I'm sitting at my desk with my iPhone in one hand, rapidly stroking the screen with the other. This is how my celebrity avatar builds her fan base in Lindsay Lohan's The Price Of Fame — simulated masturbation on a grand scale.
There are no missions to perform, soirees to attend or events to organize in Lindsay Lohan's mobile game. There is no energy meter and no constant reminders to spend a little cash to get a little further. Just the constant rhythmic pawing in front of your rapidly expanding pool of fans. Flicking the screen until you tire of flicking it, then coming back and flicking some more.
Developed by Space Inch, whose founder and lead programmer is OK Go guitarist Andy Ross (spot the clever reference in the screen below), The Price Of Fame portrays the life of the famous not as something to be desired, as with Kim Kardashian's mobile hit, but as something more mechanical. The player swipes to gather fans. Swipe faster and you'll gather fans faster.
The fans are currency, which can be used to invest in publicity, an entourage and consumables, each aimed at bringing in more fans per second or maintaining fan growth while you aren't playing.
Real money can be earned (or purchased) to dress up your avatar. Pictures can be "leaked" on social networks for cash prizes.
Ultimately what you look like has little impact on the "game." Perform that stroking motion attentively and vigorously and all will be well.
Lindsay Lohan's The Price Of Fame, unlike other celebrity-driven mobile games, is not a celebration of stardom. It's a subversive look at the pointless processes behind maintaining popularity at ridiculous Hollywood levels.
Genre: Hollywood tedium simulator
Developer: Space Inch
Platforms: Android, iOS
Price: Free. More free than most, actually.