The Sims 4 Growing Together Review: Family Fun (PC)

The Sims 4 Growing Together Expansion Pack is a must-have for Sims players who love family oriented gameplay. The Sims 4 Growing Together, as this review will show, brings much-needed real family ties into the game, plus an amazing new world, San Sequoia, the perfect setting to raise any Sims family.

The Sims 4 Growing Together Expansion Pack Review Family Fun (PC)

The Sims 2 had the Family Fun Stuff Pack. The Sims 3 had the Generations Expansion. To start with, The Sims 4 had the Parenthood Game Pack, but now it has something even better: the Growing Together Expansion Pack. If you’re a Sims player who loves anything to do with family-oriented gameplay, the latest Expansion for The Sims 4 is an absolute must. It has something for all Sim ages, a wonderful new world to play in, and new in-depth gameplay to deepen your Sims’ life experiences. Read this The Sims 4 Growing Together review to see exactly why you must get it, whether or not you enjoy family gameplay.

The Sims 4 Growing Together Expansion Pack is now available on PC, Mac, Xbox consoles, and PlayStation consoles. Also, make sure to get this Expansion before April 27th to get the Outdoor Playtime digital content, which adds 3 bonus items, including a baby carrier, swing set, and toddler slide.

The Sims 4 Growing Together Expansion Pack: Official Reveal Trailer

Story – San Sequoia, the Perfect Place to Raise a Family

Since this is The Sims, it’s up to the player to use their imagination to come up with their own stories. The central theme of Growing Together is families. Creative players, whether story tellers or builders, will have lots of new ways to tell their stories or create new Lots and Sims.

There is also a new world that comes with Growing Together. Introducing the town of San Sequoia, a beautifully created setting with peaceful suburban neighborhoods. This is a great place to raise a family of Sims, with plenty of space to run around in, plus the town has some amazing features that other worlds don’t have in The Sims 4. If your Sims don’t live here, you’ll at least want them to visit.

San Sequoia, another new amazing world to play in, especially for families.

San Sequoia, another new amazing world to play in, especially for families.

Gameplay – Fun for All the Family

The Sims 4 Growing Together Expansion Pack focuses on family ties and interactions. If you love this sort of thing, then you’ll love Growing Together. For this review for The Sims 4 Growing Together, let’s go through the core new stuff you can expect to see.

Milestone Marvels

One core new feature introduced in Growing Together is milestones. These are significant moments in a Sim’s life that can shape them for the rest of their life, something they can reflect on. There are different milestones for every age group, from developing infants to elderly Sims. These essentially act as goals for you and your Sims to strive towards. They’re a great guidance tool for developing your Sim of any age, if you’re not sure what you want them to do next. If you see a grayed-out milestone, you can hover over it and see what it is and how to achieve it. You can also hover over accomplished milestones and find out what the next step could be for your Sim. Some milestones may take time and patience to achieve, but it makes it that much rewarding when your Sim does reach their goal.

One thing I wish could be better is some kind of progress bar to show how close your Sim is to achieving a milestone. For example, if an infant’s next milestone is to learn how to sit up, it would be great to see how they are progressing, rather than patiently working with them and waiting for that magic moment when they finally do it. This makes us more prepared for when that moment finally arrives, so we can watch the infant sit up for the first time and bask in the moment, so we don’t accidentally fast forward it or are distracted with something else.

Infants in particular can achieve a lot of milestones, important for the early stage of their life.

Infants in particular can achieve a lot of milestones, important for the early stage of their life.

Quirks and Self Discovery

Along with the strong family theme that runs throughout Growing Together, this Expansion also allows your Sims to grow in new ways. 

Infants and toddlers can develop Quirks, which works similar to Fame Quirks from the Get Famous Expansion. For example, a toddler can become a Picky Eater, which can impact on how they eat food. Quirks are meant to create more interesting situations and sometimes make life more challenging, but I personally didn’t have too many headaches with Quirks, which was a relief. I was a bit worried since Fame Quirks were quite annoying.

Sims of any age, namely children and older, can also make Self Discoveries, meaning that they can develop new traits. Sims can realize that they’re Active or Clumsy, for example. The good thing about this particular mechanic is that you can reject a new trait if you don’t want your Sim to have it, and they don’t come up so often that it seems spammy.

