inner kleptomaniac. While this style of play isn’t for everyone, it can make for some wacky situations if that’s your thing, and it even relates to a new aspiration.

Tomarang’s World Size is Limiting

The Sims 4: For Rent introduces you to the beautiful, lively world of Tomarang, a Southeast Asian-inspired environment with two residential rental lots ready for you to jump into or a few empty lots to experiment with. You can explore Morensong, a bustling neighborhood home to Tinsu Temple, the night market, and the Taman Botani National Park, or Koh Sahpa, a relaxing area with a lounge, beach, and Tiger Sanctuary.

And that’s about it. For Rent emphasizes property management through creating homes and apartments fit for renting out to potential tenants. If you prefer jumping into a pre-made home and exploring the world, you won’t find much to interact with here, especially considering a few of its buildings place you into rabbit holes.

Nonetheless, while Tomarang is a small world with few lots compared to others in the base game and various expansions, it has a surprising amount of depth in its lore and features. The nightly Night Market provides a great opportunity to explore the town, socialize with other Sims, and grab a bite to eat before heading to bed, while locations like the temple make your Sim happy. This part of For Rent, in particular, reminded me a lot of City Living’s festivals if they were nightly occurrences, which was a pleasant surprise that I didn’t initially expect.

Classy Create-a-Sim Options

As is tradition with most expansions, The Sims 4: For Rent offers a multitude of body features, clothing, and hairstyles to experiment with. From classy, sleek dresses to stylish buns and multi-color hairstyles, For Rent’s character customization options for all life stages differentiate itself from other packs.

You’ll also spot customization features for numerous categories, from tattoos to hats and jewelry, allowing you to change more than just your shirt, pants, and shoes.

“From classy, sleek dresses to stylish buns and multi-color hairstyles, For Rent’s character customization options for all life stages differentiate itself from other packs.”

The expansion also adds new traits and aspirations fit for the pack, from one that provides happiness for residing in Tomarang to being cringey. I’ll admit I chuckled at some of these, as I’ve secretly wanted these particular ones added to The Sims for years. Aspirations also reward you for having skills as a nosy neighbor, profitable property owner, or expert Tomarang explorer, depending on your interests, which is always a welcome sight for any pack.

It’s Almost Everything I Ever Wanted

The Sims 4: For Rent is reminiscent of packs like City Living and Eco Lifestyle and provides a combination of all-around fun in the community with interesting core gameplay features that completely change how you play. If you want to be a good person who treats your tenants well, you can spend hours perfecting your units and keeping up with maintenance. If you prefer the reverse, you can slack off, allowing your tenants to take care of everything at the cost of your unit rating.

The creative freedom in For Rent is impressive, and I’m looking forward to diving into it further in future playthroughs to see just how much my Sims can accomplish. There is a lot to play around with in CAS, build mode, and property management features, but I wish the map was bigger. Having only nine lots total, with two default residential and three empty ones, felt much smaller than previous packs with double the options. This was by far the most limiting part of the pack, but with enough time and messing around with features, you can still accomplish a lot and have a fun experience with the For Rent expansion.

9

The Sims 4: For Rent

A complex, satisfying expansion with unexpected and entertaining events everywhere, limited only by a small starting world.

Pros

  • Property management has satisfying complexity that is open to player creativity.
  • The world of Tomarang is beautiful with several noteworthy features exclusive to it.
  • New traits and aspirations make for entertaining moments.

Cons

  • Limited lot options and sizes in Tomarang.
  • Property management mechanics can initially be intimidating.
  • Breaking-in and eavesdropping features have few realistic consequences.

A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review. Reviewed on PC.

Author

Madison Benson
Madison was a staff writer at Prima Games who has played video games for over twenty years and written about them for over two years. Her love for video games started with turn-based strategy games like Heroes of Might and Magic and has since extended to casual farming sims, MMORPGs, and action-adventure RPGs.