10 Celebrities You Didn't Know Had iPhone Games

Celebrity video games are nothing new, but apart from a handful of exceptions, the pairing of pop culture superstars and interactive entertainment almost always delivers laughably bad results. This seemingly changed for the better in the Summer of 2014, when Kim Kardashian: Hollywood was released. Glu's first notable celebrity partnership was one of the biggest games on the App Store, and it seemed poised to usher in a new era of famous faces in gaming.

And it did. Kind of.

Glu has plenty of new celebrity games in the works, from Nicki Minaj to Britney Spears. Celebrities are being paid top dollar to appear in advertisements, with Kate Upton (and then Mariah Carey) being the face of Game of War, Arnold Schwarzenegger selling Mobile Strike, and Liam Neeson even appearing in a Superbowl ad for Clash of Clans.

And, of course, there were plenty of famous faces hoping to reproduce the success of Kim Kardashian-West's mobile hit. Some have managed to create pretty compelling products. Some haven't.

Eminem

Shady Wars Eminem iPhone Game
Music Powered Games
What We Like
  • Excellent theme music.

  • Fun gameplay.

  • Intense and fast-paced.

What We Don't Like
  • Game isn't very unique.

  • Has some bugs.

When making a celebrity iPhone game, it's important that a developer keeps "fan service" in mind. That means creating a game that isn't just an unrelated product with a superstar awkwardly glued on top. And Shady Wars by Music Powered Games? It takes the idea of fan service to the extreme.

Gamers will play as the rap god's alter ego, Slim Shady (or if you want to make an in-app purchase, Eminem himself) as he tries to dodge attacks and collect song lyrics that fall from the sky. You'll do all of this to the sound of Eminem's greatest hits, making this a unique mix of rhythm and arcade gameplay.

Katy Perry

Katy Perry Pop iPhone game glu
Glu
What We Like
  • Good graphics.

  • Lots of wardrobe options.

  • Very addictive.

What We Don't Like
  • Requires daily play to maintain status.

  • In-app purchases.

  • Resource intense.

Glu, the creators of Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, have more than a few new celebrity games in the hopper. The biggest, though, has to be the upcoming Katy Perry Pop. Available at the time of this writing in select regions, Katy Perry Pop puts gamers in the sparkly shoes of an aspiring music star who gets a helping hand from the 21st century's reigning Princess of Pop.

You'll choose outfits, record music, and tour the world — all from the comfort of your phone. If that sounds a little like a music-friendly twist on Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, you're in the right ballpark. That's not necessarily a bad thing, mind you. And besides, it's not like Glu aren't taking any risks with their celebrity games. For example:

Jason Statham

Sniper X with Jason Statham
Glu
What We Like
  • Fun to play.

  • Impressive graphics.

  • Large arsenal of weapons.

  • Hours of gameplay.

What We Don't Like
  • Requires in-game purchases.

  • Many advertisements.

  • Can get repetitive after a while.

Sniper X with Jason Statham isn't just a great use of an actor's likeness — it's a great mobile action game.

Whenever we've seen an action hero paired up with an action game, the result almost always feels like a generic cut-and-paste job to squeeze their likeness in. Glu overcomes this problem by having Statham act not as your avatar, but as your guide. As you make your way through levels, training your sights on the enemy, Statham will provide guidance and chatter through your earpiece. He's like a wise mentor, but one who swears a @#$%ing lot.

Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan's The Price of Fame
Space Inch
What We Like
  • Pass the time when you're bored.

  • Very simple to learn.

What We Don't Like
  • No real storyline.

  • Amateur graphics.

  • Involves swiping and not much else.

If you're looking for this one on the App Store you'll have a hard time finding it. It was removed after less than six months of availability, but we assure you: Lindsay Lohan: The Price of Fame was most definitely a thing.

Judging from the title, you might think this was a thoughtful and introspective piece from a once near-daily victim of the tabloids; a poor unfortunate whose name was dragged deeper in the mud that the hooves of a plus-sized racehorse. Instead, it was a dress-up game/clicker game centered around getting as many fans as you could.

While it's no longer available for download, the official website remains alive and well should you want to get a taste of what Lindsay Lohan: The Price of Fame was like.

Warwick Davis

Pocket Warwick
Pocket Warwick
What We Like
  • Fast-paced.

  • Addictive to play.

  • Very humorous.

What We Don't Like
  • Not a very involved game.

  • Can get boring to play.

  • Amateur graphics.

Speaking of games that are no longer available on the App Store, Pocket Warwick was a game that let players poke, prod and dress one of Hollywood's biggest little people as if he were a virtual pet.

