Cost: Your soul and faith in humanity........ sorry I mean totally free
Format: Android and IOS, reviewed on the Samsung Galaxy S3
Review bit: So Iím back after a break and I needed to break myself into reviews again gently. So Iíve decided to review a highly controversial game which also happens to be some easy low hanging fruit.
Now before I start the review let me help give you an idea of the experience of the game and let me indulge in a bit of my normal stupidity first.
So before you read this review, would you like to sign into google + to share this review
Voice of the Reader: No just get on with the review you useless hack
Ok so maybe youíd like to sign in with your email address instead to help our market research team
Voice of the Reader: What the hell is this bullshit I came here for a game review.
Ok so maybe your email is too personal, how about signing in and sharing it via facebook ?
Voice of the reader: Seriously are you kidding me you stupid smeghead ?
Ok how about sending a tweet out to your followers about this article ?
Voice of the reader: Ok smeg for brains kindly shove your head in a gas oven and turn it on. I came here for a review not to be part of your advertising team you incompetent hack
Ok fine how about you simply rate this review to give other users an idea of your feelings on it ?
Voice of the reader: What in 7 kinds of cola is wrong with you, I came to read a review not be part of your advertising team !
So now Iíve well and truly used that joke to death I should say thatís not so much a joke as it was the first 5 minutes of the game for me. The game pushes and pushes to try and get you to let it use your details. It starts with asking you to sign in with your google account, then the email account listed on your device, then facebook shortly after and then asks you to tweet about it.†
The game is a vapid piece of wait to play rubbish akin to most early facebook games, except this one is more insidious. This game goes above and beyond Candy Crush Saga levels of insidious social marketing methods to spread like a horrifying virus.†
The gameplay is simple, click on things to spend energy, once your energy runs out you then wait for it to refill. When you complete a task the game will shower out collectible icons things which each add to your different consumable resources. In this game they are energy, money and the premium currency star points (which retails at 50 for £3.99 or about $7) your star points of course being useable to refill your energy which costs about 30 star points per refill (or about £2.50 or $4 a refill). So you might be thinking itís fine youíll just wait it out right ? Wrong the game has time dependent activities that use energy. Now initially these activities have low energy requirements and will refill your energy for you with pick ups. After the game has asked for your rating however at about the 15 minute mark then these activities have a sharp increase in energy requirement mostly doubling the required energy and cutting the pick ups by at least ĺ. Itís fine though you donít have to spend real money you can pester the hell out of friends on social media to get them to give you energy you know because misery loves company. Now the third photoshoot alone drained all the energy and saw me waiting for 30 minutes for it to refill enough to finish the job, when the job itself had a 1 hour time limit attached. The game is great at keeping you on the clock constantly by telling you for example ďIn an hour your manager will phone with important informationĒ or ďIn an hour Kim will phone about a party sheís throwingĒ. The game is designed to keep you coming back as often as possible.
After the initial 15 minutes the game also ramps up the cost of things in star points with adopting a cat requiring almost the full 50 points from a small pack. Iím sure further down the line the costs just soar exponentially to try and get people spending more money. To climb the star rankings you take modelling jobs and other work along with dating. Yes the way to climb the social rankings in this game is to date, screw love and companionship itís all about being seen with the right people. †The game further pushes you to spend money by offering your premium content clothing etc which you can buy and I think it runs out to close to that $7 per set of clothes.
Ok so now Iíve talked about the mechanics †itís time to talk about the story, or at least the vague thing that passes as motivation. The game plays out as a vapid and vacuous piece of ego stroking on the part of kim herself. From the star listing placing her as an A list (seriously if Kimís an A lister then Kate Beckingsale is a double S lister) to the initial intro where you keep the store open for her and then give her clothes from the expensive boutique free of charge. The game does offer multiple options for tacking different scenarios but in the initial Kim meeting there is none, your choice is give her free clothes or nothing.
†Infact almost all your rise to fame revolves around Kim in some way with her setting your up with a manger and helping your meet people, it really does portray her as the centre of this fictional Hollywood. †The game also introduces Willow Pape as a rival to you being the snooty diva starlet who starts a grudge with you for various reasons, †playing as a female character (which I picked because something told me playing as a guy somehow would make it seem weird being friends with Kim so quickly ) you end up talking to and being accused of hitting on Willowís ex boyfriend. I will however give credit to whichever cynical member of the design team snuck in the little digs at the absurdity of so much of the game, pointing out how you can get a media relations manager to help manage your public image and the strangely empty photo studios that you sometimes go to with blinds over the window. Someone in the team snuck in these little things because no doubt even they thought this was too stupid to exist as a game without someone poking fun at these. Unfortunately the game is not meant as a parody game but as a somewhat realistic (to an extent) story. The message of this story being to get famous simply date loads of famous people or become friends with a famous person and give them free stuff.
I couldnít end this review section without actually saying this though. Kim Kardashian does lend more than her image to the game. Kim herself has actually done some voice acting for the game which you can hear breaking up the repetitive music. Now while I can say she has played some part in the game beyond image I now have to turn round as say itís the worst voice acting Iíve every heard, worse than Tidus in FF10 and his laughing, worse even than the acting present in the infamous film The Room†
Verdict: †Seriously this game is kind of the worst combination of most of the aspects of social pay to wait games all rolled into one. When the best thing I can say about the game is that unlike dungeon keeper it actually lets your rate the game how you like, well that should give you an indication of my feelings on it oh and you have the choice of which gender to play which seems to be something people want in every game rather than a tailored sotry. This is a game designed to keep you on the clock as much as possible while also forcing you to wait, unlike other games like say The Simpsons Tapped out where you can set something up and leave it running then come back 8 hours to a day later, this game is constantly giving you maybe an hour before it needs attention again and again. †While being designed to use these time constraints to attempt to pressure you into paying for fear of failure.
The game feels like it entirely exists to stroke Kim Kardashianís ego and also line her pockets with a reported up to $85 million in the process. Some-one in the development team knew how ridiculous the game was and tried to sneak in a few jabs but even this canít save a game where t tells you the best way to become more famous isnít to be talented but to look good, wear nice stuff and date the right people. Rather than you know being genuinely talented and put in a lot of hard work.†