Singles 2 Triple Trouble

by Tracy Whitelaw
author awarded score: 80/100

Singles 2 Triple Trouble Review
Publisher: Deep Silver
Developer: Rotobee
Format Reviewed: PC
Reviewed By: Tracy Whitelaw

Life. Love. Trouble.

The idea of Singles Triple Trouble is simple. This is a Sim like title where you control the misadventures of either Anna or Josh, characters you'll most likely grow to love. You have the option of playing either 'story', 'apartment', 'backyard' or penthouse (although the last two are locked at the beginning of the game). The apartment is a free game mode where you get to build your own apartment and you can work your way up the property ladder from a basement apartment to a penthouse and customize it with over 400 interactive objects in game. Story mode is where I decided to begin and this gives you the option to play the aforementioned Josh or Anna. I of course chose Anna (it's always great to get the choice of male or female character!) and the story unfurled that I had recently split up with Josh, who, whilst helping with my music career was let down by me when I never showed up to a big record company meeting he'd gone to the trouble of setting up, this led to us breaking up and I moved in with Kim, who, unbeknownst to me was already living with her flat mate... Josh!! Josh is none too happy you're living there also and this is where the adventure begins.

Singles 2 Triple Trouble PC Review

You basically set out to win back Josh even though the guy is a complete ass to you for most of the early stages of the game, but I guess love is blind. Now, in story mode you have to do this as these are the quests that let you progress, however don't worry, there's tons of time for experimentation and wanderings during this aim. You spend time living in the apartment, plotting to get back into Josh's heart and as you're doing this you're able to do all the usual Sim like tasks such as add to the apartment, make new friends and lovers and generally live the life of a mad single person. It's all really good fun and there's plenty to keep you busy. I really didn't want to like this title but I found myself completely absorbed in it and wanting to continue playing to see just what could possibly happen in the 'love shack'.

The controls in Singles 2 are quite clever with a huge degree of rotation and zoom which means you can check out your sims, I mean, singles from any angle up close or far away. If you've played a sims game before you'll be right at home with the control system since it utilizes an icon based stat menu in much the same way. You have the time, money, fast forward as well as all the usual furniture and accessory options to make your room your own. Your character also has the usual array of personal stats such as fun, friendship, hunger, comfort, romance, hygiene and eroticism (ooh err). It's simple point and click as you go about your day to day life, eating, bathing, dressing, working and of course meeting and chatting to friends and lovers. It's all about interpersonal relationships and how they build up over time with various other characters as you invest time in each of them.

The build mode on this title is very similar to The Sims. It's easy to use and you can pretty much do all manner of home renovations from taking down walls, adding a pool, building fences and columns and so on, right to the menial little things like plants in the right area and lighting to help bring up the room meter into a nice comfortable zone. There's a great little addition here where you can click on a button in build mode and it'll show you the areas in the room that are giving off bad vibes. Do some DIY here and soon you'll have happier Sims all around. A good example of how important this is was shown in my game when I tried to french kiss a girl on the sofa. She turned me down flat because quite simply the room rating was too low. A few tweaks and another go at it proved that ambiance and atmosphere works wonders for romance.

Singles 2 Triple Trouble PC Review

The way that the menu systems work with the social interactions is spot on. You basically start off with a few interactions and these are gradually expanded as you get to know the person better. Yes, you can invite other characters to your bed and yes you can declare undying love for them. It's pretty much up to you at the end of the day and although it's fairly linear in story mode with quests needing to be addressed, you can still find tons of time in between those doing whatever your little heart desires.

Graphics are crisp and clear and a lot of effort seems to have been made in this area, they're bright, colorful and detailed. Unlike the Sims and given this title has an 18 rating (mature players) the characters in Singles aren't fuzzed out when naked, it's all there to see, although toilet going is still fuzzed out, well no-one wants to see that do they. There's a huge array of furniture and other decorating additions such as accessories, flooring and wall paper that mean you can personalize your own space, be it with a jukebox, a bar or a new sofa. There's also a selection of clothing, including some amusing little numbers such a sexy santa and nurse (of course). As you progress through the game you'll earn money that will allow you the options of buying new items and objects and therefore seeing more of these lovely graphics. I was very impressed overall as there was no stuttering frame rates as I sometimes get on the Sims and even the outside areas and backgrounds were well detailed.

Singles 2 Triple Trouble PC Review

The language of the 'Singles' is very much in a similar style to that of the 'simish' which appears in the Sims games, it sounds like a mix of italian, asian, dutch and some strange alien language, actual conversations appear sub titled meaning the deaf gamer can also enjoy a little flirtatious gaming since there is no actual talking per se. The music in the game is well done, though in the style of either kitsch nightclub style or funky lounge music, that said you do have the option to purchase your own radio, hi-fi or jukebox and listen to your own MP3's in game, a very clever addition indeed. When you have the TV on in the background you'll realise how odd it is that although the characters are talking in an unknown language, you can still tell it's meant to be Mr Ed on the TV or Casablanca and so on. Very nice little touches and yes if you want the rude noises they're also in there.

The female gamer angle was worrisome with this title because I did think it was all going to be about silly bimbos and pleasing the boys but there is more to it than that. Given you have the choice to play either Josh or Anna at the start of the game does mean you're open to play the game how you like (though as mentioned, story mode does follow fairly linear quests) and in what gender. The playable gender choice is a nice addition and thumbs up to the developers for not leaving this out and assuming their core audience to be male, particularly given the huge female following The Sims has. It does suck in a way that you have to play it dating the guy but it is fairly equal in that you can flirt, chat and even bed anyone you wish. The downside however is that despite Josh's rudeness, both to you and about you behind your back the game quests in story mode are slanted in that you want to get back with him, so despite the fact you may be thinking "I'm so not getting back with that jerk" you'll have to follow the guidelines of the quests in order to proceed and if they happen to be 'get back in Josh's good books' what are you gonna do. The alternative of course is playing it in free play mode where you create your own character and can infact control more than one character overall. This can be completely immersive and be warned, you will lose large chunks of your life sitting there playing away for hours on end. You truly can live the life of a Single and thank god the developers realise there are female gamers out there too.

Singles 2 Triple Trouble PC Review

Finally forgive my consistent mentioning of 'The Sims' franchise throughout this review, but given the many similarities I would be a fool to review this title without comparing the two and using the other as a sort of measuring point. Any fan of the Sims is probably going to love Singles 2. I wasn't looking forward to reviewing this title because it read like every guys fantasy and I thought the main objective was going to be for Josh to live out his threesome dreams. In playing it I actually found it had a lot more depth than I had pre judged it to have and overall I was impressed with the array of features and the nice little touches included, it is a well polished titled on par with The Sims franchise. Where the titles differ however is in the adult nature of Singles which includes various acts such as masturbation and graphical nudity which do not appear in the sims. This can be fun though and I'm no prude so was quite happy to chuckle away at the make out sessions on the couch and the french kissing in the bedroom. Once you've carried out these interactions a few times it'll most likely become less exciting for you and you'll focus more on the rest of the game. Don't get me wrong, it's not easy to bed someone in this game, you really have to work at it so if that's your overall aim you'd be better off with Playboy The Mansion or something similar. The challenges are good and the level of the game is consistent throughout. It takes time to make friends, lovers and acquaintances but it's worth it in the end. Overall I was far more impressed with this title than I expected and as a true Sims fan, I have to say that if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Singles 2 has really given a nod of appreciation to The Sims franchise. A great little game and definitely worth a look if this is the kind of genre you're into.