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Shannon Tweed’s Attack of the Groupies Review / Playthrough

4 Apr 2014  by   Tim McDonald
Game Details
Developer: Gogii Games
Publisher: Strategy First
Reviewed on: PC
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Well, there’s one bit of genius for you. If you’re going to release a game as patently ridiculous as Shannon Tweed’s Attack of the Groupies, you might as well release it on April 1st. I mean, seriously: I bought this at least partially because I assumed it was a joke, and I suspect I probably wasn’t the only one. I mean, who would really release a game based on Shannon Tweed, famous for 1) taking her clothes off for Playboy in the 1980s, 2) taking her clothes off for erotic thrillers that provided Channel 5 with 90% of their televised content for their first three years of operation, and 3) living with and eventually marrying Gene Simmons from KISS?

shannon tweed attack of the groupies 2

The horror begins.

Assuming this was a joke is a mistake on par of “it’s fine, guys, we’ll be in and out of Afghanistan in a month.”

Shannon Tweed’s Attack of the Groupies is not a joke. It’s an HD re-release of a mobile game, which… you know what? A mere description cannot do it justice. Journey with me through the game, and find out for yourself.

Attack of the Groupies - 02

Yes, the cutscenes look like this. Yes, they’re that poorly compressed. Yes, they look really bad.

Level 1

After an introductory cutscene that was almost certainly designed for screens with a resolution lower than 1024×768, not least because of its utterly horrible bitrate, I’m in the game. I’m apparently playing as Shannon Tweed, or playing as some omniscient being that’s assisting her. Apparently, she’s having trouble with groupies. They’re trying to get their hands on Her Man, who goes unnamed but is presumably Gene Simmons. Apparently, this is bad, and it’s up to Shannon to beat them back with the power of makeup remover.

No, really.

With daughter Sophie Tweed-Simmons providing tutorial instructions, I’m thrown directly into Plants vs Zombies. I don’t mean a game like Plants vs Zombies; I mean it is actually Plants vs Zombies. Only with makeup removal guns instead of plants and groupies instead of zombies (which is, let’s face it, an academic distinction at best).

Attack of the Groupies - 03

If any groupies actually make it past your lanes, Shannon screams at them and everything in that lane runs away. From what I can tell, this then recharges very quickly.

Level 1 starts things off simply: I have one lane, and Sophie telling me what to do. I plonk down a Sunflower – sorry, a “money tree” – and save up the cash for a basic makeup removal gun. It shoots the approaching groupies. I win. Apparently they’ve spent ages doing their makeup to meet Gene Simmons, and now that their makeup is ruined they have no choice but to leave.

So, okay, yeah, Shannon Tweed’s Attack of the Groupies isn’t exactly inspired, but it’s not offensively terrible.

Attack of the Groupies - 04

Upgrades put crowns around things. Actual sprite changes? Pfft.

Level 2

The music is offensively terrible. Jesus Christ, it’s actually burrowing into my brain. This is the music: a five-second guitar riff repeated two or three times, followed by a slightly different guitar riff repeated once. That’s it. That’s the entire musical score of each level. This from a game centred around the woman married to Gene Simmons. I’m going to take a wild guess that KISS wasn’t exactly jumping to be associated with this, and that’s why I’m not planting makeup removal cannons to the strains of Crazy Crazy Nights.

I’m now being introduced to the wonders of upgrading turrets, which is done by saving up money, pausing the game, and then clicking the upgrade button. This can only be done a little while after a tower has been put down, and it increases the damage very slightly and puts a little silver crown around them. If I then leave them a bit longer, I can upgrade them again, which turns the crown gold and makes them do more damage.

Also, I’m now fighting across three lanes. Still no actual strategy required, but I’m pretty sure Plants vs Zombies took a lot longer than two levels before making it even remotely possible to fail if you’d ever played a tower defence game before.

Then I’m introduced to a new enemy via a brief Q&A session. Yeeeah.

Attack of the Groupies - 05

Every enemy and weapon gets a little introductory thing, which… actually is kind of a nice touch. I mean, the writing isn’t hilarious or amazing, but it would have been very easy to not do that.

Level 4

Level 3 passed without incident, and unlocked a new weapon – the “Skunkinator”, which is apparently a bomb that smells bad. I plonk it down, it blows up, and any groupies in roughly a 3×3 radius of the explosion are immediately so disgusted by the smell that they run away. It’s pretty much entirely unnecessary considering how easy these early levels are, though. I mean, that second groupie mentioned? I can’t tell any difference between her and the ones I’ve already encountered.

