A shallow journey to virtual stardom with some all-too-familiar customisation options
The Worst Kind of Ladder
Working your way to the top of the celebrity ladder can be a tough job (unless you're Kim Kardashian, in which all it takes is the casual selling of your soul on the back of a leaked sex tape), but that's exactly what's expected of you in Stardom: The A-List. You'll find that this game's framework is pretty much standard fodder, and those who have played Kim Kardashian: Hollywood will almost instantly be able to tell that this one comes from the same developer (Glu).
So get yourself a series of acting jobs and work your way from rags to riches in what is actually a better game overall than its Kardashian cousin, which although possesses some superior gameplay mechanics still manages to fall a few miles (that's a about a thousand red carpets) short of being genuinely entertaining. Continue Reading
Release Date: 14/12/2011
Available on: iOS, Android
Avatar (Not the Film) Issues
Before I go into the gameplay, it's the avatar editing portion of the game I'd like to cover first. It may seem odd focusing on this before covering the game itself, but the avatar customisation portion of the game is actually a significant part of the gameplay mechanic. Though much of the game is focused on tasks that involve tapping and a fairly standard energy-depleting mechanic with added premium currency, you'll notice that your wardrobe choices and consequently what you are able to wear have a direct impact on your progression through the game.
Tapping on the clothes hanger icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen brings up the avatar customising screen, which is fairly standard in layout no matter whether you choose a male or female protagonist. You'll notice the avatar customising screen is virtually identical to that found in the Kim Kardashian: Hollywood game. You've got the ability to edit in commendable detail the various features of your avatar including his/her hair, eyes, facial shape, skin tone (from pale white and then incremental shades through to black), tops, bottoms, shoes, and various accessories.
In all, the character customisation is fairly standard procedure here, though it's a clean interface that clearly lays out your options as well as the prices for the more stardom-earning and therefore more sought-after items of clothing
For a Few Dollars More
The game's entire framework is based on a freemium model (this is a Glu Games game after all), with the idea being you start by living in a fairly horrible apartment in a bad part of town, tapping on various tasks to expend energy in return for cash and XP. As you level up you are able to unlock more tasks, the completion of which will eventually lead you to stardom. The main variable to take into account in this case is the way you dress your character: this can earn you stars before you even step into an audition, boosting your celebrity status by merely wearing things that are deemed to be 'in fashion'.
Rags to Riches Never Felt so Underwhelming
The overall experience however isn't one of impressive gameplay with any kind of depth, but rather a shallow experience that, even when you've risen to fame and fortune, never really gets that exciting. It's too similar to the Kim Kardashian game to really be worth playing both, and given the choice most people that are into chasing the idea of 'celebrity' are going to side with the game that has the official backing and involvement of Kim Kardashian herself. Also, real fashion-followers are more likely to use apps such as LiketoKnow rather than download shallow fashion games that have no real-world application.
It's not that the game is particularly bad - in fact, it's a little more entertaining than the Kim Kardashian: Hollywood game and has more to do than online game like Fashion Designer NY - it's just that it boils down to tapping, spending, tapping, spending, and repeating until you get bored, which should be pretty soon if you're able to see past how shallow the whole concept is. Still, if you're into your avatar customisation, this game offers a fair amount of that and it can actually boost your progression through the game - that has to be a plus, doesn't it?
Overall game: 6.8/10
Avatar Customisation: 7/10
Stardom The A List is developed by Glu.