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The Sims 4 discusses what makes Growing Together different to Parenthood

the sims 4 growing together
How Sims 4's new pack is different to ParenthoodEA

The Sims 4's next expansion pack, Growing Together, is launching in less than two weeks' time, and its focus on family gameplay has led to comparisons with 2017's Parenthood.

Being compared to Parenthood is not a bad thing. That Game Pack is very highly regarded, considered by many as essential for those who want to get the most out of playing with a family.

But Growing Together – which comes with its own systems such as family dynamic and social compatibility to add nuance to Sims' bonds and relationships – is its own thing.

the sims 4 growing together
EA

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Lead designer Scott Dai told Digital Spy during an interview that Growing Together sets itself apart by increasing the scope beyond just parenting. All life stages will be expanded on and benefit from the new layers and systems in place, and that even includes content for elder Sims (they can now experience midlife crises, for example).

"Parenthood is a great pack," said Dai. "I love Parenthood, I worked on Parenthood.

"Growing Together is meant to be kind of an evolution of some of the ideas of Parenthood. Obviously, with the addition of infants and with the expansion of some of our younger Sims – our infants and our toddlers and our children – there's a natural overlap in terms of the relationships and interactions between the [parents] and their children.

"But Growing Together also is about creating more content throughout a Sim's lifetime. Parenthood was focused really on the moments of parenting and Growing Together adds some of that drama for our adults.

the sims 4 growing together trailer
EA

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"We added content that we felt would be natural for elders in terms of having a new rec centre venue, being able to go power-walking out in the neighbourhood, being able to play Simbles, which is our dominoes-like game, or doing a puzzle with friends on a table."

Dai continued by explaining that a big part of Growing Together is seeing the Sims grow up and evolve in a more organic way, from the moment they're born to being an elder.

"The other thing I would say is that a lot of our focus – in addition to Parenthood, which was really focused on those interactions between parents and our younger Sims – for Growing Together is, it's also about the sense of watching our Sims across all our life stages grow up.

"Even outside of the parenting relationship, really looking at what can we add to our infants and our toddlers and our children, just kind of growing up on their own and evolving on their own."

the sims 4 growing together
EA

Dai added: "I think one of the things we really wanted to do with Growing Together was, from the outset give the opportunity to our players to celebrate the full lifetimes and the memorable milestones of every single family, and let them explore the unique ways in which we know that the families may be interacting with each other."

During the same week of Growing Together's launch, there will also be a free base game update that adds a new infants life stage, which sits between baby and toddler.

"You get infant in base game, and you're going to get all of the mainstays that you would expect in terms of having an infant in your game, being able to customise them, add them to your family, take basic care of them," lead producer Graham Nardone told Digital Spy.

"But then Growing Together layers on a lot of additional options in the way that you care for them, or the depths of their personalities, or the way that an infant grows."

The Sims 4 Growing Together is released on March 16 on PC, Mac, PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

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