Playboy: The Mansion Review for the PC, Playstation 2 (PS2), and the XBox

Playboy: The Mansion may not be on everyone’s must have list this year, but it does have a certain seductive appeal that the Sims gameplay has been lacking. For instance, how many men, or lesbians for that matter, would object to a little eye candy during video-game time? All I want to know is what’s with the panties? Last time I saw an issue of playboy (today) the playmate’s genitalia was definitely not covered by any obstructive clothing. However, there are enough breasts that come in all shades and sizes to entertain any man, or woman, for at least a few hours.

If you are one of the many people that can get lost for hours in one of the very addictive versions of the Sims games then this Sims knock-off may be just the thing that your video-game library has been waiting for. Playboy: The Mansion takes the idea of the Sims, but glamorizes it and simplifies it. The characters in this game do not pester you when they need to use the bathroom or when they need to sleep, they do not even have to work on a regular basis for that matter. You play the game as if you are Hugh Hefner creating his playboy empire from the beginning and all of the other people are just there for you to use as you wish.

When you begin playing, the character “Hef” has not yet published an issue of playboy. It is up to the player to choose a centerfold, cover shot, article, essay, interview, and pictorial for the first magazine and all of the other magazines that follow. A staff must be hired and parties must be thrown in order to put together all of the material needed for these magazines. Throughout the game “Hef” is given missions that will further develop his playboy empire. These missions give the player a focus for the game, but they can be done at the player’s leisure.

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The build mode in Playboy: The Mansion is almost an exact copy of the build mode in the Sims. The items available, on the other hand, are a lot more expensive and much more impressive. The grotto was a little bit of a let down, but it is better than any of the Sims outdoor activities. It certainly makes for a beautiful backdrop for the photo shoots.

Pro/Con: In order to unlock the more popular items the missions must be completed which creates a great deal of anticipation for those that are interested in decorating the mansion. This also adds a lot of hours to the gameplay time. However it can be a bit frustrating if all that you are interested in is the decorating and you want all of the items without having to go through all of the missions. The missions themselves can be a bit silly and can get to be a bit monotonous, but if all you want is to veg out for the day playing a video game that takes no skill then these missions are just the thing to help you out. Playboy: The Mansion becomes repetitive after a few hours of playing it since all of the playmates pose the same way and many of them look so similar that you cannot even tell them apart after awhile. The missions all seem to become one giant blur because most of them feel the same as the one before. The addictive nature of this game is what keeps most people glued to their televisions because once you start it is hard to stop. The extras that you will find in the start menu are more of a tease than anything else. The half naked photos of the women just leave you wanting more. The cheats are a bit campy and really add very little to the play of the game, except a few laughs that may last a couple minutes tops. The graphics are decent, in my opinion, they are better than the other Sims-type games. The bodies on the women are very curvy and very silicon looking. In other words, they are everything that I would like to be. The camera feels natural and it is easy to use even for an inexperienced player, however; objects can obstruct your view during the photo shoots. Before playing Playboy: The Mansion I would suggest saving some of your own music on to your game station since most of the limited music that comes with the game is not really a popular mix of the times. The music, especially if it is your own, adds a lot of color to the game.

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Playboy: The Mansion may be the perfect game for you, but then again it may not. I would not go so far as to call it a hit, but I would not call it a bomb either, it’s simply a good game to fill up some time in your day. If you want an addictive game that is simply mediocre then Playboy: The Mansion is the perfect game for you.


by Miranda Stites