Paparazzi Superstar
| Paparazzi Superstar

Quite a pertinent title this one, in light of the current media obsession with paparazzi swarming around self-destructive female celebrities. And while it might not have been Vaka's intention, Paparazzi Superstar does feel like a cash-in on the current high profile of 'paps' in the media.

The aim is to take shots of celebrities in hotel rooms while avoiding the objects they throw at you, any dogs that come running, and the police. You have to take shots as juicy as possible to earn more dollars that you can spend on cameras, films and accessories like umbrellas (the kind that protect you from flying objects, rather than those flash reflector things you see in photo studios). As in real life, the better the photo, the more money you'll earn.

Each level calls for you to capture enough great shots to get sufficient cash to satisfy your clients, so you can move onto the next level. Then simply repeat ad nauseum.

The actual mechanic involves running from one hotel to another, and pointing your camera at a particular window on a 3x3 grid system as a celebrity comes into view. The celebrities come and go at the windows, so you must be quick to take the shot. Think celebrity squares on acid and you'll get the idea.

And that's it. There's very little difference between levels. The celebrities are simply the same few cartoon characters repeated, sometimes hovering in the window or sticking a middle finger up at you, and even sometimes, perplexingly, hanging upside down.

At first, Paparazzi Superstar is mildly fun and plays at a hectic pace. But after about, say, five minutes a creeping sense of ennui starts grabbing hold of you as you flit between hotels, choosing a window and taking a photo. The occasional flowerpot, dog or policeman is easily avoided and even the chance to visit a shop to buy supplies from the very limited selection soon loses its appeal.

Sometimes you have to go home and sleep, take a bath or eat to recover yourself, but this proves more annoying than anything resembling variety or a welcome change of pace.

The cartoon graphics are certainly appealing, even if the animation is a little basic, but that's about the only thing going for this disappointing effort.

Certain types of repetition don't make a good game, and unfortunately Paparazzi Superstar has this kind in spades. The levels don't change from the same basic layouts and the only difficulty comes from having more dangers to avoid between shots.

Which is particularly frustrating because Paparazzi Superstar has all the ingredients for a great mobile game: it's simple, basic and fast-paced. Unfortunately, the mind-numbing interaction harks back to early 1980s arcade games and, for once, we don't mean that in a good way.

Paparazzi Superstar

A very basic arcade game that, alas, seems to value tedious repetition over entertainment
Chris Leonard
Chris Leonard
Chris started out in games journalism, took a brief sojourn writing about boilers then became embroiled in mobile. Now he combines his twin loves of mobile and gaming – all while finishing his first Oscar winning-screenplay.