Attack of the Groupies - 01

And now we know: the continual wealth of the Tweed-Simmons family is down to giant sacks of cash (which apparently only contain $50, so they must be full of 1c coins) and trees that actually grow money. Does the Treasury know about this?

Level 7

Four lanes, now, and a new enemy. This one actually takes a bit more of a pounding, but she’s still entirely beatable with my basic strategy of “put down a single makeup removal gun in each lane and then upgrade them.”

Music update: I’m now actually hearing those same two fucking riffs even when they’re not playing. I want to turn it off, but this is presumably the Intended Experience so I’ll suffer through it for you, dear reader.

This level also results in my unlocking the first of what appears to be five family albums, which have photos of Shannon and Gene. Like the one below.

Not sure that’s much of a reward, but okay.

Attack of the Groupies - 02

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH

Level 8

I’m sufficiently bored that I’m now just throwing as much shit down as possible to see what happens. Then I win.

Attack of the Groupies - 03

Even my money trees right at the front aren’t really under much threat.

Level 9

Now I have bouncers. They’re Wall-nuts. They stand there and then the groupies come up and ineffectually claw at them and then their makeup falls off because Shannon Tweed has set up scientifically improbable makeup removal cannons and they run away crying.

Attack of the Groupies - 04

Minor annoyance: picking your “shooters” on the pre-game screen puts them into the bar at the top from right-to-left. Which means that if you want, say, your Money Tree to be on the far left, you have to pick it last.

Level 11

I’ve apparently beaten the first set of levels! Hooray! Now I’m, uh… doing exactly the same thing, only somewhere that looks slightly different. I guess the first area was by the stage, and now I’m backstage? Great. No fundamental difference except that I’m up to five lanes, now.

Attack of the Groupies - 05

I have no idea why I put that gum up in the top-right. Misclick. Boredom. Pick one.

Level 14

Beating level 13 has introduced “Barcelona”, a new enemy type that is absolutely not a thinly-veiled Paris Hilton. A socialite heiress famed for scandal who’s named after a European city? Naaaaah.

It’s apparently quite hard to remove her makeup, and worse still, the Bouncers have presumably seen her sex tape because when she walks up to them they get little love hearts above their heads and they just let her pass by. Fortunately, I can now ruin the floors of everywhere I visit with lake-sized lumps of chewing gum, which slows down anyone silly enough to walk into it. Hooray.

Still no actual strategy, and these levels take forever. Seriously, even on double speed, the game actually runs significantly slower than pretty much any other tower defence game you’d care to name. It’s like defending against encroaching ice ages. In real-time.

And fucking hell, that music.

Attack of the Groupies - 06

I… really don’t get how a stilt-walking circus clown is a groupie, but I’m not sure than narrative cohesiveness was ever really intended to be one of this game’s strong points.

Level 18

Six rows. Groupies on stilts which absolutely are not ladder zombies. No, really, they’re not. They don’t “use” their stilts when they encounter a turret, because that would probably be too hard to code. They just walk through everything.

Still fall very quickly to upgraded makeup removal guns though.

At this point I got sufficiently bored that I actually went and Googled for pictures of Shannon Tweed, most of which involve so little clothing I can’t actually link them here. Then I alt-tabbed back to discover that the game automatically pauses when the window doesn’t have focus anymore, so I actually have to sit here while groupies are very slowly defeated by my not-at-all cunning defences, listening to the horrible horrible music, waiting. Waiting. Waiting.

Attack of the Groupies - 07

Unfortunately, these hairdrier-looking devices just mess up hair, rather than explode brains.

Level 20

Now I have a point-blank range thing that gives people a terrible hairstyle. Not a Chomper – not least because I don’t think it can attack from behind Wall-nuts. I mean, bouncers. Either way, who cares? Makeup guns. Upgrades. Win anyway. Oh yeah, and at some point I also unlocked guns that fire green slime. These slow groupies down. Definitely not Snow Peas. I’ve started putting them down and upgrading them too, because why not?

Music is so bad and so ingrained into my head that I think I can actually taste colours now. May be having a stroke.

Attack of the Groupies - 08

I suspect I would’ve won this even if I hadn’t put anything on those last three rows. All I need is my money and my shooters.

Level 21

New area. Parking lot. Functionally identical. Decide to just throw down basically everything. Win. Unlock “dark hipster” enemy who has a sonic scream which instantly destroys any turret she walks into. Yaaaaay.

