Playboy: The Mansion
As we've mentioned in these pages before, lounging around in a dressing gown surrounded by pornography is a luxury afforded only to Hugh Hefner and freelance games journalists. Naturally, it's the former that concerns us here, as Playboy: The Mansion enables you to virtually don the silk robe of the revered porn baron and attempt to run his glamorous empire. And with hardy triumvirate of Woods, Sefton and Hill having recently paid a visit to The Mansion, we have some idea of what it's all about.
Sex You Up
Part business-sim, part life-sim, the game can essentially be broken down into three areas: constructing the mansion, living the Playboy lifestyle and building your empire. As such, you can tamper with Hugh's famous Beverly Hills hide-out (five minutes from UCLA in a shuttle bus), building tennis courts, aviaries or maybe adding to the monkey cages that are already there (although we're not sure you'll be able to do anything about the rats that we saw stealing their food). The famous Grotto also features heavily, and you might be able to do something about the slightly dank smell, and the fact that it's infested with the DNA of decades' worth of party guests.
Of course, you'll also have to provide enough bedrooms to house your stable of buxom beauties. Alleged to service a rotating squad of seven Playmates, keeping them all happy must be a difficult chore, surely impossible without scoffing down Viagra like Smarties. This is replicated to some extent in the game, with Hef able to indulge Playmates in a Sims fashion, with such options as 'sexy gossip' and a 'warm hug'. And while you won't actually get to see the old boy throwing them around the room, the issue of sex hasn't been skirted over. Guests are to be found rutting in a bush, for instance, the crucial areas disguised, much like recent shag 'em up Singles: Flirt Up Your Life. Unlike that game though, there will be no pubic hair (or genitals).
Breast Is Best
Unfussy onanists may be pleased to learn that breasts are on the agenda, with the game set to boast nipples that you could hang a wet duffel coat on. These will predominantly appear in the pages of Playboy magazine, with Hef taking a hands-on approach and organising ohoto-shoots in the mansion. Probably the major selling point for casual gamers (and hairy-palmed loners) is that models can be dressed in a variety of bikinis, or not. And while the E3 demonstration didn't actually reveal any toplessness, the breast physics appeared to be particularly well-honed, with fulsome udders wobbling like giant plates of blancmange.
There's no point having a shagging pad if you're not going to use it, and inviting your celebrity friends round for a knees-up is a key part of the Hugh Hefner experience. In real life, there are parties at the Playboy Mansion pretty much every week, and this is replicated in the game. Depending on who's on the guest list, you lay on entertainment -and from our experience, ensure that there's a huge bouncer on the door to stop anyone from getting into the house. It might also be worth investing in a few more toilets, as with only four cubicles available, some of the more unruly element were discovered using Hef's grounds as an alfresco urinal. After all, as executive producer Chris Boxmeyer explains: I don't think Hugh would like you pissing in his garden.
Download Playboy: The Mansion
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
Ah, The Playboy Mansion, scene of arguably finest moment. 'Twas May of last year, a Californian evening, as three smartly-dressed English gents descended upon Mr Hefner's palatial residence, sipped his vintage champagne, charmed his naked serving wenches and pissed all over his lawn like the dogs we are.
Happy days indeed, but ultimately it all boils down to this, a two-bit Sims rip off with animated tits. Hef's generosity (or rather Ubisoft's) may have made for a memorable evening, but will it make us look upon Playboy: The Mansion any kinder? Will it b**cks. If anything, our first-hand experience of the gaff gives us ammunition to point out how unrealistic the game is. Or at least it would if we'd managed to sneak into the house.
Shake It, Baby
In fairness, being crammed into the garden while watching German games journalists frolicking in the pool is probably not the authentic Playboy experience, and the game seeks to cover the more intimate side of Hugh Hefner's empire, incorporating his business both in and out of the sack. Stepping into the velvet slippers of the incorrigible lothario, the idea is to build up the Playboy empire and establish the magazine as the icon it is today. So, some stuff about cars, an interview with Ted Danson and 'tasteful' pictures of girls displaying their breasts and pubic hair.
Words And Pictures
Whether playing the freeform mode or the mission-based game, the concept is the same: indulge in a near constant orgy of guiltless rutting while producing one of the world's most successful magazines. Getting the mag on the shelf involves commissioning articles and interviews for people to pretend to read while knocking one out over the pictures.
The photo-shoots are of course key, and indeed enable you to take a hands-on approach, selecting location and costumes, and even pressing the shutter yourself. Once you've run through a roll of film, you get to select your particular favourites for both centrefold and cover star, be it a skinny runway model gazing coquettishly into the lens, or a buxom old lass cupping her oomlaaters. You are Hugh Hefner, and you have the power.
Before you can secure interviews and snaps, you must hire a journalist and photographer, but more interestingly, you have to indulge in a fair amount of schmoozing. This is of course where the legendary parties come in, with Hugh inviting a selection of whacked-out crack whores and minor celebrities to his mansion in the hope of convincing them to appear on the pages of his magazine. Relationships have to be built through the fairly rudimentary medium of conversation, and it's a fairly straightforward business.
Naturally, one of the world's greatest shaggers isn't going to settle for a mere chat, and the velvet gown gets on the receiving end of the occasional splash of DNA. The sex scenes, as they're described, essentially involve Hef stripping down to his crackers while the Doris of the moment whips her top off and rides him like a Grand National winner. Underwear remains intact at all time, and in real terms it's no more than a bit of frottage. Close but no cigar. And if you're horrified at the thought of a nearly 80-year-old man grappling with some poor girl a quarter of his age, Playboy: The Mansion features a pre-Viagra Hef as opposed to a pensioner currently spunking his last (giving the lie to the theory that you only get a bucket and a half).
In a nod to The Sims, there's the obligatory home decoration to attend to, but who's bothered about soft furnishings when you've got a mansion full of muff? The bulk of the game involves beasting on women, pressing the flesh of celebrities and getting the mag on the shelf so you can pay for the next party. And while it's tempting to stick your dick in (or against) everything that moves, you do have to keep one eye on the business. Spend too much time toiling over hot snatch as opposed to the hot presses, and you'll have to flog one of your old masters.
If you're seeking executive relief you might be better off seeking out the Net, but Playboy: The Mansion does fill a minor niche. It may not be the most sophisticated of games, but it is easy to spend a few hours in Hef's world, mainly to see what kind of lowlife drifts into the mansion and what you can squeeze out of them (or into them). The game can never come close to an evening at the mansion, but it's the probably the nearest you'll ever get.