Reach for the stars with CelebrityMe
CelebrityMe is a recent Facebook release from Seismic Games that casts players in the role of a big star reminiscing about his or her rise to fame. Through a combination of dressing appropriately, knowing the right people and performing well in various “gigs,” players will build up their fame and become the hottest thing in Hollywood.
Gameplay in CelebrityMe consists of three main aspects: shopping, completing small activities around town and performing in gigs. Shopping is necessary to acquire different “styles” of outfit which are necessary for gigs — it wouldn’t be appropriate to show up to a nightclub in beach wear, for example. Meanwhile, the small activities around town cost a small amount of energy and reward the player with “fans” (CelebrityMe’s take on experience points) as well as various collectible items which are occasionally required for quests, and sometimes small amounts of hard currency. In a nice, immersive touch, attending the movie theater in the game’s town treats players to a YouTube video trailer of an upcoming real-world movie — Titanic 3D, at the time of writing.
Gigs form the meat of the game, and are the main means through which players progress their careers. These vary from simple assignments such as photoshoots to more complex engagements such as starring roles in movies (most of which spoof real-world films in amusingly obvious ways), but all unfold in essentially the same way.
First of all, the player must dress appropriately for the “style” required by the gig, wearing a combination of items which scores the highest number of points. More expensive items tend to be worth more points, and there is a quota of points which the player must meet in order for the gig to go as smoothly as possible. Alongside the outfit, players must also sometimes hire one or more co-stars either from their friends list or from a small selection of “virtual friends.” The more effective virtual friends cost hard currency to hire and score more points, making it easier to succeed.
Next, there is at least one small minigame that determines how successful the player’s performance in the gig is. These tend to take the form of either a “cup game” style affair, where the player must pick a card with the highest number of points on it after watching them be shuffled, or a “spinner,” where the player must stop a marker on a space which has the highest number of points. Following completion of the necessary number of minigames — which may be retried in exchange for hard currency — the player is given a summary of their gig. If it was a movie, they see a trailer featuring their character and any co-stars they hired. If it was a party, they see a mock YouTube video of their behavior at the party. And if it was a photoshoot, they see a short video of the shoot itself followed by the magazine cover on which they appear. Players may then share these short videos on their Timeline, allowing them to show off their creations and recruit their friends. Following this, they are rated on their performance and then have the option to bribe any critics who gave them a less-than-perfect score with hard currency. Finally, they receive rewards according to their performance, and then begin receiving residuals from the gig at regular intervals.
Gameplay is straightforward but fun, and the immersion in the experience is enhanced by the amount of ownership players may take over their character. Upon starting the game, players may style, name and gender their avatar as they please, and throughout the course of their rise to fame have a wide selection of outfits through which to express their personality, with more distinctive outfits costing hard currency. The ability to choose who co-stars in the gigs is also a nice touch — particularly when playing with friends — and in a pleasing nod to inclusiveness, doesn’t limit players to heterosexual relationships in love or dating-related scenes.
The game is entertaining to play, features strong social features and monetizes well. Audio-visual presentation is generally quite good, though some animations are a little shaky and some of the text — particularly that seen in speech bubbles during the movie sequences — could use a bit of a proofread. The complete package adds up to a good, immersive game in which players can take a great deal of ownership of their character. This aspect in particular will help retain users for a long time, particularly when combined with the impressive amount of content on offer and the relatively generous energy system.
CelebrityMe is a new release and as such is not yet listed on our traffic tracking service AppData at the time of writing. Stay tuned for in-depth usage figures, audience estimates and other metrics. In the meantime, try the game now on Facebook.
A fun, social game in which players can have a pleasingly “personal” experience with their own custom character.