In real life I consider myself to be a pretty spooky gal. I love witchy things, tarot, astrology and the supernatural. Do I believe in it all? Debatable, but it's a part of my life I enjoy and actively embrace. When it comes to The Sims, however, all of that can get in the bin. The Sims 4 is where I thrive on realism. My Sims are usually baristas or freelancers living in shitty, run-down apartments with a feral cat they scooped up from some back alley.
When it comes to The Sims 4's spookier packs—Strangerville, Vampires, Realm of Magic—I usually steer well clear. They don't fit my vision of my personal Sims lore. So when Paranormal Stuff was announced, I was pretty disappointed. But after having a tinker around with the new gameplay, I can say that Paranormal Stuff is one of the best packs to date.
Paranormal Stuff lends itself to a level of chaos that feels all-encompassing but strangely unintrusive. The Sims 4 is horrifically guilty of heavily controlling the game behind a thin veil of freedom, but Paranormal Stuff's havoc really lies firmly on your shoulders. Tweaking your lot type to a Haunted House lot will increase the spectral goings-on, and you can go out of your way to cause as much or as little spiritual hostility as you like.
The séance table is the main skill object of Paranormal Stuff, opening up a world of supernatural possibilities. Its biggest use is for building the new Medium skill through conducting ceremonies, either on your own or as part of a group. My Sim didn't have any friends or family, so I sent her off to the gym to rope some meatheads into giving her a hand.
Once you've got your Medium skill up a little, the options open up a fair amount. Once all my gym bros got bored of spooky ceremonies and cleared off, I sat my Sim down to do a special type of ceremony: one that temporarily turns you into a ghost. Of course, the first thing she did was check her phone before proceeding to possess the toilet, which promptly broke as a result of my spectral tomfoolery.
This was the perfect time to bust out one of the things that excited me most about this new pack. I had my Sim float back to the table, and now my skill was high enough that I could summon an old fan favourite: skeleton maid Bonehilda. The Sims 4 has done away with her coffin home of yore and instead lets you summon her into existence whenever you feel like it. The nostalgic part of me strangely misses Bonehilda's obnoxious dwelling, but having her poof in and out existence as you please is admittedly an improvement—there's no room for a coffin in a modern industrial loft apartment.
The real fun comes once you're a little more adept at communicating with the dead. I had a ghost named Guidry show up at my haunted abode a couple of nights after moving in. He's a little too friendly, his flirty-pink glow following me wherever I go. He seems like a nice enough fellow though, and was so impressed with my spiritual skills that he handed me a license for the Paranormal Investigator career.
The Paranormal Investigator freelance career is the meat of this pack. Up until I started my new career, everything else had just been preparation for the adventures to come—but it's also where the chaos can start getting a little out of hand if you're unprepared to tackle Paranormal's little ghost blobs, called spectres.
I sent my Sim off to her first job and arrived at the Bjergsen family mansion in Windenburg. It was an easy level job, but everything went completely down the toilet. The spectre blobs had put so much fear into my Sim that she couldn't do anything except run around screaming, before hiding in the teenage daughter's bed. This didn't instil the clients with much confidence, who also proceeded to run around screaming, until they all pissed themselves one by one. My Sim went home with 0 Simoleons.
The key is getting the hand of tackling the spectres—they absolutely loved my handmade candles, though how they can hold them is beyond me. Once you're well-equipped with handmade gifts, the job becomes a lot of fun and a decent moneymaker. Easy jobs can be completed in around 2-3 Sim hours, though I struggled to complete the hard-level jobs in the specified time. It's one of The Sims 4's better active careers, and it's up there with the acting career for me.
Paranormal almost beats out Tiny Living for my favourite stuff pack. It plays around with the weird and wacky in a manner that doesn't feel actively intrusive, in the way having Vlad the vampire show up at your house in the middle of the night does. It doesn't throw the supernatural elements in your face like other packs, and has actually made me enjoy the more paranormal aspects of The Sims 4. Vlad can still get in the bin, though.
Paranormal Stuff is out now on Origin and Steam. Need to find a cheat or looking for a mod to spice up your gameplay? Check out our comprehensive list of Sims 4 cheats and our list of best Sims 4 mods.