Sometimes, your Sims will discover a new trait.

Sometimes, your Sims will discover a new trait.

Growing Together also introduces the Midlife Crisis, just like Generations did for The Sims 3. For The Sims 4 Growing Together review, I felt I should mention this feature, but I have yet to play a Sim who experiences one of these. Apparently, there are four different ones that you can get, with different desires to complete, with themes such as creativity and adventure. If the Midlife Crisis is anything to go by like the ones from Generations, I can’t wait to experience them.

Family Ties

Families have always been around in The Sims 4, but until now, there wasn’t much in the sense of special family relationships. There was never a special bond between parent and child. They could become Best Friends, but nothing much more. Families could also fall out and become Distant. Growing Together adds this all in, so Sim families can act as proper families, complete with unique bonds and relationships that they can’t have with other Sims. 

This is something that can be developed naturally through gameplay, or, rather helpfully, you can set the dynamics in Create-A-Sim when you are altering relationships. This system is sort of similar to the Sentiments mechanic introduced in the Snowy Escape Expansion, except this is more focused on families and can be added in either CAS or gameplay. Having Family Dynamics added in creates a stronger sense of family relationships. Sims who are part of a family now had a special bond with each other, whether they’re Close or Distant, to properly distinguish them from non-family Sims.

Family members can now be close, supportive, distant, or jokesters, which affects their feelings and interactions with each other.

Family members can now be close, supportive, distant, or jokesters, which affects their feelings and interactions with each other.

Another update for relationships is Compatibility. Your Sims’ likes and dislikes will affect how they get on with others, whether they gel or clash. Things such as characteristic preferences and conversation topics now have a factor in developing new relationships. This is just one more thing added to The Sims 4 to create a new layer of realism.

New Aspirations for Kids

If you’ve been playing The Sims 4 for a while now and have been getting bored of the 4 original aspirations for kids, Growing Together adds a new type of aspiration for child Sims: Multi-Skill aspirations. There are 4 to choose from altogether, and each of these mix up two of the 4 core skills children can learn. For example, an aspiration may implement the Motor and Social skills, or Creative and Mental. These aspirations are a great way to develop your young Sims and get them trying out new things and meeting new Sims. They’re also pretty easy to accomplish. While playing Growing Together for this review, I ended up completing 2 of the 4 multi-skill aspirations with my child Sim, and I was working on a third before they aged up.


A new type of social event comes with this pack: Slumber Parties. These are a great way of getting Sims together and sleeping over. While they are fun, there were a few hiccups I encountered. First, since children cannot organize social events, their parents had to arrange it. Second, I had a tricky time getting the guests organized. You can direct them to set up their sleeping bags, but it’s a bit hit-and-miss getting it to work. Also, there’s supposed to be an interaction that gets them all sleeping in their bags, but that never came up for me, even though there were enough bags set out. I don’t know if I’m the only one who experienced this. Hopefully this can be sorted out in a patch, but despite this, I still enjoyed the slumber parties, and I was still able to achieve a gold score for the event.

Slumber parties need a little work, but they're a great way of getting Sims together.

Slumber parties need a little work, but they’re a great way of getting Sims together.

Exploring and Having Fun in San Sequoia

Every Sims player loves it whenever a new world is introduced in The Sims 4, and San Sequoia is no different. Based on San Francisco, this is a great world to live in and visit. There’s plenty to see and do here, and it’s been brilliantly put together. There are unique locations, such as the water play park, movie theater, harbor, and arboretum. 

The Rec Center is a brand new Lot type that comes with Growing Together, and it’s honestly one of the greatest community lots I’ve played in. It’s often packed full of Sims for you to meet and hang out with, and there’s a ton of stuff to keep you there for hours. There’s workout equipment, computers, chess tables, a barbeque, toys, books, and musical instruments. There’s also game tables, where you can play mahjong and do jigsaw puzzles. I personally love the jigsaw puzzles and have been wanting them in The Sims 4 for ages, so I’m glad they added this in. It’s fun to do with other Sims, plus when you’re done, you can frame the completed puzzle and hang it on your wall. You’ll find yourself visiting the Rec Center a lot, whether or not your Sims live in San Sequoia.

