Review by AyaneRules

Reviewed: 02/04/05

The Sims meet Playboy Magazine

Caution - This review contains adult references to sex and nudity.

Introduction - In this game, you play the role of Hugh Hefner as he tries to establish and maintain his Playboy empire.

Gameplay - There are two gameplay options, Mission and Freeform Play. In mission mode, you walk a mile in Hef's shoes. The goals and missions are based on his efforts to build his Playboy empire. You do things such as launch the magazine, start Playboy TV, and become the first national magazine on the internet. Throughout the game, you build relationships with the right people to accomplish your goals. Having some politician friends in high places can help a lot if you want to devote an issue to politics. The game plays very much like The Sims ... with one big exception ... The sex scenes show topless characters and the animations are more realistic. You can have sex with the female characters in a variety of places. Some are quite comical. During the scenes, both participants are clothed from the waist down, but it is still for adults only. The main focus of the game is on the business, but you can easily get sidetracked. It is fun to work the market and demographics to put out a successful issue. There are several things you need to make for each issue. Those are ... a cover shot, centerfold, interview, pictorial, article, and essay. You need a staff and good relationships with others to accomplish these goals. The photo sessions for the cover and centerfold are real-time. You choose the location, model, clothing (or lack thereof), and try to get some good pics. The Freeform Play has goals, but they are not directly related to Hef's empire building. You build your own empire the way you want. In both modes, you can buy furniture, paintings, plants, rugs, and all the usual Sims-like things to put in the mansion.

Graphics/Sound - The game is average here. The graphics are what you'd expect from a Sims clone. Nothing spectacular. The game has unlockable playmate photos, covers, and Hef pics. These are all photo-realistic. There are some graphics glitches that lowered my score considerably. Sometimes characters will get stuck in certain areas. You'd be trying to work the room for your ultimate cover opportunity, while your photographer is stuck in the corner becoming very unhappy. The game allows you to play different music on your mansion stereo. Some of it makes very good background music.

Play Time/Replayability - I didn't count the hours, but I think it took around 20 - 30 hours to beat Mission mode at a casual pace. It's an easy, fun game. The Freeform mode makes for good replayability.

Final Recommendation - If you like Playboy, definitely buy it. It is an interesting glimpse into the history and trivia of Playboy. If you like adult games, you can see all the nudity you want in a short period of time. So if you just want nudity, rent it. If you're at all interested in the business end of Playboy, it is a fun game. This game is targeted for a certain audience. If you're not in that audience, you probably won't like it. I found the game to be fun and interesting. If it weren't for the so-so graphics and somewhat frequent glitches, I would've given it a higher score. Conclusion, there's more to Playboy than pictures.

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

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