Level 25

Can I win without upgrading anything? Yes. Yes I can. Also, those mirrors make a single groupie freeze for a short time, because… they’re so narcissistic that they can’t pass one up without staring at it. Ha ha! Ha. Hee.

Attack of the Groupies - 09

Yep. The makeup removal shooter and the slime shooter are just direct palette swaps. Even the Pea Shooter and Snow Pea from Plants vs Zombies had minor visual differences.

Level 26

Getting quite disturbed by Shannon Tweed’s mid-level barks. Fully half of them are nonsensical, but some of them are just bizarrely offensive.

“Eat your heart out, Superwoman!”

What?

“It’s called extinction! Look it up!”

Shannon, you’re removing their makeup. You’re not killing them.

“Ding-dong, anybody home?”

Uh. No, really; what?

“I hope she doesn’t forget to update her status – getting her ASS kicked by Shannon Tweed.”

Shannon, I’m beginning to worry about you.

Attack of the Groupies - 10

“Today isn’t looking good for her. Tomorrow isn’t, either.” Wit so sharp she’ll cut herself. Hopefully.

“Careful, you’re gonna pop those things.”

Shannon? What things? What are you talking about?

“I’m no psychic, but her future might involve glitter and a pole.”

Sorry, what? Did a former Playboy model who then retained fame by taking off her clothes in films, marrying a rockstar, and then starring in a reality TV show just disparage strippers? Really?

“A little heavy on the makeup there, ladies.”

These barks. Over and over and OVER AND OVER AGAIN. Endlessly. Occasionally the same one plays again as soon as it finishes. I’m not sure whether to take that as lazy design, or whether to take it seriously and assume that Shannon Tweed occasionally forgets things that happened several seconds ago. I would too, if I had to listen to the same five-second guitar riffs over and over again. Oh look! That’s what’s happening right now.

Level 27

Music update: DUN DUNDUN DUN-DIDDLY, DUN DUN DUN DUUUUN

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  1. +3

    Loved the review. But I have to think that with better music and some actual effort put into balance (so the game is somewhat challenging), it could’ve been a cute little parody clone of PvZ.

    April 4, 2014 at 10:40 am

  2. John Matrix
    +3

    Funny review. Sometimes another person’s pain can be quite enjoyable. ;)

    Plants vs. Zombies is a simple game, but it’s not simplistic. This one looks really simplistic.

    April 4, 2014 at 4:03 pm
  3. +2

    So this is what it looks like when a games writer starts self-harming.

    April 4, 2014 at 5:38 pm
  4. +2

    My thoughts exactly, I think it’s a cry for help. Maybe let him do a jrpg once in a while, no one will read it but it might make him happy.
    Anyway, you should start by putting a filter on steam so that he can’t find more ported mobile games.

    April 4, 2014 at 6:20 pm
  5. +1

    I think I worked this out… Shannon Tweed’s Attack of the Groupies – she MADE the game! She was lead programmer, lead artist, lead guitarist (see what I did), and lead voice artist…who would buy this? I’m VERY impressed you played it so far, I hope you got a bonus for unsociable games. Over and above the call of duty. Well done :)

    April 5, 2014 at 9:12 pm
  6. after playing 60 levels of this game not cracking up and going completely insane and running around naked smeared with shit.. gibbering.. shouting obscenities at imaginary people, I wish I had your sanity level in the HP Lovecraft role playing game I could learn the darkest Cthulhu evil secrets and would never go mad and could become all powerful.

    April 6, 2014 at 2:46 pm
  7. +2

    Genuine question: is there any interest for more of this sort of thing? By which I mean me slogging through the absolute worst games I can find, in either text/screenshot diary/video form.

    And yes, this could almost have been a good game. There’s nothing wrong with it in concept, there’s certainly room in the Plants vs Zombies subgenre of tower defence for more games, and I wouldn’t expect them to match up to the level of carefully-designed joy Popcap infuses into every pixel of their games. However, I still expect better than this.

    April 7, 2014 at 7:42 pm
  8. Sure, I enjoyed these, but think it may get old really fast, like a certain biscuit on youtube. (He’s doing pretty good though)

    I’d like to see you continue your oculus rift diary, of course you could combine it with crap games to make the suffering complete.

    April 7, 2014 at 10:07 pm
  9. Yes more please Tim, but how many games are as terrible as this one? not that many surely? Most shit game are just tedious and dull. Games this bad are rare surely

    April 24, 2014 at 8:38 am

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