probably not a heterosexual man alive that hasn't
at least once, dreamed of visiting the Playboy
Mansion. It's the summit of the American dream
- the capitalist's equivalent of Nirvana. Hey,
the place if full of hot, naked chicks, what
the hell else does a guy want?
The Mansion is the closest that the overwhelming
majority of us will ever get to the real thing.
We still have the magazines when everything
else fails. The game is played in Sims fashion.
You interact with people, get what you want
out of them to further your career or enrich
your life with romance and friendships, and
continue on. Yes, for the most part the game
is dry and flat. It fails to capture the excitement
and decadence that one would imagine is prevalent
at the Playboy Mansion. But there's more to
this game than just shallow, hedonistic pursuits
which may interest gamers with a knack for business.
Playboy Mansion is not just Hugh Hefner's pleasure
pad, it's a carefully engineered and orchestrated
business tool. It attracts the people that appear
in, and subsidize, Playboy magazine. We're not
just talking about the models. The magazine
also features interviews with the hottest sports
stars, musicians, actors and politicians as
well as coverage of some of the most important
events and discoveries of the time. Some people
do actually read Playboy just for the articles.
Hugh, the eternal bathrobe-wearing casual playboy,
you are the master of all you survey. Everything
you touch should turn to gold. You have the
power, but now you have to use it wisely. The
focus of the game is to expand your empire by
producing the best publication that you can
time after time. After all, it's Playboy Magazine
that's paying for these infernal parties and
all the trappings of the mansion. You will be
put to the test during numerous missions.
a swimming pool, arcade, movie theater, well-stocked
bar, DJ booth, dance floor, comfortable couches
and Playboy bunnies, the Mansion is designed
to attract celebrities, politicians and business
associates such as advertisers. Like the women
that Hugh if famous for manipulating, he perhaps
manipulates the males in a more ruthless manner
although they are seldom aware of it. By making
your guests comfortable you will be able to
ply information out of them for articles in
upcoming issues. Million-dollar advertising
contracts can be secured after a few double
scotches served by a topless barmaid. Business
is the name of the game in the Playboy Mansion
and as we all know, sex sells.
there are naked breasts. You might even see
a few butts but that's all. There are sex scenes
but the ones that don't take place under the
sheets manage to keep their knickers on. Even
when a man is being pleasured orally, he's still
wearing his briefs. That's fine with me. I don't
think I could take a hardcore videogame seriously.
The reason that it's included at all is actually
very important to the structure of the game.
Sex is a great motivator and Hugh beguiles it
like a skillful magician, using its omnipotent
seductive powers to achieve his goals both personally
commands a staff of bunnies, journalists, photographers
and models, any of which he can fire at will
if they don't live up to expectations. The type
of guests that will be invited to the various
theme parties will usually be dictated by the
public's opinion of what's hot at the time.
You or an assistant can make the invites. Guests
have six moods that you will have to monitor
including leisure, business, entertainment,
friendship, romance and personal growth. If
any guest is seen to be declining in any particular
category, steps must be taken to ensure their
mood improves. Sometimes all it takes is a little
conversation from Hugh.
are some wrinkles in fabric of the game that
even Hugh can't get someone to iron out for
him. Characters clip through one another. Hugh
and his guests often get stuck in corners or
behind furniture. Sometimes characters will
walk backwards and float in the air. If a partner
leaves during a sex scene, the other character
may remain humping the bed or furniture. Sometimes
Hugh just disappears altogether. Another problem
is that virtually all of the guests and the
playmates behave similarly within their group.
It's as though each group feeds off one central
personality. The characters even look the same.
You'll often find that the character models
are reused to give life to different characters.
This is just a little too cheap and helps destroy
the grandiose illusion of the mansion and the
lifestyle that it successfully projects.
include up to 70 playmates from the past to
present. Not all of them are totally nude. But
if checking out T & A is your prime reason
for getting this game I suggest you just purchase
a subscription to Playboy instead. Despite its
shallow and suggestive premise, the core of
the gameplay has a lot more depth than one may
expect. This isn't exactly an economic sim but
it has more in common with a documentary than
it does with The Man Show. It's a brilliant
glimpse into the inner-workings of the Playboy
empire and the industry that it has become.