The Movies: Stunts and Effects

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a game by Looking Glass Studios, Inc.
Genre: Strategy/War
Platform: PC
Editor Rating: 5.8/10, based on 2 reviews, 3 reviews are shown
User Rating: 7.6/10 - 10 votes
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See also: Simulator Games

The Movies is a Hollywood simulation game developed by Lionhead Studios, who are most well known for their work on games like Fable and Black & White. Like The Sims and other more casual simulation titles, The Movies takes a fun concept (making a big budget movie) and adds a small dose of management on top. It's a fun ride through the history of movie making as well, as the game smartly depicts the rise of the film industry from the 1920's onward. As a creative, you are given tons of tools to make your very own movie in a variety of genres. However, you'll have to deal with catering to celebrities, crafting a set, and much more. In many ways, The Movies explores every aspect of the art of Hollywood, both good and bad. It's a fun experiment in casual simulation, and an interesting treat for those with a creative itch.

The main game in The Movies tasks you with creating your own film studio, and progressing through over 100 years of film making. Starting off in the 1920's, you'll take your very own studio through the various notable decades of the film industry, eventually surpassing present day and venturing into the future. It's a fun idea, and makes you invested in your home-crafted studio right from the start. There are a few major aspects to gameplay, but most of it revolves around constructing your studio and movie lots, hiring crew, and making the movie itself.

Crafting your studio and hiring on crew is easy enough. You'll start with a blank lot, and you can drag and drop various buildings onto it at will. You'll decide the layout of your studio, picking and choosing where filming lots are set up, where the main office buildings are, and much more. Once you're up and running, a slew of people will start appearing, eager for work. You'll pick employees, choosing your own actors, directors, maintenance staff, and crew. All of this, including building and hiring, is handled with easy drag-and-drop menu selections. Although running a real-life movie studio is complex and stressful, The Movies makes it simplistic and easy.

Once you've got the appropriate people hired, it's time to start production. In every aspect, you have complete creative control over the movie you're making. When choosing your script, you can either select a pre-written one from a list of genres, or write your very own! Movie sets have a good variety of locations and genres, so it's easy and fun to decorate your sets in the way you want. The act of filming the movie is incredibly in-depth, and it's surprisingly versatile. As long as you have the patience, you can recreate very intricate scenes, all rendered and viewable as a real movie. Once you've finished production, you can even add custom music, voice effects, and more. As you progress through time and release newer and better movies, you'll unlock various upgrades and new features.

The Movies is a vastly entertaining management game that has an incredibly robust movie maker inside. It's fun to manage your own studio, crafting actor's careers and completing objectives. However, the actual movie-making is stunningly complex, and rewards those with a creative vision. Once you learn the mechanics, you'll quickly be able to produce quality videos to watch and share with your friends. There are multiple modes to play in, and the amount of replayability is staggering. If the idea of making your own Hollywood motion picture sounds fun, you should definitely try The Movies. It's one of the most comprehensive yet welcoming pieces of movie-making technology, and the management gameplay is fun and engaging.

Download The Movies: Stunts and Effects


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

You Couldn't Imagine Mission: Impossible without Tom Cruise rappelling through a ventilation duct to hack into a high-security computer terminal. Or Brokeback Mountain with a high-speed helicopter chase through a city, followed by an explosion and a giant mutant attack. Now remember how, when we reviewed The Movies back in issue 162, adored it and smothered it in a warm, fluffy Classic Award, we demanded the inclusion of stunts (and musicals, but mostly stunts). Now be amazed at Paul Presley's Nostradamus-like abilities, because here it is - a stunts expansion for The Movies.

This isn't mere tacked-on content, with the inclusion of a new stuntman character class who must be hired and cast along with the rest of the crew. Developing these stunt doubles from mere falling down artists into professional high-flying, magical flip-around, fire-dodging, explosion-loving animals is as important as developing your actors. Adding a stunt to a movie is a gamble, as successful stunts greatly increase the quality of the movie, while failed stunts cannot be reshot (as your stuntmen will probably need immediate hospital treatment).

At first, your diving divas can't take much more than a comedy plank to the head, but increase their skills through training and experience and they'll be jumping from helicopters and smashing through burning buildings with reduced chances of failure. You can even risk having your star actor do his own stunts, Jackie Chan-style. But, just like Chan, there's always the risk of having them breaking their leg in four places while vaulting over a bus. It all works brilliantly well: stuntmen are easy to manage, stunts are incredibly satisfying to direct and watch and your finished movie's greatness is massively amplified by the new-found on-screen action.

With new scenes and sets, such as blue-screens and miniature cities (for your highly original 'Nodzilla' and 'Codependence Day1 movies), as well as the ability to control the camera's positioning within a scene (which greatly increases freedom of creativity), along with new costumes, effects and a bunch of fancy camera overlays like night vision and raindrops. The Movies: Stunts & Effects is an essential addition and should not be missed by fans of the original.

The Movies was in many ways a groundbreaking idea in video gaming. While flawed in execution and lacking a bit in finesse, The Movies did add an interesting twist to the 'sim business'? genre, in allowing you to both run the day-to-day issues as a movie studio exec, and also allow those budding directors out there an opportunity to make a virtual film.
The Movies: Stunts and Effects, adds several interesting features that make gameplay even more rich and fulfilling. Essentially fleshing out some of the structure the original title presented, Stunts and Effects adds more to the 'realism'? and excitement of your movies.

First, the obvious: This expansion's main focus, and where it really shines, are the neat new effects and stunt sequences you can add to your film. Your star worries about doing his or her own stunts? No worries, because Stunts and Effects will allow you to hire a stunt double, work with green screen backgrounds for amazing effects, cast miniature sets for sweeping set effects, and many other items and features. I enjoy putting together the chop-socky'? films, and the added features available in Stunts and Effects makes for some great kung-fu goodness. The best added effect, though, was the addition of the free cam. Allowing much more range of motion and action shots by allowing better camera positioning, the Free Cam adds a level of depth that the original title lacked, and indeed, sorely needed.

There are still a few issues. There's still a lot of disconnect between managing the studio and making the movies, which can cause some frustration. Moreover, why weren' some of these features included in the original title? The Free Cam especially would have made the original title a lot better in my opinion, and the $30 price tag is a bit steep for an expansion title.

All in all, if you enjoyed The Movies, your experience is only a fraction of what it could have been without the Stunts and Effects expansion. Only some slight disappointment with the interface and the overall cost keep this out of the Recommended Buy column.

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