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Playboy: The Mansion PC CD-ROM

Published by Ubisoft
Developed by Cyberlore
Release Date: Out Now
Price: £29.99

Playboy: The Mansion, an introduction.

Fancy emulating Hugh Hefner and having a mansion full of slender and scantily clad ladies? Well if you do you might be interested in Playboy: The Mansion as the game allows you to do just that. Indeed if you could imagine what it would be like to have your own Playboy mansion you might think up all kinds of exotic (and erotic) things that could be possible. However, Playboy: The Mansion will bring you down to earth with a rather large bump as the game makes Hugh Hefner's mansion seem a lot more laborious than it probably is.

What's the game about?

Basically the game allows you to run your very own Playboy mansion and business. It's not all about sweet talking the ladies and having physical relationships with your girls whenever you feel like it though (don't worry they keep their virtual pants on although you do get to see their rather suggestive animations). You'll have to publish the Playboy magazine and take the photographs of the girls as they pose for the front covers. You'll also have to organise parties and impress your famous guests in order to make them oblige when you ask them for interviews for your magazine. You'll have to look after your staff (girls, writers and photographers etc.) although thankfully this doesn't involve a lot of effort on your part. The game offers Mission Play which consists of 12 missions in total and a Freeform Play mode where you can do as you please.

What's good about the game?

The game imitates The Sims to a large extent and this allows the game to be instantly accessible with almost a non-existent learning curve. Character conversations are pretty much the same as in The Sims (although it's a lot easier to get somewhere with someone with only a small amount of conversation). The game contains plenty of information but thankfully it's all been laid out in a clean and uncluttered way so you'll never struggle to find out what needs to be done. Each character has their own needs and desires so you'll have to keep them happy in order for them to perform as good as possible.

What's not so good about the game?

Play the game for a couple of hours and the game appears to show promise but with a bit longer play you soon realise that the experience is a shallow one and a rather repetitive one too. Getting magazines published is your main focus in this game and it begins to feel like a grind all too quickly. You'll constantly have to organize parties, arrange articles and interviews, set up the picture shoots etc. and it all becomes a rather mundane experience rather too quickly. Character models lack variation and the ladies (aside from the different hairstyles) look mostly the same. I didn't like the way you couldn’t freely scroll around the mansion (the camera is always focused on Hef) and it was disappointing to see load screens when you walk upstairs, although to be fair the load times are really small. Above we mentioned the character conversations and these can feel unsatisfying as it's all too easy to win characters over. You can go from being a total stranger to sharing bodily fluids with a lady in just a few minutes. Yes I know it's an 18 rated game but there should at least be some challenge to such an activity.

How does it look?

Whilst the game is clearly based on The Sims it certainly looks a lot better than the Maxis' game although Playboy: The Mansion comes nowhere near to looking as good as The Sims 2. As we mentioned earlier the character models lack variety. The character models themselves don't look too bad and you'll notice that the boob bounce is present and correct (yes the ladies do like to show themselves off). The textures are a bit of a mixed bag with some looking great whilst others look rather poor. On the whole the game looks OK but next to older games such as The Sims 2 and Singles it doesn't have the same visual appeal.

How deaf gamer friendly is the game?

Playboy: The Mansion is deaf gamer friendly with visual feedback being delivered via subtitles and icons. Initially the game isn't subtitled and you'll have to press the Esc key as soon as you begin a mission in order to select the subtitles. Strangely enough you can't access the options menu from the main screen and it's only available from the pause menu. With the subtitles enabled though you'll be able to follow everything that goes on. The character conversations are simply gibberish with icons displaying their general meaning. The game manual gives a detailed description of what the icons mean so you'll be able to follow what's going on.

Final thoughts.

Playboy: The Mansion seemed like it was going to be a sexually charged version of The Sims. Whilst there is adult content in the game, the main focus is the production of the Playboy magazines. This wouldn't be such a bad thing if it wasn't so repetitive and mundane. The game basically revolves around organising parties, keeping guests and staff happy and getting the material for magazines over and over again. Whilst there is nothing here that's particularly poor about the game, soon enough you'll realise there is nothing here to keep you playing and that's a real shame.


Overall Game Rating: 5.5/10

Deaf Gamers Classification:

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Boobs and suggestive poses by the pixelated ladies can't hide the fact that the game is a repetitive effort that sees you tirelessly in search of material for the next magazine.