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The Sims 4: Growing Together

Maxis, EA
Mar 16, 2023 - PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4

OpenCritic Rating


Top Critic Average


Critics Recommend

65 / 100
Digital Spy
4 / 5
4 / 5
Digital Chumps
9 / 10
Screen Rant
4 / 5
4 / 5
3 / 5
4 / 5
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The Sims 4: Growing Together Trailers

The Sims 4 Growing Together: Official Gameplay Trailer thumbnail

The Sims 4 Growing Together: Official Gameplay Trailer

The Sims 4 Growing Together Expansion Pack: Official Reveal Trailer thumbnail

The Sims 4 Growing Together Expansion Pack: Official Reveal Trailer

The Sims 4: Growing Together Screenshots

Critic Reviews for The Sims 4: Growing Together

People who enjoy home life and raising babies in The Sims 4 will love the new changes with the baby update and the Growing Together Expansion. There are loads of cute clothes, hairstyles, and interactions that were added for babies, toddlers, and children. The social dynamics tend to get really deep and complicated, and weren't my cup of tea. I'd like to not have to have constant conflicts and jealousy, especially when my Sims don't have those traits (for a reason). An option to turn off cheating or jealousy would be great in future patches. The self-discovery traits have potential, but most times weren't anything I'd have liked to add to my Sims. Overall, Growing Together hasn't been my favorite, but that is because I tend to have a different playstyle in The Sims 4 than what this is geared towards.

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But Growing Together addresses some of the past criticisms of the game. The Sims 4 has worked hard over the last few years to give players more options than ever to customise their Sims, and this pack is a continuation of that direction — with its focus on evolving large parts of the gameplay a refreshing attempt at making a Sim's lifetime more colourful and rounded.

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Although many fans have been anticipating the launch of The Sims 5 (like me), this latest expansion pack makes the wait worth it as the developers continue to improve on mechanics. I already know that I’ll be spending a lot of my time building my family’s legacy with the new features, and I highly recommend joining in on the fun to experience the joys and woes of a Sim’s virtual life.

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Both the Infant Update and the Growing Together expansion pack adds more life to The Sims 4 experience. You can now play with infants, watch them grow, watch your Sims have milestones, and have the Sims recognize their family as family. While I enjoyed my time with the new expansion and update, I wish more was added to the overall experience. I felt it was missing some key elements such as more interaction options between family. Now, having said that, this is still a step forward, especially if you love creating families and want infants, this is the expansion to get and play with.

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Because so much of Growing Together centers around expanding existing in-game mechanics and interpersonal minutiae instead of entirely new experiences, it's easy for the EP to come off as shallow at first glance. This DLC will undoubtedly be divisive simply due to the many different ways fans of the franchise like to play. However, the boundless narrative potential and amount of new content and depth for all age ranges makes The Sims 4 Growing Together a perfect fit for family-oriented Simmers.

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While this expansion pack does present a whole new array of challenges – from diaper blowouts to random morning temper tantrums – it adds a much-needed sense of wholesomeness and realism to The Sims 4. It enhances the quirks of Sim relationships, provides goalposts for every Sim to strive towards, and provides a narrative-less game with a real sense of shape.

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All in all, while I am not a Simmer that prefers a generational style of play (I typically play with aging turned off and mostly as Young Adults, Adults, or Elders), Growing Together still has plenty of features that appeal to me, from its wide range of catalog items in CAS and Build/Buy through to the gorgeous (albeit shallow-feeling) world of San Sequoia, and an all-new Soul radio station to listen to. If a generational style of play does interest you, however, then The Sims 4 Growing Together will be exactly what you’re looking for. It brings much more (very needed) depth to the systems already in-game, with new likes and dislikes, Milestones, and Family Dynamics fleshing out how your Sims interact with one another. Storytellers will likely have ample fun utilizing all of these new features, and it has to be said that removing these gameplay elements would take a lot away from how individual Sims are now starting to feel all these years after its original 2014 release.

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Overall, The Sims 4 Growing Together is an expansion pack that you'll love if you're a generations player and love playing with the same family across generations. The gameplay mechanics alone are enough to provide entertainment, which is a good thing as the world is somewhat bland and boring. Although the Build Mode items are confusing without a solid theme, the CAS items are stronger. For gameplay alone, this is a great companion pack to the base game and perhaps another pack like Seasons or High School Years - if your focus is more on the familial gameplay aspect. Nevertheless, this does bring up an ethical debate. It can easily be argued that you would have gotten this and more with The Sims 3 Generations - possibly bundling The Sims 4 Growing Together, High School Years and Parenthood in one instead of being split into different packs. Whilst the pack holds up against other expansions, it is lacking just that extra oomph for elders and critically needs more outdoor activities and places to visit as a family.

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