The Mansion

Format: PS2

3 307210 181251
Age Restrictions: 18+
18 February 2005

As Hugh Hefner, you must build the Playboy mansion and magazine into a dynamic cultural icon and powerful brand. Rub shoulders with stunning women and stimulating celebrities as you pursue the ultimate Playboy lifestyle. Grow famous and gain exclusive access to the Playboy Archives, including footage of the world-famous Playboy Mansion...

In Playboy: The Mansion you act as the owner of the world's most famous men's monthly magazine. You must employ your staff (a photographer and a writer) and ensure that you have enough quality articles, a sexy centrefold and a eye-catching cover in order to ensure your magazine flies off the shelves.

But you're going to need to throw a party first in order to talk celebrities into giving interviews and posing on the cover, as well as getting models along to appear in the centrefolds. Once you've won their friendship and confidence you can get your staff to photograph and interview your subjects.

While this game does put a spin on the Sims style of games, the novelty is, sadly, short lived. It's very, very simple to make male stars become your friends and women become your girlfriend or have sex with you (after only one conversation with a guest we were "doing it" on the sofa). All you have to do is (for the ladies) chat, flirt and take each new move towards sex as you are given the option.

Sadly there are way too many flaws with this game. Firstly, and most importantly, it was a nightmare to select your conversation options, or music tracks from the stereo. More often than not the highlighted options would miss out the one you wanted to select altogether - it was just to fiddly. And also there were a lot of examples of guests merging together at parties. Twice I noticed a black and a white character seemed to stick together so that you could only see half of each of them.

Other minor problems include the fact that there wasn't enough variety of moves. For example, if you have sex with one girl on the sofa, it's the same with whoever else you do it with; change a track on the stereo and you end up dancing to it for about 20 seconds. It's annoying when you just want to get on and play the game; and it gets all too repetitive way too quickly.

On the plus side, you get to sleep with, and photograph, lots of attractive women and you get to see their boobies (that should make every schoolboy titter!) But, due to the fact that this is really easy to do, even the saddos who buy this with the intention of drooling at naked women will bore easily.

If you're idea of fun is squinting at pixilated boobs, then you'll probably love this, otherwise there probably won't be enough here to hold your attention.

It's amusing and different. It's just a shame that it gets boring so quickly.

Pete Boomer

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