Stardom: Hollywood iPhone Review
You'll know from one sentence whether Stardom: Hollywood is your sort of game or not. Those who follow RiRi's every tweet will rush to the App Store to grab it, while those who shake their head at our cultural obsession with celebrity will groan at its entire premise. Your challenge, put simply, is to create and customize an actor or actress, then take them on a journey from their position of destitution all the way to the big leagues of A-list celebrity stardom.
To do this, you undertake a series of acting jobs that range from embarrassing commercials to small budget films. You can't begin a scene without first successfully completing an audition though. Your agent will occasionally call you and tell you to pop into the office to check out a script before you head off to the recording studio. Repeat the handful of lines correctly to the studio director and you're in business.
That business is really rather boring though. In each scene you'll simply tap buttons overlaid on various objects, and different taps cost different amounts of energy. Each tap also results in a small explosion of currencies, but run out of energy and you'll just have to stand there waiting for it to recharge - unless you head to the in-app purchase store and make a top-up from there.
Leveling up also refills your energy meter, but you'll soon be stuck in a loop where you can't spend energy to level up and actually get that refill without waiting and waiting. What else can you do? Well, you can dip into the shops and spend some virtual cash on new clothing and accessories, or simply settle things up with your landlord before he kicks you out on the street. Or you can wander aimlessly around town - not much fun.
If you do manage to persevere with the game, you'll eventually rise up from Z-list mediocrity to the very highest heights of fame. It's going to be a long journey though, and you have to question whether it's one that's even worth taking. There are treats along the way, particularly in the dialogue that's often surprisingly witty, but even when you're playing the game you're not really playing it.
Before our acting career had even really taken off, we accidentally started an audition without reading the lines back at the agent's office first. Lacking the necessary currency to charm our way through the failure, we were left penniless, wandering the streets, and bored of waiting for the agent to call with another job. He did call - eventually - but it was more of the same.
We'll never know if our character achieved his dreams or not. We were loathe to spend real money on heading deeper into such vapid gameplay, and the timers stretched too far ahead for us to want to take another tap. Stardom: Hollywood looks great, has an occasionally wicked sense of humor, and it knows how to crack a few barbed quips at celebrity culture. But ultimately it fluffs its lines in the only area that really matters - the gameplay.
What's Hot:Some sharp humor if you know what you're looking for, and the game is very slickly presented.
What's Not:The gameplay is, at its core, just boring. The timers separating you from that gameplay worsen things.