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Product: Singles: Flirt up your Life!
Platform: PC
Company: Deep Silver
Website: http://www.deepsilver.com
Estimated Street Price: $44.95/£29.99
Review By: Byron Hinson

The Features

Singles: Flirt Up Your Life! Has been classed as a relationship simulation with a difference, it contains nudity. The premise of the game revolves around two different characters that you choose to pair up, they begin in a house with very little money and try to work on their relationships together, trying to become lovers…ahhhhhhhh

Singles: Flirt Up your Life, lets you control the lives of two very different people, apartment sharing in a busy European city. How they interact and the sort of relationship they have is totally up to you.

Having just moved in, with a small amount of money between them, it’s up to you to kit out the apartment to your liking, purchasing the necessities and make it as comfortable as possible. You control both characters, making breakfast, going to work, relax and recreation, sleeping – in general, satisfying their everyday personal and physical needs.

In addition, the goal is to develop a relationship between the characters, which is only possible if both are happy. What kind of relationship it becomes is up to you, there are five different aspects: Romance, Friendship, Sex, Fun and also Trouble – not doing the housework WILL cause friction! A positive relationship between the couple will start from friendship, moving to flirting, intimacy and finally ‘erotic’ actions!!

With over 12 different characters to choose from and customise, their varying personalities and careers have a constant effect on their everyday needs, their favourite activities and the kind of relationship they prefer. So you can throw together the femme fatal with a best friend, or a charmer with the cute librarian, and see how things develop. It’s your very own interactive ‘Big Brother’.

Features:

  • Over 12 male and female characters to ‘pair up’ in the apartment – choose from the seductive Natasha, the lad about town Mike or the innocent and naïve Pacifica
  • Highly detailed and realistically animated characters – True-to-life human physique and natural facial expressions – each ‘Single’ features bump-mapping and over 30,000 polygons
  • Character skill system allows for development and progression – Make your ‘Singles’ more efficient at tasks by learning
  • Romantic-erotic situations – ‘Singles’ are not shy about showing their feelings to one another, be that friendship, love or anger
  • ‘PINK MODE’ allows for gay relationships to develop between ‘Singles’
  • Decorate the apartment to suit your ‘Singles’ tastes – Give the apartment the ‘homely touch’. Buy new appliances, decorate walls, fully redesign their home
  • Dynamic shadows and Radiosity Lighting in a True3D world – Giving the apartment that ‘soft focus – loving’ feel

Gameplay

Review Quotes
"The game is not exactly the fastest in performance terms either, I don’t pretend to have a top of the range machine, but the game does suffer from jerky movement and monumental slow downs when night changes into day (or vice-versa). The game also suffers from over brightness on the characters and some of the settings, I understand the game is supposed to look as bright as this, but it’s a bit too much when closer to the characters you play."

For a game that has taken nearly all of its ideas from “The Sims”, Singles doesn’t have a great deal going for it in gameplay terms. The various tasks you can do in your house are not varied enough and there are not enough things to do either. The idea of the game is, as the game’s title states – to flirt with the two characters you choose to be together. At the beginning of the game you pick two people to play as, they can be one female one male, two females or two males, it’s up to you, so you can tell right away that the game is trying to be more with the times due to gay and lesbian relationships being placed into the game.

The idea of the game is to take the two people you have picked and work on their relationship by flirting, cleaning, joking, arranging furniture, buying new things, wearing the clothes that your partner like etc. Now the game differs from “The Sims” by adding increased sexual options (by classing this game as a romance simulation), and also by adding the option of seeing all your characters bits and pieces by having them walk around in the nude or by making love, now this idea isn’t a bad one as I’m all for a more real type of sim game, it’s just that the advertising for the game has been specifically showing off this side of the game more than the gameplay, always a worrying sign.

You play the game in various locations dependant on who you pick to play as. The options you get in the game to flirt etc are varied enough, and the chance to tidy your house, pick items to go into it and to keep washed, pick clothes etc are all quite good, but nothing here has really moved on from the very first sims title released all those years ago. This game still has skill levels that can be increased by doing various activities such as repairing items, reading etc.

