25 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
Extremely Limited Gamplay, 19 July 2004
This game is about as addictive as a slider puzzle. The player faces a fatal lack of game features: his characters can't share tasks - can't even brush teeth together - much less cook, offer a glass of wine - they can't pose questions, since there are no true dialogue choices - indeed there's no true speech in either textual or audio form in the game. In fact, the characters are best imagined deaf - their "speech" being a phonic gibberish rather like that of the deaf, but without the signage - and, after all, one never hears a doorbell ring or a TV.
Gameplay does not extend outside the apartment, so they can't go out to shop, or out to flirt with anyone at a pub - the player can't direct their thoughts while they watch TV or eat... If allowed to, these characters will sit on a toilet seat for 40 minutes and require 10 to wash their hands.
Much "gameplay" consists of repetitive toilet breaks and plumbing or electrical repairs that the characters appear to resent even more than the player - yet these characters, again, cannot help each other, talk while they repair, sympathize, advise, admire or show gratitude. They can't even "say" goodnight, hello, or goodbye. In lieu of speech, they silently harbour grudges and if not satisfied, withhold affection or friendship.
There are advocates that laud this game's European characteristics (i.e., non-American, Japanese etc.) characteristics - however, whatever these special, meritorious characteristics are, they escape me: the game characters are LOCKED into a dialy routine totally unlike life in (e.g.) Athens or Barcelona. These characters are required to eat hours before anyone in Spain, the Czech Republic, or Greece would - there's no Spanish "once" - indeed, they're so helpless that if they leave in the morning without breakfast or going potty, they're incapable of remedying these problems during the workday - when you next see them return from work, they're panicked to go potty and half-dead from lack of food. The player can feel tempted throughout this "gameplay" to mock German social life - but the game is certainly not fair to them either. Where the heck are the Gasthaueser? The stand-ups of Duesseldorf? The late night dining in Cologne? And these characters don't imbibe - no use of spirits to lubricate socialability.
What's perhaps worst - the game "engine" is a dullard. Alice-like 3D characters move in a "CAD Light/Home Architect" setting, but the game load/unload is so extremely weighty that expansion of the game software to permit "spawning" other environments (movie houses, pubs, worplaces, etc.) would be unthinkable. I have low expectations for any Singles 2 - though - for heavens sake - dialogue choices could certainly be added!
Lastly, I find the game characters - "people" who by nature are incapable of simple greetings, expressions of sympathy or gratitude, and who can't share tasks but hold grudges - socially and psychologically malformed - if not simply stupid, oafish and boring.
If you like this sort of "game", may the force be with you. I admit I've never played SIM...