Inside 'Katy Perry Pop' Game App, Where Katy Lets Fans 'Charm' Their Way to Fame
Katy Perry Pop is a jewel-toned fantasy land come true for fans of the Fireworks singer who want to cut a demo, get signed and grab that brass ring just like Katy did.
In her new game app, which lets users customize an avatar with such star-making qualities as face shape, eye shadow color and hairstyle, Perry acts as fairy godmother to guide aspiring singers towards the spotlight (Perry herself appears sporadically in video clips, though her actual music is nowhere to be found.)
"It’s time to take a little peek into the world of my imagination," cartoon Katy says, channeling her inner Willy Wonka. After users don a literal pair of "rose colored glasses" gifted by Perry's character, she informs them that, “When I was a kid, I discovered that artists see the world a little differently. I made these glasses so that you can see what I see.”
What we see from the game's onset is an archetypal story of an aspiring singer working in a coffee shop called The Rise & Grind, where a waitress named Ruby asks users to work a double shift, even though she knows you are hoping to perform at that night's open mic. The game then offers two responses to choose from: “plead with her” and "use charm." The charm thing is a frequent option for users trying to get something from someone standing in their way: managers, label execs. With Ruby it gets you access to her closet so you can ditch the plain clothes you start in for one of Ruby's costumes ("In order to gain the most fans," the game instructs, "be sure to wear something appropriate. Costumes are the best for performances.”)
You go back to work and Ruby exclaims, “Oh my stars! Katy Perry just walked in!” You are given one reaction to choose, which reads, simply, “OMG!” You meet Katy. She says, “Your voice is amazing. Do you have a demo?”
You do not.
She asks if you have a place to record one. The response provided to you is “my mom’s garage.” So, off to the garage!
Katy tweets, “Just stopped at Rise & Grind for a cup of coffee, and discovered [player's name]. Keep your ears peeled for music from this up-and-comer." Your confidence is riding high.
The game lets you pick a song title from a pre-generated list and you choose, from many appealing options, “El Woman With The Boys.” You can call a friend over to jam with you. Your option is “Topher,” who magically appears with an electric guitar and a blonde Bieber ‘do. You guys lay down a sick track (that you can't actually hear). Katy offers to send the demo to her manager, Simone. Simone loves it! Your response: “Yaaaas!” She’s too busy to take on new clients - “NOOOO!” - but will meet with you if you can fly to West Hollywood. Ka-ching!
When you arrive at her office, Simone declares she is not happy to see you unless you’re on the “Top Songs chart.” When you naively ask what that is she is even less impressed.
“Oh boy. You’re greener than I thought. The Top Song Chart tracks which songs are selling the best. A song will become less popular over time, so you have to keep making new songs to stay relevant.” Doh!
When she tries to brush you off you have two options: start singing or...use charm! You boldly choose to start singing and she is blown away. “Maybe we can work together after all," she says. Typical!
Fairy godmother Katy appears to give you the trippy rose colored glasses and you take a stroll to see her ol' pal Left Shark. You and Left Shark perform an impromptu seaside concert together. It's a hit! Simone calls back and says you need to go to her office STAT. She's booked you for an ad campaign - and the 16th birthday party for a record exec's daughter. There is just. No. Stopping you.
The game comes from San Francisco-based Glu Mobile Inc., who had a huge success on their hands with last year's Kim Kardashian: Hollywood game, where players tried to climb their way to the top of the A-list. Katy Perry Pop might have slightly more noble aspirations - at least it's appealing to players' hopes and dreams, not just their thirst for social climbing. And if your hopes and dreams aren't enough to get you where you want to be?
Below is a trailer for the app.