During the months of boycotting most new PC games releases (for harbouring vicious DRM schemes and Limited installations), I found the time to replay a number of older games that truly are much better in many ways. Most importantly, innovation.
The Movies is a cross-genre hybrid, beautifully combining a Sims game with a business-RTS one and a highly creative movie suit. Not only do you get to step into the shoes of a Hollywood mogul, but you get a shot in "realizing" that film you always had in you.
The game starts with the design and building of your Studio (using up the allocated funds), complete with Script stables, Sound stages, Production offices and, well, casting-couches? (not so surprisingly that part of Hollywood was not included). Casting is pretty straight forward, plucking some lucky characters from the waiting line and turning them into stars. Or script writers. Or directors. Or janitors. Yes, life is a bitch.
What I liked about this game was its historic accuracy, simplified efficiency and clear-cut design. Not only are most stages in making a movie readily available and the means to achieve this evolve as time progresses, but everything has a familiar feel and self-evident practicality as well.
Stars throwing tantrums and directors relaxing too much with the sauce; ageing stars in need for nip/tacks - and always keeping an eye out for whoever has the bigger trailer!
What I loved about this game was the opportunity to plan out the script in a detailed story-board and then shoot my own movies. The bad news is that if your visions are long and complicated your studio will be... bankrupt in no time, as it will release fewer and more expensive movies. But that is besides the point, is it not? What is a bankrupt studio in the wake of a iconoclastic new director towards his vision?
In the end, although very entertaining in many ways, the strong suit of this game is not its Movie-Business Management Simulation but rather its Movie Creating editor. Simply, there is no other game like it.