Singles: Flirt Up Your Life Hands-On Preview - GameSpot
Free selection of environment, furniture, profession, and more State-of-the-art 3D engine for attractive and detailed characters True-to-life.
You can prance around naked if you want, but make sure you have a good relationship with your roommate. In Singles, you'll basically control a pair of roommates who are living together, and the challenge will be to get them to go from being roommates to bedmates. To begin, you have to select your couple by choosing from a selection of female and male singles.
Unlike The Sims, you won't be able to make a character in Singles, so you'll have to settle with the ones that the game provides for you. There's a decent selection, from the sleek and sultry Natasha to the nerdish Bert. Each character has certain personality traits, and some will pair up better with others. However, part of the game's challenge will certainly be to try to make the seemingly incompatible pairs work.
And while the game defaults to male-female pairs, you can attempt same-sex pairs, since there is a single lesbian character and a single gay male.
There are several different gameplay modes in the game, including an interactive tutorial, a story mode, and a free-loft mode that allows you to basically create and furnish a loft from scratch, much like you can design a house in The Sims. Like in The Sims, relationship-building is a long and involved process. Your singles won't just jump into bed with each other, so you'll have to constantly nurture their relationship and slowly build up to each physical milestone.
The couple will start off as friends, and you can alternate control of each single to get one to try to interact with the other. To progress, though, you have to make sure that each of your singles is happy. As in The Sims, you have to monitor hunger, comfort, happiness, and energy levels, to name but a few. If a single is hungry, it's time for him or her to eat. If a single is sad or lonely, then he or she needs to interact with another single. Once these needs are sated, you have to then monitor each single's various relationship meters.
Depending on how your singles interact, their meters may raise in the areas of romance, fun, or friendship to name but a few.
To make out in bed, for example, you need to make sure that both singles' romance and sensuality meters are at a certain level.
Singles: Flirt Up Your Life Hands-On Preview
But beware, because there's also a trouble meter that measures discord among your singles. If a single is in a bad mood because he or she is tired or hungry--and if the roommate hasn't done his or her chores like take out the trash, for example --then there's a possibility that the perturbed single will snap and subsequently throw a tantrum.
If a single throws enough tantrums, then the game ends and you lose. To complicate things further, singles have full-time jobs that earn them money. Furthermore, characters that are ready to take that all-important step in their relationships literally won't be able to do so unless their apartments are furnished with double beds.
So much for raging hormones Also, the game's distinction between "romance" and "sensuality" is perhaps too subtle for our shallow American minds to fathom. As a result, the characters need to have these two separate criteria independently satisfied at all times, as though the two were completely unrelated.
All these types of things conspire to make Singles a truly nonsensical game.
Singles: Flirt Up Your Life - PC - badz.info
But that doesn't mean it can't be fun for a while, and one could probably argue that the nonsensical qualities are to the game's credit. The game itself is simple, and its characters, in practice, all seem to suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder.
All you'll really do is make them repeatedly wash their hands, bathe, go to the bathroom, and eat; you'll use any idle time in between to make them flirt and chat and such. For some reason, they gradually gain "experience points" from all this, which occasionally results in your being able to upgrade one of their abilities like cleaning or flirting, among othersmost of which have no discernible effect on gameplay.
Singles: Flirt Up Your Life Review - GameSpot
Again, on weekdays, characters will waste most of their time offscreen, while supposedly at jobs. On weekends, you've got two whole days to repeatedly cycle through the same types of actions in an effort to advance the relationships as quickly as possible.
All that, in addition to occasionally cleaning the apartment, repairing appliances that break after a certain number of uses, and buying new stuff from a rather paltry selection of mostly meaningless options, constitutes the gameplay in Singles. There isn't much to it, but it does keep you busy since you have two characters to be thinking about. And the game basically controls well, with its fairly intuitive mouse-driven interface.
It's easy to move the camera angle around and switch between the two characters instantly, and though you can always pause the game to queue up additional instructions for your characters, it's manageable to do so without having to resort to stopping time. Only in Singles do slender, attractive women in evening gowns spend their Saturday nights using the Internet.
Singles is an easy game, which you'd have to go out of your way to fail, though it's theoretically possible to do so if you purposely neglect your relationships over time. Singles isn't nearly as interesting as The Sims in this respect, though.
Your characters can't die or anything, so don't expect surprising or interesting events to occur if you completely ignore their needs for days on end.
We tried throwing two naked characters into an empty room for several days purely for the sake of experiment, we assure you and were disappointed to find the two of them still blushing at each other--paralyzed--after a week's worth of game time without any food or sleep. As mentioned, the other thing about Singles is that it's surprisingly tame for a game that's unabashedly all about having sex.
For what it's worth, there's no alcohol, smoking, or drug use--or references to any of these things--anywhere in the game. Then again, you can order your characters to remove all their clothing at any point just by selecting the "naked" option when you make them use a clothes dresser. And, indeed, the game features full-frontal nudity at this point, which explains the Adults Only rating from the ESRB. However, this nudity is presented in an almost clinical fashion.
The interactions between your characters are all very straightforward and are certainly not any more graphic than what you'd find in an R-rated movie.
For what it's worth, the graphics in Singles are actually legitimately impressive. The game is demanding of a fairly fast system and is bogged down by lengthy loading times and awkward pauses in transition from morning, to day, to dusk, to night.
But the fully 3D character models and, to a lesser extent, the environments actually look great.
Unlike in The Sims, you're free to manipulate the camera angle as you see fit here. The default isometric viewpoint is useful, but you'll naturally want to zoom in for a closer look during interactions between your characters.
The characters can be truly expressive, exhibiting genuine-looking emotions on occasion. Still, the closer you zoom in, the more likely you are to notice some graphical problems that mar the presentation.
Characters' limbs will clip through each other and the scenery, and, depending on which pairing you chose, sometimes your characters won't even seem to make physical contact when they should, such as when they are kissing. Assuming that the goal of Singles is titillation--not that there's anything wrong with this--these types of graphical issues really get in the way.
The nubile characters of Singles aren't as interested in love as you might expect. You'll spend a lot more time having them perform necessary, basic chores. As for the audio, like The Sims, Singles incorporates fake speech in conjunction with the characters' interactions. The speech, like the actual animations, is the same each time, and many of the voices are repeated from one character to another. As a result, Singles' gibberish language doesn't succeed at conveying the personalities of the game's characters.
Apart from this, some sparse sound effects and an upbeat musical score fit the bill just fine, but they get very repetitive in due time, just like the rest of the game. If you succeed at Singles' story mode, the ultimate option is to have one character "pop the question" to the other character.