We’ve recently taken a look at the latest Facebook titles from Social Game Universe, Hollywood Tycoon and Avastar. Frankly, the former turned out to be fantastic fun despite a few virtual currency discrepancies, but it was the connection to Avastar that led us to look at the parent title with a little more scrutiny.
Avastar is not about putting the stars into the movies, but being the star in the movies. Basically, the whole objective is to take your Hollywood avatar and move your way up from a nobody to an A-List celebrity.
In order to reach the top, Avastar has a myriad of options for you, but first, a little coin is needed. Players have to earn the currency “Stardo,” but in order to do so, they must complete odd jobs. Each character has a phone with five charges. At the top of the screen, scrolls a series of potential action cards, one of which is “odd jobs.” Clicking on these actions and selecting your phone will perform them and earn you rewards (until the charges are depleted).
However, not all rewards are Stardo. You see, in order to work your way up the ladder, you need fame and friends. There are actions up there that allow for opportunities, positive actions, and negative actions. While opportunities (such as public relations) affect only the player, the positive and negative actions are used on others. For example, utilizing a “high five” action card on a friend will earn them a few points and help them up the Hollywood ladder. However, if you were to use a “steal” card, you would take some of their points for yourself, moving them down, and you up. Best of all, all the aforementioned cards can be purchased and held onto for later use.
Okay, so what is there to do beyond all the drama and gossip? Well, Avastar is also a virtual space for players. Users are actually able to use their Stardo to purchase houses and decorate them to a limited degree (at least initially, this means buying items that are pre-placed). Furthermore, they are also able to make purchases for their avatar itself, including clothing and physical features. What is most interesting about both of these customizable elements, however, is that often you will find items for sale that are labeled “Hot.”
Just like in Tinsel Town, raising a hotness level, will actually earn greater income for players. Of course, this never lasts forever, so without proper attention, it will quickly drop off. Curiously, there are actions players can take too to raise or lower another’s hotness level using the same, previously mentioned action cards.
This leads to yet another fantastic addition to Avastar. Avastar is connected with the app Hollywood Tycoon, allowing users to act in other players’ movies. This actually earns you some extra Stardo, but if you’re not wanting to wait until you’re casted, then you can check out two other, smaller card-based games – that are directly linked to within Avastar – by Social Game Universe: Director and Script Doctor.
Director is sort of a card game where you purchase a film idea and are dealt a hand of cards that can be settings, plot points, or actors. The idea is to put them into a coherent order while attempting to match up their attributes of drama, romance, comedy, or action. The better these stats match up, the more money you will earn back; money that can then be used in Avastar. Think of it like movie making poker. The only problem, is whether or not this is the best way to play is unknown as the game does not have much in the way of instructions.
Nevertheless, Director can reward the player with cards utilized in the game itself. These are then available in the game Script Doctor, in which the user must fill in the blanks of a script using what cards they have available. If you fill in the blanks correctly, you earn a nice chunk of change or leaderboard points for your Avastar, but if you get it wrong, you lose the cards.
Another thing worth noting is that Avastar and the other connected titles are still in beta. That said, there are still a handful of graphical bugs and some usability issues across the board. A combination of these made Avastar a bit annoying to learn at first, but likely these are problems that will be fixed in the near future.
As a stand alone game, the title feels very average, but lucky for Social Game Universe, it isn’t. The interconnection between all four games truly adds a fantastic level of depth to the package as a whole. If you’re a socialite, then you’ll love Avastar; if your more the entrepreneur type, then Hollywood Tycoon (which we will look at in more depth later) is more for you; and if you like either, then you will probably also enjoy Director and Script Doctor. Overall, the entire set of games comes highly recommended.