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Desperate Housewives

Gamers might start feeling desperate before they can get into the action on this TV tie-in. "Desperate Housewives" is buggy, failing to work on the first two PCs this reviewer tried. Experienced gamers will probably tire of the action soonest, recognizing this product for the blatant "Sims" copy that it is.

Gamers might start feeling desperate before they can get into the action on this TV tie-in. Although a cut above most crossover fare, “Desperate Housewives” is buggy, failing to work on the first two PCs this reviewer tried. Experienced gamers will probably tire of the action soonest, recognizing this product for the blatant “Sims” copy that it is. However, most people who pick this up — fans who wouldn’t know “The Sims” from a Studebaker — will probably enjoy their time on the virtual Wisteria Lane.

Like the skein, action revolves around mysteries of friends and neighbors. Players choose how their characters and family look and their clothing — these things are important in fashion-conscious Wisteria Lane — do housework or visit with the familiar characters from the show.

Voices are provided by sound-alike actors and while this lack of participation from most of the show’s stars (Brenda Strong narrates) is disappointing, it doesn’t ruin the experience.

As the story progresses so do the clues to various mysteries and the game gets more interesting. The beginning is clogged with exposition.

“Housewives” has a decent if unimpressive look, and the time spent walking from place to place gets tiresome quickly. The story is the main draw, and fans should find it compelling. Mini-games, such as gardening, online poker, and especially cooking, provide nice diversions from traipsing up and down Wisteria Lane uncovering secrets.

Desperate Housewives

Production: A Buena Vista Games presentation of a PC game developed by Liquid Entertainment. Rated T.

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