Building up the relationships between the two is the main point behind the game, doing things your partner likes will help immensily, so letting one sit around while you paint the house a different colour etc will get you in the good books with your man, while peeing and not washing your hands will get you in the bad books with the women (Now I realise why it took me years to get into a good relationship).

Eight criteria are used to determine each character's mind state - hunger, comfort, body, energy, fun, relation, erotic and room. Get all these meters near the top of the scale and eventually a checkpoint will be reached, opening up new options to explore.

So what we have here is the basic version of the sims, with nudity and less characters to choose from, and generally not as much fun to play, read on to find out exactly why.

Singles: Flirt up your life has what can only be described as one of the worst cameras I have used in a game for some time. It is so frustrating to use that it lets the game down, especially when the game has some very good graphics to show off, just a shame that most of the time you get so frustrated that you just give up. Placing items around your house becomes a chore when you have such a bad camera as you can end up placing items where you don’t want them to go most of the time.

Singles: Flirt up you lift could have had a lot going for it if it had better ideas at building up relationships such as going out on dates, meeting people out and about but putting two out of twelve people together and working on meeting each others requirements doesn’t tend to hold your interest enough.

Review Quotes
"For a game that has taken nearly all of its ideas from “The Sims”, Singles doesn’t have a great deal going for it in gameplay terms. The various tasks you can do in your house are not varied enough and there are not enough things to do either. The idea of the game is, as the game’s title states – to flirt with the two characters you choose to be together."

Graphics & Sound

Graphically Singles: Flirt up your life is pretty good, and a long way ahead of “The Sims” thanks to a highly detailed 3D engine. The characters all look good, clothing designs are good, the house and bits and pieces you can buy are also well detailed when zoomed out or close up to the action, but there is a price. As mentioned earlier the dreadful camera makes checking things out close up a royal pain in the ass.

The game is not exactly the fastest in performance terms either, I don’t pretend to have a top of the range machine, but the game does suffer from jerky movement and monumental slow downs when night changes into day (or vice-versa). The game also suffers from over brightness on the characters and some of the settings, I understand the game is supposed to look as bright as this, but it’s a bit too much when closer to the characters you play.

Final Comments

How It Grades
Controls: 40%
Gameplay: 70%
Presentation: 80%
Graphics: 78%
Multiplayer: N/A
Sound: 80%
Manual: 75%
Interface: 70%
Price/Value: 60%
Overall: 65%

I expected more from the game than I have got, it does play a little too much on the sexual side of things, which wouldn’t be a bad thing if there was more to do in the game than there is. The camera is the major factor in my dislike of the game though, and it’s not just me either, the game appealed to my fiancé who wanted to try it, but within 30 minutes she gave up simply because of the camera controls. I would after all this moaning, like to see a follow up with more to do, more character options, including creating your own, the chance to date people and go to clubs to date along with other bits and pieces. I fully expect a sequel though, especially as the game has sold well in other countries.

But if a bit of computerised tits and ass is your thing, you’ll probably find a lot to like here and if you can get past the poor camera there is a good game trying to get out too.

Specs & Package
How It Grades 65%
Version Reviewed PC-CD Rom
Release Date Out Now
In The Box? 1 Singles Flirt up your Life! CD
1 Set Of Instructions
The Good Points Good Graphics
Clever Ideas
The Bad Points Awful Camera
Not enough to do
Review System

AMD Athlon XP 2100
Asus A7V333 Motherboard
1GB DDR PC2100
Sapphire ATI Radeon 9600XT
Creative Labs Audigy Sound Card (OEM)
100 GB Western Digital Hard Drive 7200 RPM, 8mb Cache
Samsung 16x DVD-ROM
Samsung CD-RW (40x12x48x)
Creative Inspire 5.1 5300 Speakers

Widescreen Support No


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