Back in 2017, This is the Police had players taking over the role of police chief for an entire town. It wasn’t all “cops are good,” thankfully, as players could easily switch over to the dark side if they so choose. The developer, Weappy, made two more police-based games with This is the Police 2 and Rebel Cops, making its next game a welcome departure. Hollywood Animal has players presiding over a film studio beginning in the late 1920s and guiding it through decades of difficult decisions.
In Hollywood Animal, Weappy stays true to its story-driven approach to games while adding on the depth and complexity of an economic simulator. Scale dizzying creative heights, enjoy glamour and debauchery, face dark deeds, and accept unpleasant compromises while navigating Tinseltown’s twisted underbelly. All those great sim elements are there: building, resource management, upgrades, etc. But what really matters are the choices you make and the stories that are written along the way.
You can build whatever studio you want. It can be a multi-billion-dollar beast, or a trash factory that challenges what “good taste” really is. All that matters is that you keep the studio afloat. The outside world doesn’t make that easy, though. There are wars, social upheaval, censorship, corruption, strained government relations, and criminal disputes. Move about behind the scenes by forming alliances and, if need be, by lying and betraying.
After all is said and done, humans remain nothing but animals. Stick to the law or stay on the authorities’ good side. Raise the screenwriter’s salary or secretly remind him that he strangled a prostitute and you hushed it up. Delay a film’s release to avoid competition or ask the mafia to clear the entire calendar for it.
Your time won’t be spent on decisions like wallpaper and bushes; rather, your focus is drawn to characters and themes… okay, and maybe some technological investments. Show business is a messy business, and conflicts can stem from whims, prejudices, addictions, and secrets. Someone else can deal with that wallpaper and those bushes. Be included in every step of the filmmaking process, from plot ideas to theatre distribution.
Developed and published by Weappy, Hollywood Animal will be released for PC via Steam in 2024.