Metascore
61

Mixed or average reviews - based on 43 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 43
  2. Negative: 5 out of 43
  1. The actual running and production of the magazine is executed terrifically, and truly makes you feel as though you are making all of the decisions regarding its ongoing production.
  2. It has a decent overall game play, good audio, decent graphics, and a good feel for the Playboy lifestyle.
  3. Despite quirky animations and some long-drawn-out relationship-building, I found myself quite enthralled with the magazine-publishing gameplay. [March 2005, p.82]
  4. Better visuals and a more complex conversation system would have made this a game to live up to the legendary magazines. Almost.
  5. 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?
  6. 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!)
  7. 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.
  8. Much like the real Playboy magazine in that it is simply more than a cheap gimmick of pert breasts and tight peachy buttocks.
  9. It's too limp to be a real contender in the simulation market. Sure, it's got boobs and sex, but they're too easy to get these in this game.
  10. On a sexual level there isn't much to get the members rumbling, but it does the trick for a Sim like experience as one of the greatest men of our time.
  11. If you don't mind the lackluster production and the somewhat simplistic gameplay, you may actually enjoy a bit of time with Cyberlore's title, assuming you didn't buy it to supplement your collection of items shipped in plain brown paper.
  12. 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.
  13. There's not enough nudity to satisfy fans of the magazine, and there's not enough depth of gameplay to satisfy sim-gamers. Really the only people who might get into Playboy: The Mansion are Playboy historians, and even they won't find a whole lot of reasons to keep playing.
  14. While the game makes it possible to see into Hef's life, Playboy: The Mansion isn't engrossing enough to want to keep playing for very long.
  15. Suffers from a bit of schizophrenia, half the time it's trying to be "The Sims" with its purchasing of items/furniture which affect characters' moods and can help your chances of succeeding with your business. The other half of the time is spent taking pictures of half naked women and dry humping the hell out of some seriously monotonous character models.
  16. Nothing more than a wannabe 'Sims' type expansion, and there's already enough of them about thank you very much.
  17. 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]
  18. 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]
  19. 65
    Completing missions and putting together issues of the magazine were a lot of fun at first, but because there was so much repetition, they became more like chores rather than a pleasant diversion.
  20. But since all the girls look pretty much the same, the challenge is artificial and there's a limited amount of animations (I mean, don't real Playmates know more than 5 poses or three sex positions?), it gets old quicker than it should.
  21. 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.
  22. The lack of any real strategy or its ultimately repetitive gameplay, leaves me wanting more, a whole lot more.
  23. 65
    The audio is about as enthralling as the graphics are, which is to say not that much.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. Managing your own nudie magazine isn't for everyone (for God's sake you better keep this away from your girlfriend or wife... unless they are very liberal, heh heh) but you may be surprised at how playable and interesting it is to be just like Hef.
  27. 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.
  28. The game is far less socially encapsulating than the magazine it tries to represent.
  29. 60
    And though its mishmash of gameplay elements quickly becomes tedious, there are moments of genuine fun that will keep you coming back in the short term, including a wide variety of vintage Playboy unlockables.
  30. 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.
  31. 60
    As a history lesson it scores high. But as a game, it's a slow starter with graphics that can't hold a candle to "The Sims."
  32. It had great potential, but unfortunately Hef let us down with poor gameplay and a rough finish.
  33. It's not that it does anything wrong particularly, it isn't adult enough to be an adult game and get the market that way, it isn't simulation enough to get that market and it isn't a good enough Sims clone to get at that market.
  34. Sex and nudity often work well in movies, but video games laced with sex never rise above mediocrity, and Mansion seems decidedly underbaked.
  35. I flipped on the game expecting a world of champagne, roses and frequent wisps of steam. Instead, I got an immediate request that I construct an office on the mansion's upper floor. Zzzzzzzzz.
  36. 50
    Unfortunately, the enjoyment can't keep up, likely resulting in a premature ejection of the game from your console&but remember: It happens to nearly every gamer at some point.
  37. A frisky concept with limited thrills and not enough depth to challenge gamers.
  38. If you're a friend of sim games and can stand to watch roughly animated breasts then Playboy: The Mansion is worth giving a shot. [May 2005, p.63]
  39. Shooting centerfolds and putting together a magazine is halfway interesting, but the gameplay is nothing more than a third-rate "Sims" clone. [April 2005, p.114]
  40. 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.
  41. I don't know one serious gamer who would be enticed by this sad mix of boring gameplay and soft-core porn. Playboy: The Mansion is as deep as a kiddie pool, which also matches its maturity level.
  42. They tried to bring us a game in which there was sex, but they don't deliver. I would have been happier with brief movie clips of nude or scantily clad models, than with this silly imitation of intercourse.

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