Seasons is one of the latest expansion packs for 2014’s The Sims 4, and much like its predecessors, it integrates brand new, year-round weather features, new activities, career paths, furniture and more. In terms of added features, Seasons is an essential expansion, providing a structured calendar complete with themed seasonal events such as Love Day, Harvestfest, Winterfest and New Year’s Eve.
Each day holds the possibility of rain, hail or shine and severe thunderstorms can lead to sudden death. Without the use of outerwear, cold snaps can lead to a very frosty, lonely end. It gives The Sims 4 a sense of spontaneity that the base game often lacks, making every day feel genuinely different.
Brand new activities include beekeeping, flower arranging and ice-skating, while the new work-from-home botanist career allows you to grow and sell plants for profit. Also included is stylish new outerwear and garish summer outfits, a range of decorative furniture and a weather machine that allows you to unleash temporary weather effects such as snow, heatwaves and rain.
While I could talk about the generous new features and what great additions they make to gameplay, I’d like instead to talk about a brand new object that fascinated me to no end. The Sims 4: Seasons is home to a new NPC known as Patchy the Straw Man. Patchy is, for the most part, a seasonal Spring object that helps you look after your garden. But in actual fact, Patchy is alive, and functions much like a regular NPC.
When you first purchase Patchy, he’s an inanimate object that watches over your garden. On certain occasions, however, you can see him twitch or move, and when you click on him, you can start an interaction. Sims can befriend Patchy by talking to him about the harvest and birds, as well as making small talk. At full friendship levels, Patchy will provide gardening tips for your Sims, and seeds can be found within his bountiful pockets.
What I didn’t realise was that Patchy has a habit of coming alive, and he can enter your house uninvited. His first appearance caught me off guard as he strolled lazily through my lounge, admiring my Sim’s possessions. When I selected him, I was able to greet him like any other Sim, and as it turned out, Patchy had similar friendship requirements as any NPC Sim. So Patchy and Solomon, my surfie vampire Sim, struck up a conversation.
When Patchy responded favourably to Solomon’s dirty jokes, I knew they had to bone. This scarecrow came into Solomon’s life for one key purpose, and I was determined to make it happen. And so I started the long, flirtatious process.
At first, it was going swimmingly. Solomon’s flirting elicited deep, throaty giggles from Patchy, and his body language became more open and excited. Then, Solomon asked if he was single. The conversation became uncomfortable, and the dreaded — friendship symbol appeared. Solomon tried again, flirting repeatedly, confessing his attraction and attempting to hold Patchy’s hand. Each attempt failed as he slipped from simply ‘uncomfortable’ to ’embarrassed’. He attempted to ask a risque question, and Patchy rejected him immediately. Above the scarecrow’s head, Solomon’s face appeared with a big red cross. Solomon became ‘very embarrassed’ and began to cry. Patchy the Straw Man was definitively, unequivocally un-boneable.
Patchy walked away and didn’t look back, taking up a nearby guitar to sing away his blues.
Solomon was understandably devastated. Here he is realising the gravity of his loss.
In order to deal with his grief in a healthy and reasonable manner, Solomon decided that the only way to resolve his embarrassment would be to murder Patchy and hide the body. Being a scarecrow, that proved to be far more difficult than he first realised, so Solomon settled for attacking Patchy, draining his blood and leaving him sprawled in his living room hallway.
The elation lasted only a moment. Solomon now lives in a constant state of embarrassment. The only jokes he cracks are self-deprecating, and he openly shares his anxieties with anyone who’ll listen. His attempts to rebound with housemate Trish were duly rejected, leaving both of them uncomfortable and awkward. Patchy has returned to life on his stump, and has not entered the house or come to life since. The world has not been the same since Patchy came to visit, and it looks like it never will be again.
The Sims 4: Seasons is available now from Origin or your local games retail store.
This story of love, betrayal and loss was brought to you via a retail code provided by the publisher.