Ever walk into a nightclub, it's blindingly colourful, full of guys in football jerseys and blonde girls with eyes the size of saucers and the DJ is playing Lady Gaga mixes over and over, and think how much better you could run the club yourself? Well there's a new game for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad just for you, courtesy of Tapulous, the company behind the hugely successful Tap Tap Revenge iPhone music game.
The firm's latest title, ClubWorld, is a free tycoon-style game in which you play a nightclub owner, hiring bartenders, DJs and door people and collecting money from your clientele to spend on decor, dance floors and drink menus for your club. Think Farmville crossed with The Sims but aimed at trendy young things rather than stay-at-home mothers.
The game is colourful, moderately creative and integrates nicely with your iTunes library (you can play your own music in your club) but ultimately it failed to inspire me.
As your club expands, you gain experience points that you can use to level up and unlock even cooler couches, aquariums and lighting effects like lasers and strobe lights. But I found myself unlocking new items not because I was excited by them but out of a completionist's desire to check off all the challenges in the game's achievements system, or Party Objectives, as it is called.
Party Objectives are a set of tasks (such as inviting a friend to play the game or buying a virtual lava lamp) that you need to perform to win the chance to play a frenzied 30-second game-in-a-game where you tap on the screen frantically to collect money and "sugar". Sugar is a ClubWorld currency which you can buy with real money or very slowly build up by playing the aforementioned mini game.
You can spend your sugar on special items that are not available to buy using the standard virtual cash you earn from your club. This is clearly how the game's developers intend to monetize ClubWorld. But unlike other tycoon style games that encourage you to spend your hard earned money on virtual goods that have no value outside the game world, ClubWorld at least gives you something worth having: real life music.
The playlists available in the game are surprisingly varied. The first artists the game asks you to choose for your club's DJ music are Tiesto, David Guetta, Bruno Mars and Sum 41. The game also includes big name artists like Katy Perry and Lady Gaga.
But if you do not have a clue who any of these people are, or your tastes are somewhat different, don't fret. Later, the game lets you pick genre based playlists like Indietronica, Pop and Blues. The Blues playlist was probably my favourite, including the music of legends such as Etta James and BB King.
The developers have also teamed up with some world-famous DJs to bring you specially themed items for your club. For example, you can spice up your club with a David Guetta and Kryoman-themed decor or buy yourself a Tiesto-inspired DJ booth.
You can also interact with other players and check out their clubs by tapping on the "street" button. You can toast other users for XP and sugar and also check out their clubs which in my experience of the game are all pretty similar. This game isn't for creative types, it will frustrate you. It isn't a mini Second Life where you can build your own decor and style. Instead, everything is made for you and it is up to you to choose from the narrow selection that is available.
The game seems wholeheartedly money driven and based on gathering, gaining and of course spending money (both real-life and in game money) which is actually realistic when it comes to the world of nightclubs. The game has a decent selection of music playlists to choose from and the graphics are cute and entertaining. The game play itself didn't woo me. But, if you are into tycoon sims like Cafeworld and Farmville, you might enjoy it. Plus the app is free, so it can't hurt to try it out.
You can find out more about ClubWorld, including how to download it, here.