Hands On with The O.C.

Express your teenaged angst with fake tan and The Gap summer collection

Hands On with The O.C.
| The O.C.

Gameloft is certainly California Dreamin' at the moment. Following the release of its Paris Hilton's Diamond Quest game, they're hard at work on The O.C., a game based on the popular TV series where beautiful young people discuss their 'issues' to a soundtrack of trendy indie rock.

In the game you'll be able to play as Ryan, Seth, Marissa or Summer from the show, wandering around O.C. locations like the pool house and the Harbor School Student Lounge making friends and buffing yourself up.

"We think it's the first mobile game to combine the two wildly popular game genres of simulations and TV/film licensed properties," says Charles Revillon. "It's a rich Sims-style game, but with real O.C. locations, personalities and a plot-line that will resonate with the millions of O.C. fans throughout the world."

Hang on a minute though. Those screenshots look a bit... familiar. Yes, it's fair to say The O.C. is closely related to a game released by Gameloft last year, called New York Nights: Success in the City.

It makes sense – the dating elements of that game are perfect for a game based on The O.C., although New York Nights has since been booted out of the limelight by EA Mobile's The Sims 2, itself based on the PC/console game that originally inspired Gameloft's title. Yes, it's a tangled web.

Anyway, don't think The O.C. will leave you stuck with the basic characters and unable to change them, as you might expect with such a big TV show.

"The game gives players the opportunity to choose their characters, adapt them and customise the game to their individual tastes," says Revillon. "Most other games give a limited customisation or choice of characters, and your interaction with them is limited."

What this means is that you can customise the way your character looks – indeed, it's a big part of the gameplay to develop their appearance and fitness. And no, not so they can leave the show to make a career in limp Hollywood romantic comedies, you cynic.

Gameloft also promises that there'll be a host of mini-games, including talking, joking, criticising, kissing, drinking, dancing, offering items and punching. Which sounds like an average Friday night out to us. There'll also be unlockable content in the form of new friends and locations.

The O.C. will be out soon, hopefully tying in with the distinctly Californiesque heatwave that's currently swamping the UK. The screenshots shown here are work-in-progress, so it may look even better when it comes out.

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