I love doing jigsaw puzzles at the Rec Center, but there's lots of other stuff to do there too.

I love doing jigsaw puzzles at the Rec Center, but there’s lots of other stuff to do there too.

San Sequoia works well as a place for starter Sims to live as well. There’s affordable housing available, with plenty of room for families to live in. I had a family who lived in two different homes in San Sequoia while reviewing Growing Together and they were both affordable and practical, as well as homely. There’s also a vacation home if you want to stay over.

While I generally love the new world, the only thing that disappointed me was the lack of giant sized Lots to build on. While there are 3 empty Lots, they’re only 20 x 30 or 30 x 30. I also found that there were a lot of houses populating the neighborhoods, since it’s a surburban world, but most of them were just for decoration. Instead of just decoration, at least some of these could have been actual residential Lots.

Graphics & Audio – Cheerful New Content & Soulful Music

Something everyone always looks forward to with a new Expansion is not just new gameplay and worlds, but also new objects and outfits. Growing Together doesn’t let you down there. For this review of The Sims 4 Growing Together, we have to take a look at what’s new in Create-A-Sim and Build Mode.


There’s a wonderful selection of new outfits for every Sim. The clothing theme of Growing Together is cosy. There’s lots of knitted clothing, including jumpers, cardigans, and t-shirts. There’s also loose shirts, pants, and dresses, all in a variety of colors and patterns. The new outfits also work well for elderly Sims, who sometimes feel a little overlooked in favor of young adults. Kids also get a bunch of fun outfits. There’s also plenty of new stuff for the brand-new Infants life stage, if you felt the variety of outfits from the base game was a little lacking.

The new clothes are great, as well as the hairstyles, but some areas felt a bit lacking. For example, there could have been more shoes added, as well as accessories.

As you would expect for a Sims 4 Expansion, there's lots of new stuff in Create-A-Sim.

As you would expect for a Sims 4 Expansion, there’s lots of new stuff in Create-A-Sim.

Build Mode

The new objects and build content that comes with Growing Together also generally didn’t disappoint. I particularly love the new giant windows, which are designed to fit with rooves. I already have a lot of inspiration for what to do with these.

There’s a generous selection of new objects to deck homes and other Lots out in, with a mixture of modern contemporary and cosy vibes. There are brand new objects to check out as well, such as a decent selection of bikes for kids, the infant playmat, changing table, upright piano, and the treehouse. The objects from the water park in San Sequoia are also available, so you can build your own water play park. This was a pleasant surprise because I expected them only to be accessible under the Debug objects.

I’m pleased they added bikes for kids because I felt bad that they couldn’t ride them, unlike adults, and I felt they needed them. Child Sims do need to learn how to ride a bike, but this isn’t too time consuming, and once they’ve got it, they’re free to ride anywhere they desire.

Treehouses are a great addition to any home too – providing you have the space. Your Sims first have to build the treehouse, a satisfying process to watch, but once it’s done, there’s plenty you can do with it. Kids can deck it out in different styles and play pretend games. It also serves as a new place for Sims to WooHoo.

The treehouse is a cool new object that you must check out with Growing Together.

The treehouse is a cool new object that you must check out with Growing Together.

New Tunes

If you like music, you’ll be pleased to know that Growing Together adds about 10 new songs to the in-game radio stations. There’s a brand-new type of music station: Soul, which offers 5 songs, including a Simlish version of I Will Survive. New songs have also been added to Alternative and Pop, all of which are upbeat bobs to get you in a good mood for playing happy families with your Sims.

The Sims 4 Growing Together Expansion was reviewed on PC.

The Sims 4 Growing Together Expansion brings exactly what you expect to the game. It's perfect for players who love family gameplay, and it's also great if you enjoy your Sims growing and developing at any age. San Sequoia is another amazing world to play in, ideal for families but great for anyone. I especially love the new Recreation Center. I wish there were more Lots though. Regardless of the few flaws, this is a great new Expansion Pack and one you should definitely consider getting.
  • Fantastic new world, especially the Rec Center
  • Gameplay that truly deepens family and life experiences
  • Great new objects such as the treehouse and bikes for kids
  • Could do with progress meter for Milestones
  • Slumber party interactions don't always work

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