Playboy The Mansion

by Wencke Schuncken
author awarded score: 65/100

Playboy The Mansion Review
Published by: Ubisoft
Developed by: Cyberlore Studios
Format Reviewed: PC
Review by: Wencke Schuncken

What did you know about the Playboy the Mansion Game before you started to play?
In the US the game was already released and I have read some small articles about it. I know that the intention of the game is to make the Playboy magazine as popular as Hugh Hefner did. How exactly this must be achieved? I heard rumors about flirting and having sex with girls to motivate them for a sexier photo shoot. The sexier the pictures, the more it will sell, I guess. A typically male game? Let's find out…

What was your opinion about it before you started to play? What did you expect?
First of all you need to understand that I’m not a feminist and not against games which has sexy girls in it. I’ve played a lot of games in the past with sexy girls in it; from Samantha Fox Strip Poker on the C64 to Leisure Suite Larry on the PC. As long as the game play is ok, I don’t care about how the characters are styled. It seems to be a kind of management game and I’m very fond of Tycoon / Management games, which is my favorite game genre. I expect to see lots of naked ladies, giggling and shaking titties and ass, drinking champagne, having fun, etc.

playboy the mansion review

Wencke transforms into Hug Hefner: The story
And there I was in the game with a red bathrobe covering my body and some nice black slippers on my feet. I turned into the virtual Hugh Hefner, a man with a mission; drive men insane with publishing the sexiest magazine of the world. Or should I state that he’s only trying to make a successful and moneymaking magazine? A Playboy empire? Okay, let’s do it. Let’s give it a try.

2 games mode are available when you start the game; a freeform play and the mission play. I assumed that the best way to learn to play this game would be mission play. You’ll start playing as the young Hugh Hefner who needs to gather all kind of things to get his first playboy magazine published with some “decent” playboy content. So what does Hugh needs besides beautiful centerfolds and a photographer? You need to hire some journalists who can write essays, articles, interviews and can draw a cartoon plus a photographer to develop your pictures. But the most important part to deal with is getting the models and letting them pose in the best possible way and you know what I’m talking about! To meet all the people needed, you can draw a party and invite them over for a drink or a dance or whatever comes in a mind. As long as you invite centerfolds and other celebrities (actors, athletes, authors, business executives, comedians, fashion designers, models, musicians, politicians, race car drivers and scientists) you can’t do anything wrong. Talk, flirt, compliment your party attendees and before you know it your photographer is shooting the needed pictures and writers are concentrating on the articles. There’s a "to do list" available to check what still needs to be accomplished before the playboy can be published. If you have completed the list your first Playboy magazine has been published and the financial situation will start playing parts on your mission to publish the February edition. In total twelve missions needs to be completed, now what could that mean? Of course you need to publish each month a magazine and after publishing the twelve magazines you're done. What is left is the freeform play without any clear goals but also no stress about getting the articles in time and seducing women to get them. No this is a build, socialize and have fun mode, party on!

playboy the mansion review

Controlling Hugh Hefner? Is that possible?
Yes it is possible to keep Hugh acting like a nice and friendly bloke who can be a gentleman towards women but he can also be a very slick man. It’s up to you what Hugh is going to do and how. You can control him with the mouse and by clicking on persons you can start a conversation. It reminded me of the singles game where you can talk with others by choosing the ideal line, but in Playboy the mansion the talking and behavior is quite fast and before I knew it I was flirting with a girl and seduced her to have sex with me. In singles it takes about 6 or more hours before you can have sex with a girl but in Playboy the Mansion it takes about 5 minutes. Well Hugh hasn’t got the time to waste on one girl, oh no he’s got so many tasks to fulfill ahum ahum. The more willing the girls get by Hugh’s small talk, the more they will show during the photo shoot. Or they are more willing to accept a business offer. If the girls aren't willing to do an interview, a photo shoot or write an essay for example, you need to make them feel comfortable by giving compliments, talk about business, have some social conversations and eventually to have sex at the end. So control Hugh, let him have his fun and try to get the best of it all.

Party on, Hugh never gets tired!
Throwing parties and networking is the best way to meet celebrities and to manipulate them to do a interview and photo shoots. Invite the right persons over plus a couple of Playboy Bunnies. They’ll make sure that the party will be a success and that all attendees won’t regret coming to the mansion. Talking about the mansion; spice it up with cool stuff to impress your party people. Put a DJ deck besides the bar and spin the tables, DJ Hughy at work. During the game lots of extra items become available to decorate, improve the mansion to impress even the best and famous celebrities and centerfolds. The more your mansion is rated the more famous people will come and visit you. Also you can throw special parties like a pool party where you can meet lots of famous people which you can invite to your inner circle friends. If you have invited them to your special friends club you can call them any time to drop by and you can convince them to do an interview or essay for your magazine without throwing an expensive party again!

playboy the mansion review

The best way to describe the graphics quality is to compare it to the sims and singles game. Playboy the mansions' graphics are quite similar. We can better start talking about the characters. Referring to the women they all are looking quite the same. Of course there are small details but to me they really looked quite similar. If you don't like the way the characters look, you can change the cloths or just let everybody walk half naked in the mansion.
You can expand your mansion, tear up some walls, decorate it in a classic or modern style and put all sorts of detailed furniture in the environment. Style it the way you wanted but keep in mind that the party people, big stars and celebrities drop by when the mansion is the place to be. Put a DDR machine in a room, a pinball machine, a big TV in the mansion and people won't get bored and the mansion rating will go sky high!

The sound is quite ok and not disturbing at all. If you have placed a DJ deck in the mansion you can even switch between different music genres, from rock to classic to dance. If you like you can put Hugh behind the tables and let him spin a couple of rounds to get some extra sounds. What I still find annoying is the way the characters talk; you cannot understand a word as they are not talking with real words. It's more like "gabinabesara hahaha" when they are having a good time. It makes totally no sense.

As I'm an open minded girl, I'm not going to bother you in this conclusion with statements of how many times I got laid, how big the girls boobs were and so on. Stop it! There's really more besides having sex and playing with playboy bunnies all around your mansion. In the beginning of the game you'll focus on the goals; gathering all articles and pictures to publish a monthly Playboy edition. But later on you start designing your home, expanding it and make it more attractive to visitors which you're going to pursue to do some kind of article or picture shooting. After you understand how the game play needs to be handled, you really are going to be a financial controller and it turns more into a management game. But the goal stays the same and if you're playing the game for a while it gets really repetitive. And I don't know if it is just me, but I really felt embarrassed while playing the game with my boyfriend besides me (playing another game by the way) while Hugh is having one of his sexual activities visualized on my screen. He wasn't really looking but I felt embarrassed anyway.

playboy the mansion review

Did the game match your thoughts which you had before playing the game?
I was right about the expected flirting and sexual behavior in the game, but to my surprise the game contained much more features besides the sexual related stuff. This behavior is part of the game play to achieve your goal: making a playboy empire just like Hugh did in real life. The game definatly focuses on male gamers and that is quite strange as the game play is more appealing towards women as it is a kind of Sims game.