Developer: Swag Soft LLP
Price: free Download on the App Store
It might sound like a game about sugary bits of flavor exploding candy that crackle in your mouth, but Pop Rocks World is actually a music RPG that follows the world of the musician and the rise to stardom. Pop Rocks World takes players on a journey from unknown singer to mega star by simulating the climb up the ladder of fame. Players choose from a variety of options, like studying music, getting a makeover and buying a car – all in an effort to “improve” their star quality. When ready, battle against other players in an arena performance showdown.
Pop Rocks World features customizable characters which players must “grow” by boosting up various characteristics – charm, fame, showmanship, and so on – to become a stronger performer and level up. New areas and opportunities open up with new levels, so the game is essentially progressive, but no talent or skill is required – just persistence and dumb luck.
Performances in Pop Rocks World begin at the local park, with enough experience you’ll be able to move on to taverns and then bigger and better venues and even the recording studio. A performance is essentially a spin of a slot machine. Pay the fee, spin the “performance” dial and see what comes of it. Of course you increase your odds of a good spin by leveling up and “image boosting” – accomplished by shopping and studying at the PRW school of music.
Pop Rocks World is more of a simulation game than a role playing game as players try to simulate the career path of a rising singer. Anyone who likes these types of games and finds the music industry interesting can likely derive some amusement from Pop Rocks World. Quite a bit of content exists for a free game, with the potential to gain experience points from both private play and online challenges. You can even get a first-hand glimpse at the dog-eat-dog world of entertainment by stealing cash and fans from other players.
Though it’s a bit glitchy from time to time, such as spontaneous exiting and lagging, Pop Rocks World remains a fairly detailed simulation game. Granted, most experiences are selection based (choose a wardrobe, choose a hairstyle, choose a music lesson) but the performance aspect is random and lacking engagement. Unlike other music simulation games, such as Guitar Hero, that require a bit of direct involvement, Pop Rocks World basically has players tapping a button and waiting for a slot machine to secure an outcome.
Pop Rocks World definitely has its appropriate audience, but it’s clearly a limited one. Without an interest in the music industry and a great deal of free time to spend “growing” your character, there’s not a lot of depth or reward as a casual game. Pop Rocks World is ideal for mobile gamers who like the idea of simulated games but don’t enjoy farm or zombie themes – for that criteria, Pop Rocks World delivers.