Singles: Flirt Up Your Life Review
Get flirty, then filthy!
Review by Tracy Bosworth
Published 23rd March 2004
Singles: Flirt Up Your Life
- Developer: Rotobee
- Publisher: Deep Silver
- Release Date: 8th April 2004
Stop the press! Somebody stole The Sims! Well, not exactly but if Singles: Flirt Up Your Life developers Rotobee borrowed anymore ideas from The Sims they would probably have a law suit on their hands! Well I suppose it was only a matter of time before someone tried to rival one of the biggest selling PC games of all time and thankfully, they haven’t done a bad job at all!
The idea of The Singles: Flirt Up Your Life is to turn two complete strangers, forced to share a flat together, into hot, steamy lovers whilst holding down a job and building up the pad of your dreams.
As mentioned earlier, the game borrows a lot of ideas from the hugely successful The Sims only with a more restrictive but adult feel to the gameplay. You start the game with two characters that have recently moved into a new flat, with little money between them and old, unfashionable furniture your task is to make the couple happy and improve their living area as well as their personal fulfilment.
Each character has a panel of basic needs such as energy, fun, hunger, body and relationship and each of these needs must be fulfilled to make the character happy. Each necessity is pretty self explanatory, energy requires rest, hunger requires food, and body refers to toilet and personal hygiene while the relationship bar refers to your relationship with your flatmate which is filled by talking and generally communicating as much as possible. Thankfully, characters tend to talk over the breakfast table and over dinner so forcing them together is never really an issue. Although you cant actually understand a word the characters are saying to each other if anything important comes up in conversation you will be provided with a dialogue of what is been said. It’s a great way of keeping up to date with how the relationship is getting along and who, if anyone is spoiling it!
By now, anyone who has played The Sims will probably be thinking “so what’s different?” well at first glance, nothing much. Characters whine about been hungry, they get depressed when they don’t talk and have to go out to work to earn the money needed to eat and do up the flat. However The Singles requires a little more than simple friendship and this is reflected in your ‘sensuality’ bar, attracting the opposite sex is the name of the game and this is done by flirting, romance and err, tongues!
Unlike The Sims, Singles is made for a mature audience and commands such as “kiss with tongues” and “snog in bed” are commonplace. As the relationship between the two characters develops (for the better) raunchier commands become available leading to rather mature looking animations, especially in the bed scenes!
The question on every ‘life simulation’ geeks lips is “do you REALLY see them naked?” well the truth is yes you do, completely. Sim perverts can merrily watch their characters in the bath, in the shower or simply command them to walk around naked and one thing we can tell you is, everything shows and everything is worryingly realistic!
House building is also fun and furniture is nicely varied from cheap, second hand stuff to designer coffee tables and power showers enabling players to truly start off in a dump and turn it into their own personal palace.
The game also allows for character development and unlike The Sims, characters will not learn their new skills from books or by interacting with various pieces of equipment. Singles features a points system and throughout the game characters are awarded points for their experiences, once you have enough points you can upgrade one of your characters attributes whether it be his career (more money coming in) or his flirting ability, this is also where cooking and repairing skills are upgraded amongst other things. This system allows players to save precious time by not having to study constantly and allows more ‘free time’ for the player to mess around with.
Another thing which separates The Sims from Singles is indeed time, in The Sims my main gripe was that characters took far too long to do anything (an hour on the toilet anyone?) and of course we had the extra frustration of 7-day working weeks. Not so in Singles, characters take a more realistic amount of time completing tasks and what’s more you get the weekend to relax! Saturday and Sunday are lazy days for the Singles allowing players to really concentrate on err getting them in bed together!
Above all else, Singles: Flirt Up Your Life features some excellent graphics, in particular character models that all possess extremely realistic physiques and facial expressions. The camera is easily controlled and doesn’t get in the way like most free cameras tend to, also the zoom feature is perfect for anyone wanting to get really ‘in’ on the action allowing you to zoom so closely that you worry the camera may actually get in the way and prevent your characters from touching each other!
The games audio doesn’t really stand out like the graphics featuring a similar gibberish language famed in The Sims and a limited soundtrack. In a game like this the sound is not really that important, which is a good thing in this case but a little more effort could have been made in this department.
On a closing note, Some people may think of Singles as a ‘dirty’ version of The Sims, naked people and scenes of a sexual nature could all be interpreted as a sleazy game out to take advantage of any controversy, publicity and criticism it earns but in reality the game is actually really good. Mature scenes are very realistic but in a tasteful, non-sleazy way and characters do have a mind of their own just try parading them around naked and watch them suddenly realise what you’ve done and run away in horror, trying to cover their bits up as they go!
The Singles will be compared to The Sims and the amazingly similar necessities system doesn’t help but when push comes to shove, Singles is a great game that will more then likely have you addicted to the fun that is mind games, bitchy women and creepy men, thank heavens it’s only a game, right?
Review Score: 7.6/10
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