Playboy: The Mansion
|Platforms:||PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox|
|Genres:||Simulator / Life Simulator|
|Release Date:||January 25, 2005|
Who wouldn’t want to be Hef? You get to wear pajamas 24-7 and live a life of ludicrous luxury surrounded by gorgeous silicon-enhanced women. But if you believe Playboy: the Mansion, the life of Hugh M. Hefner is one of long stretches of boredom punctuated by parties and boobs.
You take control of Hef and move him around the mansion, Sims-like, while managing the empire. Your main goal is to publish a monthly issue. You hire/fire journalists and photographers, and line up interviews and photo shoots with celebrities. You also spend a lot of time talking to people, with a Sims-like interface and gibberish language.
Publishing an issue is abstracted. You need six components: a cover shot, a centerfold, a pictorial, an article, an essay, and an interview. While that makes some sense, the quality of each item is determined by how much everyone likes Hef. You socialize with people at parties, or during the day in the mansion. It’s very binary—you have a handful of conversation options, and if you repeat them enough, you become friends with the person. Once that’s accomplished, they can run off and produce better articles or pictorials.
The photo shoots are uninteresting, if only because composition and poses are irrelevant; the quality of the photos is primarily determined by the relationship between Hef and the model or photographer. You can even have an object obscure the model, place the image on the cover, and still sell millions of issues solely because everyone likes Hef.
In fact, the entire game plays out as one giant mash note to Hugh Hefner. He’s portrayed as a youthful, sporty guy that hangs out with hip-hop stars and rockers all day and parties all night, but the game is set in the modern-day world of Playboy, where he’s really an amazingly youthful senior who presumably still parties all day and night.
System Requirements: Pentium III 700 MHz, 256 MB RAM, WinXP
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