Celebrity Calamity Review

Our Review by Sinan Kubba on March 9th, 2012
Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: WELL BALANCED
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Learn about budgeting with this fun educational game.

Developer: Quattro Games
Price: $0.99
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar

Since this is an educational game, allow me to fill you in with a little education on Celebrity Calamity's history. It's an iOS translation of a 2009 Flash game of the same name made by Peter Tufano, now Dean and Professor of Finance at Said Business School but at the time a financial management professor at no less than Harvard. It won a Houston Interactive Award.

The game puts players in the role of production assistant (PA) to three finance-illiterate celebrities. The goal is to keep the reckless superstars in the green by ensuring their credit cards don't go over their limits. Each round features a mini-game in which the PAs have to collect money and the specific bling the celebrities want - Nexboxes, Banana phones, and various other subtly named items. Once the round is over, the bill is totted up for whatever gear was procured. Fail to get enough of whatever flash gear the little A-list Caesars want and they'll get pissed off at you. It's up to PAs to keep the celebs happy while trying to keep the debt collectors away.

The mini-games themselves are fun enough. The first sees money and bling falling from the sky, and the PA sprawling across the ground to catch everything. The other two mini=games are cruder, simpler approximations of Canabalt and Fruit Ninja. They're all a little clumsy without much depth, but the main game is about the financial side of things, anyway. Working out how much can be spent to keep the celebrities satisfied while keeping their finances healthy, and how to actually go about keeping their finances healthy, is actually pretty interesting even to a financial ignoramus like me. It's also surprisingly challenging, although that might just be the whole financial ignoramus thing.

The game is free for a limited time, and it's worth checking out for those with interest in educational games or how to go about budgeting - kind of important with that whole recession thing, right?

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