Actress Lindsay Lohan is the star of a new mobile game, The Price of Fame for Android and iOS, that's both a tongue-in-cheek look at celebrity culture and far less glamorous than another popular celebrity fantasy game, Glu Mobile's megahit Kim Kardashian Hollywood.
Like Kardashian's (surprisingly progressive) game, Lohan's new mobile title sees the actress shepherding a new Hollywood celebrity along the path to ultimate fame. Players can purchase new outfits and accessories for their celebrity avatar and earn coins by building a following. That's done by swiping upward on a touchscreen in order to gain fans, an appropriately masturbatory-looking gesture.
Lohan's game is more crass, more silly than Kardashian's. Where Kim K's game promises "a virtual world complete with exclusive clubs, upscale boutiques, and luxury homes," Lindsay's lets players "start a phony rap beef, buy a private peninsula, get butt implants, fight in an elevator and give your baby botox." While Kardashian offers to whisk virtual celebrities to destinations like Miami and New York, Lohan's game will let players become famous underwater or on their own private planet.
"It's all part of getting famous in Hollywood," the game's description reads. "And why not punch a paparazzi while you are at it? Don't worry, you have a hot shot team of lawyers to get you out of trouble. And they probably deserved it."
Lindsay Lohan's The Price of Fame lets its players utilize unglamorous tactics to multiply their fame. Players can spend fans on publicity perks like a ghostwritten rap album, a sex tape, a rehab recovery or a faked death. They can even "sleep with a poet laureate" to gain notoriety.
Players can also purchase fame boosters like coconut water, paparazzi repellant and a jet pack. They can order a designer baby or join a "designer cult." Players can acquire both a pet elephant and an ivory pen, two items that sit side-by-side in the "conspicuous consumption" section of the in-game shop.
Finally, players can accessorize their celeb with an entourage. Options include a bag of puppies, "not nice girls," a hype man, a trustworthy weed holder, a monkey riding a dog, "at least one Illuminati" and a space Dracula.
Once decked out, you can take a selfie of your custom celebrity and "leak" it to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Lindsay Lohan's The Price of Fame is rife with free-to-play annoyances. The game will pester you to post to Facebook, sign up for an email list, turn on push notifications and buy lots of in-game goods. Players can purchase coins to spend on customization options, new fans and "legal blitzes" from your lawyers. There's even a $99.99 black card that offers unlimited coins and a solid gold garden gnome.
I was most surprised to see that one of the boosters in the store was "read an article." The game promised to boost my fans if I did some reading, and directed me to this New York Times op-ed titled "Love people, not pleasure." If the contents of that editorial aren't commentary on the game I was just playing, I don't know what is.
While rather run of the mill in the mindless action and free-to-play departments, the game is definitely self-aware in its humor. A cartoon Lindsay Lohan occasionally pops up to offer guidance like "Remember: be strategic and keep your wits about you" and "Gender is a social construct and so is your celebrity persona." The people who made Lohan's game, Space Inch, appear to be keenly aware of the fluffy time-waster they were making and the caliber of celebrity they were making it for.