Metascore
59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 33
  2. Negative: 4 out of 33
  1. Yes, it lacks certain features, but it shows potential. On the other hand, exactly this kind of simplicity makes it more accessible to everybody.
  2. 71
    Some of the celebrities in the game also make it interesting. Who wouldn’t try to get next to Carmen Electra or the celebrity playmates that make appearances?
  3. Limited in engrossing gameplay and adult content; there is barely anything here to justify that 18 rating and it would have been more interesting if the game had taken more risks, showing more of what really goes on at the Playboy Mansion (and it's more than just photo shoots!)
  4. It's neither the best management title on the market [nor] can it rival "The Sims 2," however it does throw up an enticing mixture, which can be enetertaining in doses.
  5. Playboy: The Mansion isn't bad – nor is it as good as it could have been. Every time the sunshine wants to break through the clouds, the game comes to a dead halt, a sure sign of rushed development and reliance on a known license.
  6. If the developers could have found some way to incorporate all the aspects of the Playboy franchise, the possibilities for this game could have been endless. Instead, you get a game chocked full of mediocrity and in this genre of video game, mediocrity does not cut it.
  7. The learning curve is considerable. Beginners are sure to be put off by the sheer volume of information presented. The game's interface -- all icons and indicators -- will also be uncomfortable for casual enthusiasts.
  8. 69
    Suffers from a dire lack of sex appeal. It fails to grab the attention of Sims fanatics while failing to seduce the average gamer. The business aspect is the most entertaining part of the game, if only because it lets you do something besides try and bed a clone army of big-breasted bunnies.
  9. It’s fun to play for a while, though it grows old quickly, and the only real urge to keep playing is to unlock historical Playboy covers and centerfolds.
  10. Unlike "The Sims," which allows you to build your own destiny from the ground up, Playboy: The Mansion is done in by the very fact that all you can do is be Hefner. [Apr 2005, p.117]
  11. I don't wanna sound like a perv, but the first time I got the "Have sex on a couch?" command, well... all I can say is buy a couch early on; Hef likes to get his groove on. [March 2005, p.58]
  12. To be fair, it hasn’t broken any new ground, didn’t dazzle me with its graphics, and included that same annoying pseudo-speak that all of these games seem to integrate.
  13. The lack of any real strategy or its ultimately repetitive gameplay, leaves me wanting more, a whole lot more.
  14. A well-meaning but often humdrum knockoff of "The Sims" and a tycoon-style business game that's not helped by its lack of a truly "adult" presentation.
  15. Despite the bacchanalian context, this Sims-style strategy game comes off as cold and mechanical, capturing none of the devil-may-care attitude you'd expect and casting Hef's idyllic lifestyle as a hollow grind established purely for the sake of selling more magazines.
  16. Speaking, dancing, and, um, *intimate relations* are all pretty well animated and humorous in a cartoony way.
  17. So overall, Mansion is not a bad game, but it is very unstable and it becomes repetitive as you put more time into it.
  18. A good-looking game - more so if you're into softcore porn (to paraphrase Tom Wolfe, it's a "one-handed video game") - but "The Sims 2" still looks better and beats it by miles for depth. [Apr 2005, p.66]
  19. If topless girls are your thing and you can ignore the flagrant bugs and lack of content, then go for it. Everyone else, go back to the Sims.
  20. 61
    It's a shame that Playboy relies so heavily on such repetitive gameplay tasks. The setting is interesting even if you have a social life and have seen an actual naked woman.
  21. 60
    What starts off so promising at first glance ends up being a pretty shallow experience. It seems everyone's heart was in the right place -- if only the game could have followed them there.
  22. You have a great deal of commands at your disposal, but it only takes 10 minutes to go through them all. Once that’s done then you are basically saying the same thing to everyone you meet.
  23. 60
    The game's sole bright spot, sadly enough, is managing the magazine. When tracking market trends to increase readership is more thrilling than talking a cotton-tailed hottie into straddling you in the Grotto, you know something is very wrong.
  24. 56
    It’s just too bad that the tongue-in-cheek events are few and far between; more of them might have made Playboy: The Mansion feel a lot more fun and a lot less sleazy and dull.
  25. Scores marks for trying to take "The Sims" on and adding new elements. Looses them again for bad implementation and general rough finish.
  26. The pathfinding, especially in tight environments, can also be quite bad and the game is really in need of a lick of paint in just about every department except the music, which is an impressive mix of contemporary and classical compositions.
  27. Sex and nudity often work well in movies, but video games laced with sex never rise above mediocrity, and Mansion seems decidedly underbaked.
  28. Let's not beat around the bush (no pun intended), it's the so-called titillation factor that gamers will go for. Remember, when you start looking deeper than the brand and packaging, there's little substance. Oh, the irony.
  29. Furnishing the mansion with tacky knick-knacks while schmoozing potential bunnies gets dull.
  30. For a while, it is rather enjoyable to cruise by and experience the closest thing you’ll ever have to being anything like Hef, but you'll quickly long for deeper gameplay or a more real sense of progression. Use that $50 on 3 years’ worth of Playboy subscriptions instead.
  31. Underneath all the tedium, the bones of a very basic business simulation can be found, but there’s a lot of joyless digging to be done to get to it. We’re not entirely sure who will actually enjoy Playboy: The Mansion, as the business side is unsatisfying, the networking is mind-numbing, and the sex is a sad cop out.
  32. As an alternative to "The Sims," only the abundance of nipples saves it. [Apr 2005, p.104]
  33. The game plays a lot like "Sims 2" - just without the charm, animation, possibilities, freedom and, and ability to generate a desire to keep it installed. [Apr 2005, p.84]
User Score
4.9

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 17 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 5
  2. Negative: 2 out of 5
  1. Anton
    Feb 4, 2005
    8
    Good game, like the sims... only better!
  2. Sep 16, 2013
    9
    This game is one of my guilty secrets every couple of years I install it again and have another go at managing the Playboy Empire. It's quite an entertaining management sim, if it had been an indie release I'm sure people here would be raving about it. Full Review »
  3. Nov 24, 2010
    2
    When I first encountered this game I was a little bit tired of the Simms and the fact of having naked chicks and been able to manage the Playboy empire from Hef's shoes seduced me at first, then I become unsatisfied because it was more than the same. The experience as a whole is lame. Not Recommended. Full Review »