New York is known as the city that never sleeps. In New York Nights: Success in the City, you assume the identity of a sim-like character that goes through the course of a daily 12:00pm-to-4:00am grind. During this time, you must improve yourself, advance your career, and find love, all before running through Mom and Dad's money. Should you fail, it's back to Alabama, a fate worse than any traditional "game over" screen. New York Nights gives you a remarkable amount to do, and it gives you an intuitive interface with which to do it. An enthralling, eminently accessible game, New York Nights brings the excitement of the Big Apple to your Series 60 phone.
In Sex in the Ci--err, New York Nights--you create a male or female character from a series of features and clothing types. You may then assign statistics to that character in the areas of culture, humor, beauty, and health. These stats can be increased during the game by performing different activities. Reading the newspaper improves your culture statistic, while lifting weights improves your health, and so on.
You can befriend pretty much everyone in the game, and you can even court a significant other. Each non-player character has different interests you'll have to cater to if you hope to succeed. Depending on your level of intimacy with a particular character, you can joke, gossip, and even flirt. Of course, if your statistics aren't up to snuff, you'll have no luck with the ladies or men, depending on which group you're trying to attract. Make yourself desirable, however, and men or women will be sending you text messages like there's no tomorrow, which, incidentally, there is. The game's clock actually moves in real time. Much of New York Nights plays like a really good dating simulator, so it's engaging and addictive...whether you're a fan of the genre or not.
Fostering relationships with men and women alike will do wonders for your career as well. Your friends will be instrumental in finding you jobs at local establishments, each of which involves a minigame. If you choose to work as a nightclub cashier, for example, you'll have to perform quick mental math to calculate change. You'll be paid in accordance to how quickly you number-crunch. Although this could be construed as educational, it's actually pretty fun, in an edutainment sort of way.
New York Nights' most obvious influence is The Sims, and it could be said that the game feels pretty derivative. However, the game is unique in that your living space is deemphasized in favor of metropolitan exploration. Many of your stat-increasing actions can be performed at home, but you'll have to venture outside to really advance quickly. You'll also have to hit the town's attractions on dates, which can be scheduled either by you or by your partner. You can increase your relationship rating with your partner through strategic flirting, but dates give you an added status boost. If you get too caught up in the game, however, you'll be urged to cool your jets by working on career advancement for a while.
New York Nights has a very clean interface, and it involves the use of a single button and the phone's directional pad. The graphics are extremely reminiscent of the N-Gage versions of The Sims and The Urbz, which could hardly be called a bad thing. In fact, the game's clean, cartoony visual style is one of its best features, and it looks great from the genre's typical isometric perspective. Practically everything you do results in the playing of a memorable music clip, which is reward in itself. There isn't any real background music, however.
New York Nights is a highly addictive game that will appeal to fans of The Sims. It succeeds for all the reasons its progenitors do, but in addition, the game includes a cast of well-developed characters, each with his or her own distinct personality. While New York Nights isn't the most innovative game, it executes extremely well on an established formula. New York Nights isn't The Sims' poor cousin; it's its distinguished brother-in-law.