Paparazzi is a humorous picture-taking advergame for DVD trading site Peerflix in which the objective is to snap photos of celebrities to earn money. Yes, I know what you're thinking, but play along, hmm?
The photographer's angry tabloid boss is fed-up with the trash that has been pictured on the covers (aren't we all?). He wants BIG celebrity photos or else the photographer will soon be out of a job. Help the photographer by snapping photos as assigned in each of the five (5) 'adventures on the red carpet.' The better the photo the more money it earns, and you'll need to snap 12 photos and reach the target goal for each scene to move on to the next.
In addition to the monetary goal, there is an inherent risk involved with being a paparazzi: your subjects may not appreciate the photo-op and will often throw things at you. If you get hit five (5) times in a single scene before you snap all 12 photos, it's game over.
Analysis: The game has some strong points, though it's not perfect. I really liked the presentation and appeal of the sparkling graphics with saturated primary colors. The glitzy style works well for the game type and reasonably well for the nature of the client's business. The option to skip ("continue") past intro cut scenes is a very welcome feature, as was the viewable instructions 'tabloid' to leaf through while the game was loading: a very nice touch!
The photo capturing gameplay is well done with lots of random movement of the subjects to keep the game challenging, fresh and fun for a while. That being said, I believe there is room for improvement in the detection algorithm that determines a "good photo." It seems that as long as you capture a majority of the targeted celebrity then you will earn max value for that photo.
The collision detection between the items thrown and the photographer appears to be based on the bounding box of each and not the actual image content. And while the bounding box is the basis for Flash's primary method of collision detection, this will undoubtedly leave some crying "foul!" as happened with a previously reviewed game. There are other more expensive methods (in terms of performance) for collision detection, but with the size of the images being moved around the screen in this game, it is likely those methods would slow the game to an unplayable crawl.
The use of a stylized likeness of real celebrities paired with a silly parody of their names injects both humor and fun into an otherwise objectionable activity. Remember, it's only a game. ;)
So, yeah, this sort of thing isn't something that you should aspire to do in real life, as invading others' privacy is not only unethical, it also lowers your karma to the life form of a sponge. Still, the picture-taking genre of games has always appealed to me over those using guns, and I believe there is room for it to be taken in plenty of new and exciting directions.
With apologies to all the celebrities who visit here, including those whose likenesses were used in this game. (I know you're out there ;)
Cheers to Steve for pointing out that this game was designed and developed by his company in Boston, Pod Digital Design, makers of viral marketing and branded entertainment. Nice work, Steve!