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Playboy: The Mansion Xbox impressions


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So you want to be Hugh Hefner, eh? This is probably the best chance most of us will get, even if it ends up being Sims-lite. This game isn't getting much attention in the press, but I've been following it because the developer is the same team behind Majesty, one of my favourite PC strategy titles.


Playboy:The Mansion is effectively The Sims with a heavy coating of Playboy dripped over it. There are two layers to the game - managing the magazine & empire, which involves managing your budget, getting articles, interviews, photoshoots for the magazine each month, and the relationship side, which is the Sims part, and where you spend most of the game. To get articles, build fame etc, you have to host frequent parties where you invite the beautiful & the famous, all the while trying to improve your relationships with your guests so that you can ask them for interviews, articles, covershoots etc.


Relationships are built by various conversation choices - "formal handshake", "friendly handshake", "make joke" etc. There's a whole bunch of situational choices, all with nice little animations to go with them. This is essentially the meat of the game - choose your guests, talk to them, keep them happy, ask them for something for your next issue, rinse, repeat.


Little wrinkles that get thrown in are keeping your various girlfriends happy, keeping your staff working well, and making sure the magazine is performing. You can buy things to improve the look of the Mansion, ala The Sims, which is little more than a timewaster.


This is far from essential game wise, but I'm enjoying the heavily directed Sims like gameplay. There's a sandbox option, which I've ignored in favour of the "missions" which are a bunch of changing goals related to your relationships, staff & magazine.


If you like the Sims on the XBox, this might be worth picking up. Not for kiddies though, there's lot of uncensored boobies.

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I was a bit turned off by some technical issues. Walking around the house is a slow and boring process. The fact that the game can only hold one level of the house in memory is a burden too. Having to load every time I go up or down the stairs (even on the Xbox version) is Laborious. Then little things like dancing animations which automaticallly occur when you turn on the stereo or conversation animations simply go on too long with no way to escape out of them.


That said, I did manage to have sex with two playmates on the couch within about 5 minutes of one another. :)

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