The Movies

The Movies

movies-review.jpgThe Movies represents a concept so astounding that we didn’t think it could possibly work. Take the fun people-management aspects of The Sims, then use those people to create movies by hiring them as actors, directors, crew members, and even janitors. There’s a twist, though.

Not only do you have to manage the creation of the movies, keeping all the “little people” happy and working hard, but you actually script, direct, edit, and do post-production work on the films you create. So, in addition to being a Sims-esque game, The Movies is a machinima-making sandbox—you can use it to make your own in-game films!

Most of your time in-game will be spent managing your talent. Getting the right stars to the right sets, keeping them happy using perks like trailers and fancy new wardrobes, and then deciding when it’s time to cut them loose. You’ll need to constantly be on the lookout for new talent, and keep a close eye on your existing stars’ foibles—if they get problematic food or alcohol addictions, you’ll have to send them to rehab, or give them the axe.

Making a movie goes something like this: First, your scriptwriters make a first pass on one of five main genres—comedy, action, sci-fi, horror, or romance. Then you can add to, shorten, or otherwise tweak the locations or action of the basic script the scriptwriters delivered. Once that’s done, you’ll need to cast your film, selecting a director and stars to fill key roles. When it’s time for shooting to start, your entire cast moves to the appropriate set, where filming commences.

You can even give the actors direction during this stage by taking over for the director. Once all the scenes have been shot, you’ll need to enter post-production, where you’ll add special effects, titles, and even your own voice-overs! Once that’s done, you can release your film, and see how the critics (and audience) enjoy it.
It’s great that the game works, but we would have preferred a little less micromanagement and a little more movie-making.
--Will Smith

Month Reviewed: February 2006

Aliens: Build your own machinima, with a Sims-ian twist. Well-executed and fun!

AVP: Keeping 20 stars happy is a nightmare.

Verdict: 9

ESRB Rating: T




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