Sunday, 25 January 2015

The Great Mobile Experiment, Part 2

Okay, there's no part one.  I was just trying to be interesting.  Not really.  This actually refers to my second attempt to find worth while mobile games on my phone.  The first time disappointed me so much that I never bothered again until now.  So on with the story.

Recently, I downloaded two games to my phone.  The first is called 80 Days.  It's loosely based on the Jules Verne novel Around the World in Eighty Days (remember the Jackie Chan move that came out several years ago?  Probably not.  Ha ha.).  I first heard about 80 Days on Gamasutra's site.  I love going there because those folks are on the bleeding edge of gaming and it's a great place to pick up new trends.  80 Days caught my eye because it's basically an interactive novel.  Being a voracious reader (able to use big words like 'voracious') it's a no brainer.

So how was it?  It was boring.  80 Days is essentially about planning a trip around the world.  The key word being 'planning'.  Mostly it's choosing a destination and then sitting back to see what happens.  The goal is to get around the world in 80 days and poor planning means you will fail.  That's just the problem.  I don't have fun planning the trip.  I have fun ON the trip.  On that note, when you do get to your destination, you have a choice of exploring the place, or... plan your next move.  Dull.  Sorry.

My second game, though, is what I really wrote this to talk about.  And it's a bit of a confession.  The second game is........ Kim Kardashian Hollywood.  Yes, you read that right.  Kim.  Kardashian.  No don't go!!!  Stick with me!!  Please! 

ANYway!  This is my first free-to-play game and I've heard horror stories about these types.  They rope you in with a semi-competent game then force you to pay money if you want to make any sort of progression in decent time.  KK Hollywood is no different.  But I expected this.  What I didn't expect was how bad it was.  First, there's the whole concept of energy.  Most of you who have played 'free' games know what this is.  It's a time limit concept where by you cannot do anything until you have sufficient energy stored up.  How do you get energy?  By waiting.  Or by paying for more!  I understand KK Hollywood isn't the kind of game you do a sit-down-and-focus-marathon-style session.  It's mean to be played while waiting in line at the supermarket.  Only problem is, the game gives you so little energy that you barely have enough to make it to the cash register.

Like I said, I expect this.  But there's something worse.  Energy is only one form of currency.  There are two more.  In-game cash, and Stars.  Cash isn't so bad.  The game gives you plenty of those and you don't have to buy expensive stuff if you don't want to.  But Stars... that's another matter.  Stars are used for almost everything from moving on with the story to meeting new NPCs, to fast forwarding time, to buy fashion accessories, to flirt, to keeping relationships and even to repair broken relationships should they go down in flames.  Yes, Stars are important.

How do you get stars?  By doing the usual 'free to play' crap.  Watch video ads, sign up for other apps and of course, pay for them.  At first, I thought: okay, if I really want, I'll plunk down a buck or two, buy a handful of stars and off I go.  Oh now little did I know.  First off, there's no such thing as 'a buck or two'.  Lowest purchase you can make is six bucks. That gets you 50 stars.  How much do 50 stars get you?  A pair of shoes.  The CHEAPEST pair of shoes.  Some of them cost upwards of 100 stars!  This is bull!  Of course, you can also go for the best deal.  Get your self over a thousand Stars...  For over 100 dollars!  That's more than a AAA new release console title!  Are you crazy?

Well, you might not be crazy but I am.  Because I..... actually...... no no I didn't pay a hundred bucks.  I didn't pay a cent!  But I confess to liking the game.  I take it out every 30 minutes to an hour and use what little energy accumulated to do fashion shoots, commercials, go on dates and what have you....  It's... strangely addictive.

I don't suppose I can convince anyone else to play?  Our characters can team up.  Please?

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