When I was a kid I always wanted to be a movie star. I told my Dad this and he said I was too ugly. I said he was perfect for the movies because he looked just like Dumbo… it didn’t end well.
Needless to say, I didn’t end up on the big screen (at least not yet!) but until that fabled day it looks like I’ll be given the chance to live my dreams vicariously through Lionhead Studio’s latest project, The Movies (published by Activision). This is the pitch:
Imagine you can make any movie you want. Imagine you could pluck someone from obscurity and make him or her the hottest star in Tinseltown. Imagine that you had control of a movie studio, competing with others to create a string of box office smashes. Imagine being able to use your judgement alone, deciding whether success lies with epic action pictures or lots of low budget, hammy “B” movies.
Did Lionheart get the part?
So, clearly, what we’ve got here is a management strategy game. Think The Sims crossed with Theme Park. You must manage movie sets and budgets, produce and/or direct, keep egos in check and bodies in shape (yes, sending an actor on a trip to the fat farm or plastic surgeon is an option). All the while, you are moving through the ages of cinema: from silent film and black and white to digital and CGI. Become a movie mogul, talent spotter, film director or Jack of all trades; the career direction is up to you.
Lionhead has a short but pretty spectacular back catalogue of games including Black & White and Fable, so expectations are understandably high. The Movies opens this to film lovers this autumn. Lights, Camera, Action!