The Kraken is a huge sea creature that can destroy every boat except for houseboats. There are clouded islands that you can unlock by opening treasure chests while scuba diving. There are mermaids you meet while scuba diving. If there is a shark, the mermaid can be signalled and the shark won't hurt you. The new lifetime wishes are about a life guard: to complete, you have to save 50 drowning Sims and to attain deep sea diver, you'll have to master the diving skill and make 40,000 simoleons from diving. You can get new items like fire walk, taxi-boats and water slides.
You can get reviews on your resort by Sims who stay there and they help you understand what they want to see appear at your resort. Some locations like the town hall, police station and military are all contained in one building. I didn't like that idea as the normal Sims 3 game has them all spreads out. I enjoyed how they introduced an interactive job as I think it makes The Sims 3 Island Paradise more fun to play - you can catch fish while you are diving, the diving skill unlocks scuba diving spots. First you snorkel then as your skill improves you can scuba dive and look for more scuba diving work which I thought was awesome.
I like that you can drive the house boat to places and ports, and I also love the "Run a Resort" aspect to the game. You can name and build your resort how you like and choose the staff uniforms however sadly you cannot make the uniforms through "Create a Sim" which means you have to stick to 6 pre-made options. You can also make your houseboat up any way you choose - for example, there is a new houseboat item called the "all-in-one bathroom." It has a toilet, shower and sink in 1 tiny space.
I also liked the upgrades for the house boat, like upgrading the foghorn and engine - now when you buy a really expensive speed boat, don't drive it around the uncharted islands at night as chances are the Kraken with show up and drag your boat down with force to the depths and destroy it so your Sim will be stranded. Don't act stupid around sharks while diving as they will attack your guy and he or she will lose their life unless you have a mermaid to help. I would say that snorkling around sharks is just as dangerous as it is possible to run out of air while diving as you are given 5 hours of diving and 2 hours of warning that air is running low. Watch out, if you ignore the 2 hour warning, your Sim will die from lack of air. You can explore cave systems which is a pretty cool feature but you can't see your diver.
Another feature is that you can become partners then owners of businesses and get a share of profits. The resort management lets you control the level of maintenance and who you hire which is cool.
Other stuff I like includes how people get around in cars and boats. The Kraken is a giant squid about the size of 3 houseboats. There are pedalboats, speedboats, sailboats and wind surfers but sadly they can all be destroyed by the Kraken.
You can find shipwrecks and catch some new and rare fish while diving. When you complete a map of the uncharted islands, you unlock them one at a time then you can own them. Your Sim can still drown at sea just like in the normal Sims. You can start learning the scuba diving skill as a child. Your Sim can turn into a mermaid if you ingest special kelp then you can have a huge mermaid tail in the water but on land you have two scaly legs instead.
Overall, Sims 3 Island Paradise is a great expansion pack. I would highly recommend it to Sims 3 players as the amount of new content is absolutely amazing. As I said, it costs £15- £25 (don't buy second hand versions) so go on make your own Island Paradise.by Kieran Turnbull