Pocket Warwick sat at ​an uncomfortable crossroads: it makes perfect sense (he's an actor so you can dress him up, he's small so the "pocket" gag works), yet we're absolutely baffled about why this existed.

Shaq

ShaqDown
One Spear Entertainment
What We Like
  • Large variety of moves and techniques.

  • Cool weapons to choose from.

  • Includes cooperative play.

What We Don't Like
  • Game can get repetitive.

  • Simplistic visuals.

  • Cannot customize controls.

If we set the dial on our time machines to 1994, we can revisit the launch day of Shaq Fu — a fighting game that is almost always brought up when discussing the worst celebrity games ever released.

Not content to leave well enough alone, Shaq returned to the world of video games in 2013 to fight zombies in a side-scrolling, lane-switching endless runner. Also, he could throw a basketball. We'd complain that it doesn't seem like a natural fit for a basketball star, but we could imagine a world where Shaquille O'Neal is the last surviving member of the human race and trying to outrun a zombie apocalypse, so B+ for being on theme.

ShaqDown was later followed by ShaqDown 2, a 3D action brawler with a similar premise.

Demi Lovato

Devi Lovato: Path to Face
Episode Interactive
What We Like
  • Fun for younger players.

  • Good graphics.

  • Interesting storyline.

What We Don't Like
  • Requires in-app purchases.

  • Difficult to get a positive outcome.

  • Very little control over the game action.

The Episode Interactive brand of story-games has established a pretty decent following on the App Store over the past year, so it's little surprise that they've begun courting brand and celebrities to build tales around their talents. Demi Lovato: Path to Fame is one such tale.

Like Kim Kardashian: Hollywood and Katy Perry Pop, Path to Fame is a game about rising through the ranks of celebrity with a top diva as your mentor. This time things take a more gamebook-inspired approach to narrative, though, so if you like a little more control over your fashion and glamor adventure — or just prefer her brand of celebrity to the competition — Demi Lovato: Path to Fame is cool for the summer.

Wesley Snipes

Julius Styles: The International wesley snipes iphone game
Lapland Studio
What We Like
  • Somewhat humorous.

  • Plot can be interesting at times.

What We Don't Like
  • Game mechanics aren't very good.

  • Poor graphics.

  • Slow gameplay.

Back in 2011, Wesley Snipes starred in an iPhone game that had the unique distinction of not being about Snipes, but about a character played by Snipes. It was, in essence, an acting role — but one that didn't require him to be on set. This was probably a good thing, as he was serving a prison sentence at the time for failing to file his income tax returns.

Julius Styles: The International was a game of puzzles and espionage that wasn't great, and — get ready to recognize a running theme — isn't something you can actually play anymore, as it's no longer available on the App Store.

Shakira

Love Rocks Starring Shakira

Rovio 

What We Like
  • Fun, challenging puzzles.

  • Must match symbols and colors.

  • Strategic gameplay.

What We Don't Like
  • Awkward Shakira branding.

  • Boring if you don't like match-3 games.

  • Not very innovative.

Here's an example of a fantastic game that has nothing to do with its namesake. Rovio (aka the company behind Angry Birds) recently published Love Rocks Starring Shakira — a puzzle game with the undisputed queen of dance needlessly pasted over top.

And it's really worth stressing that this is a great game. The mobile marketplace is chock full of match-3 puzzle copycats, but Love Rocks really manages to bring some fresh thinking to the genre. But at the same time, it does nothing to really integrate with its celebrity branding in a meaningful way. If anything, the Shakira partnership may even be to the game's detriment, as puzzle aficionados who otherwise might have enjoyed Love Rocks might have avoided it, assuming it suffered from the same lack of originality that plagues so many licensed games.

Paris Hilton

Paris Hilton Star Girl iPhone game fashion
Animoca
What We Like
  • Community gameplay.

  • Interesting clothes and accessories for avatar.

  • Compete with friends.

What We Don't Like
  • Encourages kids to spend on in-app purchases.

  • Language inappropriate for kids.

  • Requires an internet connection.

When you have a brand as big as Paris Hilton to protect, there's a very "slow and steady wins the race" approach to consider. Jumping into a partnership and banging out a mobile game just because Kim did isn't necessarily something you want to do unless it can make sense. That's why Paris doesn't have her own game yet — instead, she's lent her likeness to Animoca's already successful fashion game Star Girl.

This is all part of a larger partnership with the company that could very well lead to a Paris Hilton game — but for now, she's content to showcase her real-world fashion line, the "Paris Hilton Collection", on the virtual store shelves of a game that's already a hit among fashion-forward gamers.