As much as reviewers and gamers seem to be giving this game a chance in one way or another, this game has got to be the biggest waste of time and money imaginable (okay, maybe not the BIGGEST but still...pretty close). Note, I am going based off the trial version with a little save game tweaking to advance the relationship a bit faster.
As mentioned time and time again, the gameplay doesn't bring anything new to the table. Many aspects of interaction, UI, character audio and goals are direct knockoffs of the Sims. I know this is repetitive but please. The selection of interaction choices brings up what you'd expect to be able to do, even going as far as to show (via icons) what the actions affect in terms of character needs. The Simlish or whatever you want to call it is...well...gibberish but is very repetative.
The new twist the game brings to the table is the whole intimacy thing along with nudity. Granted, a hack exists for the Sims that allows you to circumvent the pixelation used to hide nudity in the Sims, but the resulting nudity was obviously not expected to be seen (i.e. it wasn't anatomically correct, really). In Singles it is, though it seems more as an excuse to add a bullet point to the box (or Website in this case) than anything else (I mean, what else would you need it for?). As is the "sex" which is really just two 3-D polygonal meshes bumbing and grinding under a sheet with audio. It almost seems like a waste of time slapping an AO rating on this game as it does nothing but help sell it with some extra buzz.
When you get past the sex and nudity, the game engine and experience itself is deflating (no pun intended). "Skills" are represented by a window with a set of buttons that you click to dole out skill points you receive as you gain experience. Seems like a convoluted way of doing things. Consider, in the Sims, your character gains skills by interacting with furniture or other items. This provides a sort of experience that leads to increased leveling with particular skills. The result is a reduction of risk (i.e. cooking fires) and time required to perform a task. In Singles, you simply gain experience by interacting with your roommate which results in skill points as you hit certain levels of XP which are then used by you to improve whatever skill you want. So, while you have control over the use of the skill points (in the Sims you controlled it, more imaginatively, via the object you used in the first place), you also need to perform an extra set of steps to get there. And, instead of achieving stats goals, as in the Sims, as well as collecting friends to gain promotions at work, here you just need a skill point. Get six skill points and you'll be making more money doing whatever job the game automatically selected for you.
Given that the game revolves entirely around the two singles you've chosen to work with in one of two places, graphics and UI would be important things to get right. I'm not sure what game other reviewers have played but the graphics in this game are nothing special. If you're used to the 2D sprites of the Sims, then, sure, this game might seem great since it's in 3D and you can view just about anything in the apartment/flat from any angle. But, when you compare the graphics to existing titles in other genres like first-person shooters (which tends to be where the bleeding edge of 3D graphics resides), this game looks dated. Outside the windows are 2D bitmaps of some anonymous locale. Inside, the object geometry is relatively simple, perhaps to accommodate a large amount of objects, while the texturing is also rather mediocre. Consider that I ran this on a P4 3.0Ghz 800 Mhz FSB, 1GB PC3200 RAM, 256MB ATI Radeon 9800 XT. Even with this rig, transitions from night to day and back were accompanied with a 5 second or more pause as the game engine redrew everything (I'm assuming). This was with an apartment that had barely any furniture in it. Getting around the apartment was fairly straight-forward, though some camera controls like rotation and yoke require keyboard-only commands.
After playing a game like Far Cry and seeing video from HalfLife2, this game's graphics make me think of last year.
The character animations and modeling are decent with a good selection of facial expressions, but the number of character models is limited to around a dozen, including an individual (token if you think about it) gay/lesbian character. Despite it's "softer" rating, the Sims does allow for the possibility that your sim's, regardless of their personality...so long as it's compatible with another sim's, can "fall" for a same sex partner. Sure there's no sex in the Sims but there's so much more.
All in all, Singles proves one thing: you CAN make a Sims 2 in 3D but it's best to leave it to the experts at Maxis (or wherever they are in the depths of EA). German developers are known, along with many European g