Sims 4 For Rent review – pretty but empty

Sims 4 For Rent review – pretty but empty
Annie Thelen Updated on by

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Another day, yet another Sims 4 expansion pack. The Sims 4 For Rent opens the world of landlords and tenants, allowing you to rent multi-family homes and experience the joys of renting. Yes, apartments were already added with City Living and Eco Lifestyle. But, since it’s the pack’s focus instead of just a background feature, there is more to do with them.

The Sims 4 For Rent starts strong by adding a huge new variety of build and buy items. These items have brand-new meshes and tons of swatches to choose from. Building and decorating the new lot type, residential rentals, was a joy with these beautiful items. They’re all Southeast Asian-inspired, and they match with the new world of Tomarang quite well. You can truly make some beautiful homes with these.

CAS gets the same treatment, with a fair amount of new clothing items and hairstyles to spruce up your sims. Again, they’re themed around Southeast Asian cultures, so you can make sims that don’t all look like they’re from the United States and Western Europe. More cultural items in Sims 4 are always welcomed, as now that the game is nearly a decade old, it’s well past the time it added more diverse clothing.

You’ll be welcomed into the new world of Tomarang, which features two neighborhoods, Morensong and Koh Sahpa. Unfortunately, Tomarang only features nine lots. That’s the same amount of lots that are in Tartosa, which is a world that came with a game pack. When you’re paying full price for an expansion pack like For Rent, getting a world this small doesn’t feel great.

A Sims 4 city map featuring various locations available for rent.
Image taken by Videogamer

However, Tomarang is a beautiful world, rivaling Sulani in terms of scenic views and ambiance. But, with the size of the world already being a bit small, the lack of things to do in Tomarang feels like salt in the wound. Sims can explore the Night Market in Morensong, which offers food stalls with yummy food. This is a fun activity, and it does occur every night. There’s also the Sulea Tiger Sanctuary, where you can metaphorically adopt a tiger (which is really just giving simoleons to the sanctuary) and visit it. The sanctuary is just a rabbit hole, though. This is another glaring issue with the pack – the most beautiful locations like the sanctuary and the temple are just rabbit holes. Your sim disappears into them and you’ll simply get a pop-up for what they saw and did. Beyond these options, your sims will likely just be hanging out at their rental unit all day unless they travel to another world.

The most important gameplay feature added with For Rent is being a tenant or a landlord. This is a far more in-depth experience of what it’s like to rent an apartment than any previous expansion. There are rules tenants have to follow, you can get evicted, and you can complain to your landlord about living conditions. Whether the landlord does anything about it is for you to find out, which is very lifelike. When you’re a landlord, you can set the rules for each apartment, for things like whether pets are allowed or if tenants can have social gatherings. You also set the rent price and can evict tenants if you want to raise the rent.

A screenshot of a street scene in The Sims 4.
Image taken by Videogamer

While you can aspire to be the best landlord, the most fun in this expansion comes from being the villain by being the worst landlord possible. The Sims 4 is definitely the cleanest feeling game in the series, in that there’s very little challenge, and there are very few interactions that let you push boundaries. Nothing feels difficult, and even the most dastardly of sims can’t do much more than yell at neighbors. Now, with For Rent, you can be one of the most heinous landlords possible, making near criminally awful units to sell back to tenants at a much higher cost. Along with being an evil landlord comes the new ability to break into other sims’ homes. Robbers haven’t been in the game since Sims 3, but now you can be the robber yourself. While the true intention of breaking in is supposed to be looking for secrets to blackmail your neighbors, your kleptomaniac sims can swipe quite a few items.

A woman is standing in a room surrounded by an abundant collection of books.
Image taken by Videogamer

This is where the grand majority of the pack’s fun comes in. Since the franchise as a whole revolves around the freedom to do whatever you want with your sims, For Rent’s gameplay additions of blackmailing neighbors, snooping for secrets, and breaking and entering finally feel like a taste of some of the grit the series has been missing since the fourth installment was released. It’s a shame that these are done in such small, bite-sized pieces that you’ll feel hungry for more mischief after playing for just thirty minutes. It’s more of a chore to be a good landlord and tenant, and none of the new interactions beyond the mean ones add much value to the gameplay. You’d be better off just renting a normal apartment in San Myshuno, being that it’s an incredibly similar experience.

The Sims 4 For Rent’s strengths come from the new furniture and build items, and from the chaos you can cause through tormenting your neighbors. However, where builders will find tons to do, those more interested in gameplay will find a shallow experience that doesn’t add much to the base game. Tomarang doesn’t offer enough in terms of activities or make up for the fact that the main gimmick of this pack, being a tenant or landlord, is dull. Unless you’re in the mood to be a cartoonishly evil landlord or spend hours building in the game, this pack is best skipped for one that’s on sale.

Keywords: Sims 4, review

Description: Read this Sims 4 review to learn more about the game.


While offering some beautiful build and buy items as well as some more controversy to a game that feels too clean, it can't make up for the empty experience For Rent gives.
6 Gorgeous build and buy mode items inspired by Southeast Asia More opportunites to be evil, like breaking into units and blackmailing adds much-needed grit to the game Tenant and landlord experience as a whole is boring New world of Tomarang is too small and filled with rabbit holes Loading screens between units on the same lot