A shameless attempt to cash-in by combining the Sims' addictive gameplay with the Playboy brand.

User Rating: 5.5 | Playboy: The Mansion PS2
I need to start this review with a disclaimer: I tried this game because I respect Hugh Hefner as an entrepreneur and liked the idea of building a publishing empire. Having played the game, I wonder how I was so naïve as to believe a game with Playboy in the title could be more than a softcore boobfest.

The Mansion has two possible target audiences, yet it manages to miss both completely. The first group consists of voyeurs looking for some tasteful nudity and a somewhat more "interactive" experience than the magazine. Unfortunately for them "tasteful" is not the first word I'd use to describe The Mansion, nor will they find the "interactivity" they seek. In order to steer clear of an AO rating, there is no nudity below the waist and "sensual encounters" are essentially heavily watered-down lap dances.

As for the other target audience, I'm thinking of folks who enjoy the Sims-style play serving as the foundation upon which The Mansion is built. Apart from a lot of bugs, the obvious problem here is that any innovations The Mansion might bring to the table are obscured by all the boobies.

The central theme is to play the role of a young Hugh Hefner and set out to build a publishing empire. In order to improve circulation of the magazine, you need to attract celebs for photo shoots and interesting people for interviews. In order to convince these individuals to work with you, you must prove you know how to have a good time by throwing endless parties, paying careful attention to the guest list to avoid potential personality clashes. While this all works well for the first few hours of the game, it quickly becomes a tedious chore to keep everyone in a constant state of elation.

The reality is that, at its maximum depth, The Mansion will barely reach your ankles. In fact, this review is probably somewhat superfluous because upon looking at the game's title and box artwork it's highly likely that any presumptions you might have are already completely accurate.