Review – Moviehouse: The Movie Studio Tycoon

One of my favorite games back in my teenage years was Peter Molyneux’s The Movies. It was more than just a tycoon/simulator. Contrary to Peter’s image, it was actually a game where you were free to make movies of your own, complete with props, angles, editing, direction, the whole lot. It was a freaking immersive experience, an addictive one at that. For reasons beyond my knowledge, it has never been re-release, and people barely talk about it nowadays. I was shocked to read the press release for Moviehouse: The Movie Studio Tycoon and find out that it was inspired by The Movies, and it was aiming to be its spiritual successor. A brand new iteration of one of my favorite games of all time? Sign me up!

Moviehouse Script Writing

This is how you write a script in Moviehouse. I assume it’s the same way in real life.

Here’s the thing. Moviehouse: The Movie Studio Tycoon is an indie game. Despite being released by a publisher with a sizeable catalog (Endzone, Squad 51, all Leisure Suit Larry games, FAR: Lone Sails), the scope is minuscule. Maybe trying to promote itself as a successor to a magnanimous game with a ton of content like The Movies wasn’t the best idea, because Moviehouse is skin deep. Fun for a few minutes, but it’s super basic. I should have seen it coming the moment the game started downloading, as it was a mere 900MB in size. Visuals are simplistic, just a bunch of sheets, menus, and sliders. The soundtrack is as basic as elevator music can get.

Moviehouse Reviews

The reviewer tasting his own medicine. Ouch.

In Moviehouse, you run a studio and produce movies, but you don’t exactly make them how you like. You don’t select scenes, costumes, and edit crap altogether like you did in The Movies. In this game, you basically work as the movie producer in the most superficial of ways: run the studio, hire writers, tell them what genre to write about, pick like three elements for them to craft a script from, hire a director, make the damn movie. Wait for the timestamp bar to fill up, and voilà, you have a flick. Again, all set in static images, menus, and sheets. Football Manager has more action than this. Once you finish producing a movie, you decide on how to distribute it, you make some money, and starting thinking on making a new one, as well as using some of the cash to improve your studio. That’s your loop.

Moviehouse Comedy

The most fun I got out of Moviehouse was naming a random movie after a dud and seeing it garner praise from audiences.

It’s not a bad gameplay loop, it’s just very basic. Moviehouse: The Movie Studio Tycoon has a solid foundation for a movie producing simulator, but given how you can’t actually make these shorts like its main source of inspiration, The Movies, all you get here is a basic business management simulator with little action, player input, or excitement. If this was a budget title available on a phone, then sure, this could work as a nice pastime for fifteen minutes at a time. It isn’t, so it’s hard not to remember it’s far from being the love letter to Peter Molyneux’s magnum opus it so proudly boasted before release.


Graphics: 5.0

It’s as visually appealing as Football Manager. It’s sheets, menus, and sliders. You don’t see your movie in action, you don’t see it being made. The most you see of your movie is its poster.

Gameplay: 6.5

The interface is intuitive enough, but not being able to properly make the damn movies you’re dreaming of is disappointing, rendering Moviehouse a stupidly simplistic experience.

Sound: 5.0

Background elevator music and some special effects. That’s it.

Fun Factor: 6.0

Not being able to properly craft your movies or seeing them being created makes Moviehouse way less entertaining than it should have been. It’s passable, but beyond bland.

Final Verdict: 6.0

Moviehouse: The Movie Studio Tycoon is available now on PC.

Reviewed on Intel i7-12700H, 16GB RAM, RTX 3060 6GB.

A copy of Moviehouse: The Movie Studio Tycoon was provided by the publisher.