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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the Hollywood stars often get drunk, can become addicted to food or alcohol, and base their self-worth on money, clothes, and social status. Some of the short films players create can have mild sexual innuendos and violence. The game is online enabled but primarily so players can share the mini-films created in the game. Common Sense Media does not recommend online play for anyone younger than 12.
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What's it about?
THE MOVIES gives players a shot at making a mark in Hollywood, running their own movie studios. Players build sets, review movie scripts, and pamper stars to become the biggest and best studio. They can even make and share their own movies with other players. If successful, players earn new sets, wardrobe selections, and some nice trophies during the annual award ceremonies.
An easy-to-use tutorial gets players started setting up a studio lot, but it doesn't take long to figure out that the most time will be spent attending to the movie stars. A star's happiness is determined by a number of factors, but some of the most important are money, the right clothes, an entourage of admirers, and a fancy trailer to stay in. An unhappy star may refuse to work, even to the point of quitting the studio. Many a film will be stopped mid-shooting because one of the stars has thrown a tantrum, at which point they often go off to stuff themselves full of food or get drunk.
Is it any good?
Players choose how involved they want to be in the script-writing and filming of the movies. Most players will probably want to let the computer do most of the work, but it's fun to play around with the simple, built-in editor that the game offers.
Players shouldn't expect to create anything too realistic -- they are limited to the pre-created (sometimes violent or steamy) scenes the game has, and creating anything longer than two to three minutes becomes tedious. Some players may enjoy going online to share their own movies.
Ultimately, this is a clever idea -- and can encourage some creativity. The game does present a stereotypical Hollywood, however: Celebrities behave badly, and looking good is valued above all else. The Movies is best for teens and above. Hopefully, future installments of the game will allow greater creativity when it comes to making the movies, and put less emphasis on status.