New York Nights

Tapping into the post-Sex and the City vision of New York as singles capital of the world, this Sims-style relationship-em-up places you as a new arrival in the city that never sleeps and sets you the task of sleeping with just about everybody! Well, the actual aim is to get a job, make some mates and increase your 'popularity points' amongst the hip in crowd. However, as mating with those mates (regardless of sex, no homophobia here!) represents achieving the pinnacle of popularity then it ultimately amounts to the same thing,

Things start off tamely enough in your cutely rendered isometric world. Early tasks involve ferrying around the miniature metro to locations like the coffee shop, sports club and beauty salon carrying out mundane activities such as working out or playing video games. By doing specific things you'll boost your appropriate statistics in areas from health to humour and when you reach a suitably elevated level you'll gain the right to chat to the other Nu Yoikers. Naturally in such a hormone-drenched town one thing leads to another and, should you pick the right topics in your multiple choice conversation, your popularity increases and you can escalate to gossiping, joking, offering gifts, inviting them out on dates and ultimately some serious flirting.

Make the wrong choices however (e.g. ask the Banker about sports) and you're points will speed away faster than a cabbie asked to make a stop in the Bronx after dark.

The process is further complicated by specific missions that must be undertaken by certain times (e.g. raise your humour to 25 and get to coffee shop at 6pm for your date with Lucie) and the fact that you need to eat, sleep and pay for all your activities.

Ah yes, pay! As you might expect, nothing in New York is free, every conversation eats up precious time (you've only got a month to become the coolest guy or gal in town) and you'll need to work as a barista, bar tender or lounge singer (all handled by relatively fun mini games) to earn cash to pay for your popularising. In short, there's balancing to be done and choices to be taken in terms of who you spend your time with and what you get up to.

Or at least that's what there should be, in reality we managed to complete the game first time round in just over 2 weeks game time, boosting our bank balance, charming our chosen honey (Charlotte if it's any of your business!) and increasing our all round popularity in the process. A few days later we'd reached the level of Superstar (with 125 popularity points) and bedded the entire population (yes, even Vinnie and Dan!).

To compound our disappointment, not only did we not get to witness any ahem (on the job) action, but our first conquest Charlotte seemed to have no concerns about our fornication with her friends or even apparent switching of sexuality. Yes we know it's a swinging modern world, we've read all about Sadie and Jude's antics, but come on this is a game, there have to be some rules!

Where there could have been a tense web of inter-relations to negotiate (e.g. you can't sleep with Lucie and still be friends with arch-enemy Charlotte or Dan who secretly fancies her!) the game instead soon descends into repetitive memory tests as you go through a well-worn process to seduce your latest victim.

Now we're not saying that we didn't like New York Nights, far from it. Hell, we were as attracted to it's relationship-based gameplay as much as the next man (and indeed lady - it seems to have been just as popular with both sexes!) and we definitely spent several happy hours together. It's just that once the initial attraction wore off and it became clear that there was nothing deeper on offer, we felt compelled to move on and delete all traces from our phone!

New York Nights

Less Sex & the City, more Neighbours in New York