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Celebrity Games: Are they worth playing?

  • Published at 07:18 pm July 19th, 2018
Celebrity Games: Are they worth playing?

People remember 2014 for a multitude of things – from more serious matters like Narendra Modi's victory in India's elections, to some less serious matters like the release of Disney's hit Frozen. What some people may not remember about 2014, was the trend of celebrity games on iOS and Android (more so on iOS).

Some of the more notable celebrities who released games in 2014, and the following years are Eminem, Katy Perry, Gordon Ramsay, Demi Lovato, Jason Statham, Lindsay Lohan, and of course the one who started it all, Kim Kardashian. To keep things short, I'll only be looking at the games released by Kim Kardashian, Gordon Ramsay, and Jason Statham, since a lot of the other games are very similar to Kim Kardashian's one, cheap cash-grabs or simply boring.

What game better to start with than the original one, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. In this game, you create your own character and work your way up Hollywood's ladder and try to become an A-list celebrity. It's quite a simple game which at its core is a point-and-click adventure, that revolves around the decisions you make. You can dress your character, decide what gigs to take and do your best to become an A-list celebrity. It can definitely be fun in short play sessions, but it’s not a game that’s meant to be played for longer than around half an hour. This is made apparent by its energy systems. Any action your character does expends some energy from the energy bar. The main gripe I had with this game is that the energy bar runs out far too quickly, within 10-15 minutes of playing. After that, the only way to refill the bar is by either paying or waiting. It's targeted for the people who play story games, like Episodes, on their phone, so if you're one of those people you could give it a try and have some fun, but if not, then chances are this game isn’t for you. Since it’s free, there’s no harm in giving it a try at the very least.

Next up is Gordon Ramsay's game, Ramsay Dash. This game definitely took inspiration from 2004's Diner Dash, which is a fairly outdated game now, but it changes enough things that it doesn’t feel like a copy. Gameplay is quite simple, and all you have to do is cook and serve customers, while managing your time. Anyone who's played the original Diner Dash, or any similar games knows what this game is like. It's not a very complicated or hard game, but the longer you play the more customers you have to manage while on the clock, until eventually you need to focus and try not to miss a single customer. It's a simple concept, that is quite easy for the first few dozen levels, but it's not a bad game to play for a bit if you're waiting in line, or in the car for a few minutes. It's not meant to be played for hours on end, and it knows that, which is why it focuses more on being fun for short periods of time. This game also uses an energy system of sorts, but it didn't hinder my experience for the most part, as I never played it for so long that I completely ran out of energy. Gordon Ramsay's voice acting is also more natural and less forced than most other celebrity games, and it was fun to hear him shout whenever I messed something up or congratulate me after I cleared a level. There’s a reason millions of people enjoy watching him berate dozens of young chefs. Overall, it's a good game to keep on your phone to play whenever you're stuck in traffic or waiting in line.

Lastly on the list is Jason Statham's Sniper X. While Jason Statham may not be as popular or famous as some other celebrities who have made games, I put him on this list because his game was one of the better ones. It's a very typical sniper mobile game, where you're tasked with taking out terrorists and saving hostages in different levels, but it has good, simple controls which make every head-shot satisfying. This game, like nearly every other celebrity game, has an energy mechanic which limits how long you can play at a time, but whenever you level up you get more energy which meant that you could play for hours before you ran out of energy. Out of all of the games I tried, this was the one in which I felt the least pressured to spend money. It's not very innovative, but what it does, it does well. The shooting mechanics are solid and after the first few levels, you need to spend a few moments to plan your attack, keeping in mind that you're on the clock. Jason Statham's voice greatly improves this game and his comments whenever I make a move, or fail to, are always fun to hear. He does use explicit language, which is not unexpected considering the role he usually plays in movies. It's not the best sniper game available, but it is one of the better ones and it's one of the few games where the celebrity's voice contributes to the overall experience. The main problem I had with this game was that it needs a constant internet connection, which meant that I couldn't play it while stuck in traffic, which is where I usually play mobile games.

These were only three of the many celebrity games, but I felt that these were the most fun and most popular, which is why I chose to focus on these three. Most, if not all, celebrity games were made simply as advertising tools, but that doesn't mean that they're not good. The mobile game market is one of the more competitive ones, since mobile games require less time and effort to make, and the fact that some of these celebrity games are able to compete with the rest shows that they're genuinely good games. At the end of the day, the only thing you stand to lose is a bit of your time, so there's no harm in trying them at the very least.

By the numbers:

  • Kim Kardashian: Hollywood has been downloaded over 42 million times. Additionally, over 3.29 billion individual play sessions have been logged, and generated $71.8 million in revenue last year alone, down significantly from the $74.3 million tallied by the game in just six months in 2014. 
  • It’s estimated Ramsay Dash is making $500,000 in revenue each month on iOS, and has made $10 million since its release in June 2016. Along with the estimated Android revenue for the game, it has reached a total of $17 million.