The Average Gamer

The Movies Review (PC)

Age Rating: 12+ Screenshot from Starmasher: Robot Daughter

What is it?

A cross between The Sims and Theme Hospital (if it were a movie studio). Build the studio, hire the stars, make films, export them online to Lionhead’s official site.

Is it fun?


Is it worth the money? £26.99

Yes, if you’re at all creative and like film.


You get to make movies! The supplied music is bouncy and happy and some of the film clips are hilarious! If the thought of setting up shots and cutting them together bores you to tears, give this one a miss. The studio-running aspects get boring pretty quickly and you’d be better off with The Sims 2.

It’s very much a tool designed for making machinima, with some studio maintenance thrown in. There are minor niggles, like not being able to line up your actors perfectly between shots and being forced into continuity glitches by set-dressing limitations but it’s still a very powerful tool, with post-production effects, like subtitling and editing, and the ability to import your own music. You’ll need a program that converts music files to .ogg. Here’s one. You can also record dialogue or voice-overs in post-production once your lab techs have done the necessary research.

Outside the movie-making it’s very much like The Sims but easier. Your star actors and directors get jealous of each other if they think their underpaid, or have a crappier trailer than they deserve so you give them things to make them happy just long enough for them to do well in the next movie. You do need to play the real game to unlock all the features for the sandbox, but that’s not as tiresome as it could be even though the scriptwriters are constantly wandering around the lot instead of churning out my B-movie scripts!

I’ve been playing it pretty much non-stop for the past week. You can find the first film that I scripted and took all the way through post-production here :) The game only exports to Windows Media Video, which is unfortunate as it means you get fairly poor quality if you keep it to a reasonable download size. It does export full-screen video at quite large file sizes, so it’s easy to burn good-looking copies for your friends. (The user rating system on the official Lionhead movie-showcase site lists voice acting as one of the criteria. I’m rubbish at voice acting so until it gets less embarrassing, I’m keeping away from them. They will be offering downloadable extra props so I’m brushing up on the voice acting at home. In private!!)

Official Lionhead Site
Planet: The Movies

Casting Rehearsal Filming Crew

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