|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Gameloft||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Ubisoft||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jan.15, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
It is readily apparent from the moment that you begin Miami Nights: Singles in the City that it was designed to be like the Sims. When you first start up the game, you get to pick a gender and then proceed to customize your body, face, clothes; nearly everything you could customize in The Sims, you can customize here. And it doesn't hurt that the visual style even resembles The Sims, but more on that later.
Once you select your looks, then you can pick from three career goals: actor, model or singer. After you select this goal, then it is your character's purpose to achieve these goals by performing certain tasks, working on certain skills, and meeting certain people. Sort of like the Sims, right?
But for all it's similarities to the Sims franchise, there are a few key differences in Miami Nights: Singles in the City. First off, the game is geared toward a more "mature" audience. One of the main focuses of the game is getting involved in relationships and meeting people. However, most people in the game, be they opposite sex or same sex, seem to have an "interest" in you. In fact, one of the first characters I met asked me if I wanted to get "freaky" with him. Yeah, it sort of creeped me out too. And then I took my female character out for a stroll on the beach and received a similar proposition from a girl on the beach (although thankfully she didn't want to do anything in public). So it's pretty obvious from the get-go that this game should not be played by children. Its teen rating is well-deserved, and I am frankly surprised that this title doesn't have a mature rating.
But once you get past all of the romantic inclinations of nearly every other character, you have to start doing things. This is another way that this game separates itself from the Sims franchise. Instead of having to shower every day, go to work every day, and then try to decide how to spend your precious evening hours, in Miami Nights: Singles in the City you are pretty much allowed to do whatever you want, with almost no consequences. You can go into work whenever you want and then just work for an hour or so to make your rent money plus a little extra. You don't have to shower for a week, and you don't have to use the bathroom for an even longer period then that. And somehow, your "sex appeal" bar will stay high, as long as you do your hair before you leave the house. But I suppose that these unrealistic aspects of the game allow you to focus on the game's main component: the social life.
Every once and a while you will get text updates and phone calls from friends who are having a party or meeting up at a club, and you'll have to go. You'll meet people, talk to them, flirt with them, and maybe even have a few drinks. And the good news is that most people will be your BFF in about 30 seconds (the trick is to get them a lot of alcohol and complement them three times). Then once you befriend certain people, you'll be doing what is commonly known as "social networking" and then you're off to finding your dream career. This, in addition to your various romantic inclinations, is the center of the game, and it makes for some pretty boring gameplay.