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Welcome to Bridgeport
Bridgeport - A Big City for Our Little Sims

I have been impressed with all of the neighbourhoods that have come with or are available for The Sims 3. Each one has its own personality and Bridgeport is no exception. With a feel of it being less of a suburban town and more of an inner city, there is a bridge leading from the main city to the outlying hills where there are mansions and some lower value homes. Its distinctive feature, however, are the highrises or skyscrapers that dominate the peninsula part of the city.

Apartment Life Lite

When "Nightlife" came out for TS2, it introduced us to the secondary neighbourhood called Downtown. From the early views of it, it seemed as though there were apartment buildings. I was very disappointed to find out that these were just neighborhood decorations and therefore uninhabitable. "Apartment Life" fixed that one. Being the last EP of the series, many of us will be able to remember that EP where our sims could rent and live in apartment buildings. However, we still did not get high-rises and even the best lot designers had limits on the amount of levels that they could build.

In "Late Night", our sims can buy an apartment instead of a house. There are other people who will live in that high rise building and they can be visited but only to a degree. This time, our sims cannot go into these other apartments but can meet them in the hallway or lobby. Only one playable family can live in an apartment building. This might be a bit of a disappointment but I do see it as a functional way to allow high-rise apartment living. With one lump sum payment, it takes out the problem of paying a landlord a weekly rent and it does leave our sims open to perhaps buying a better dwelling later in their lives.

Our sims cannot afford every apartment when they start out as they can be quite pricy, nor can they choose which way their apartment faces. For instance, if your sims buy the apartment in Powell House, they will be facing out over the old port, which may not be the most thrilling of views.

Critical Note - I am not sure whether this is a bug or an intentional program change but there does not seem to be the final reminder for apartment-dwelling sims to pay their bills. Even though my sims pass the communal mailbox every day, they are often too busy to stop and check their mail and pay up and this reminder would have still been very useful. The repo man is certainly getting a lot of business from my sims. This is one change that I would like to see.

Multi-Purpose Buildings

Real estate is at a premium in the city and as is befitting large buildings, they have more than one function. For example, Wiki's Fabulous Books and Bath has both the bookstore and the spa. Also, Steve's Business Complex and Restaurant has the home of the business and journalism careers as well as the upper class restaurant and an opening into the culinary career track. The Town Hall is now the Public Services Office. As well as accommodating the political career workplace, it also is the home to Law Enforcement and the Military. In addition, for those who have the Ambitions EP, it is also the home to the Architectural Designer and Investigator professions and the opportunity to register as self-employed.

Critical Note - It appears that this has been fixed but when sims were given opportunities that involved them visiting a restaurant or a certain store, it named the ones from Sunset Valley and not the joint building that houses it in Bridgeport. This was frustrating but I am now glad things have been seen to.

Nightlife

Although not strictly only open on a night as many of them open on an afternoon, there are different bars, lounges and dance clubs scattered around downtown Bridgeport. If a sim expects just to walk into any club, then they have another thing coming. With most of them, a sim's celebrity level affects whether they are admitted or not. Sims who do not meet the celebrity requirement can try and bribe the bouncers or wait until they are distracted and slip through the rope. Getting inside does not mean that troubles are over. Inside the club will be bona fidé celebrities and they could detect our wannabe for not being who they claim to be, busting them and thereby forcing the pretender to leave. Magenta Bond, who we see here, sneaked into a club when the bouncer was distracted but had to make a quick exit after she was rumbled.

All of these venues are good places for mixologists to learn their craft by moonlighting to also earn some more simoleons. With some of the other venues, they are good places to learn the different new musical instruments such as piano, drums or bass. Waylon's Haunt is a dive bar and will accept anyone so it is a good place for new sims in Bridgeport to start. You may not see any celebrities here, though, unless you are one yourself and see your reflection in a mirror.

Plumbbob Pictures Backlot

Naturally, some celebrities will want to be famous in the film industry and this is the place of work. This new career is not just restricted to residents of Bridgeport but sims will need to find a suitable place to put this workplace in Riverview, Spring Valley, Twinbrook, Barnacle Bay or wherever. This career is not just wokrplace-based. There is some out-of-office action involved to help job performance in a manner not dissimilar to the change in the medical career following the Ambitions EP.

Like the music career, this splits into two branches at the 6th level. Either sims can go into the Acting branch or decide they want to be the next Tarquin Tenantino and go into the Directing Branch. This is one career where being a celebrity IS important to career advancement.

Getting about on the Subway

Apart from walking, jogging, running, cycling or taking a car or taxi to their destination, sims can now use the subway as all or just part of their route. It is not necessarily the quickest means of transport and even I get befuddled wondering why a sim is following a certain route. However, it does also provide a venue for sims to brush up their music skills by playing for tips. Also, it means that travelling vampires are not exposed to sunlight and is the perfect place for musos that don't like the outdoors who want to play for tips. Actually, on the latter, playing for tips in the rabbit warren of the subway system is a "must do" for musicians. I have found that the rate of tipping seems to be much higher. The only drawback is the risk of being mugged, which seems to come as an occupational hazard.

The Food Truck

This brightly coloured truck travels around town and parks in various places at different times of the day and night where our hungry sims can get something greasy, unhealthy but delicious to eat to save having to raid the fridge when they get home and before they crash for the night.

I am yet to work out the different parking places and the schedule of the food truck. Mainly, it has been a case of pot luck for my sims as to whether they get something to eat or not being in the right place at the right time.

Written at 22:36 on Sunday 22 May 2011 by Andy.

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