Shannon Tweed’s Attack of the Groupies Review / Playthrough4 Apr 2014
Hooray, I have two new toys now. I have a big makeup removal gun that is exactly the same as the first makeup removal gun except it has two barrels, and I have the “Sprinkler of Doom”. Apparently, I can put that down and – if left running for long enough – it makes the ground muddy, which causes groupies to slip and slide.
I tried this. It doesn’t actually appear to do anything. No, really: I put two down early on and noticed exactly zero change to anything throughout the entire level, which felt like it lasted about half an hour because of how unbelievably sodding slowly this game goes. Not that it matters, because my usual tactic of “put down a row of each type of gun, upgrade them, wait” seems to still be working fine. Or maybe it only works on earthy ground, and not a parking lot? Or maybe I just couldn’t notice because enemies were slowed by the slime gun anyway? Or maybe I don’t actually give a shit?
The music’s still going, by the way. I can’t actually hear it anymore because I may have accidentally jammed screwdrivers into each ear and wiggled them around until the hurting stopped, but it’s still in my head. After spending about three hours listening to two five-second riffs, that doesn’t come as much of a surprise.
I’ve just realised I’m only halfway through the game. This triggered the reverse of a religious experience, in that I’m pretty sure I actually just felt my soul escaping. I honestly can’t blame it.
On a slightly more amusing note, this is displayed on my taskbar as “Shannon Tweed’s Attack O” with the rest cut off. I keep seeing this and automatically filling it in as “Shannon Tweed’s Attack on Titan“, which would be an infinitely more amusing concept for a game.
You know, I wouldn’t actually mind so much if I could just set up my cannons and then alt-tab and do something interesting until the level finished. I mean, the game doesn’t actually require any input from me at all once my seemingly unbeatable strategy of “put down guns and upgrade them” has been employed. I just have to sit there, waiting, until the level crawls to a close several minutes later, while those same two fucking riffs play over and over again.
Ia! Ia! Tweed fh’tagn! Ia!
PH’NGLUI MGLW’NAFH TWEED-SIMMONS HOLLYWOOD WGAH’NAGL FHTAGN! IA! IA!
You know what? I think I’ve figured it out. Shannon Tweed’s Attack of the Groupies isn’t actually a fucking appalling rip-off of Plants vs Zombies – it’s possibly the greatest game of the last decade.
It’s a lengthy treatise, in game form, on the relentless repetition and endless vapidity of celebrity. It’s Shannon Tweed’s digital scream. You’re famous, but you have to deal with the exact same drudge, over and over again, while the clawing masses desperately try to get close. It’s a paean to the average man or woman – the person who isn’t sucked in by celebrity and isn’t involved in this vicious cycle. The person who isn’t famous, and isn’t trying to be famous or to get close to the famous. It’s glorious. As an artistic statement, this is quite possibly unsurpassed in the history of gaming.
“This just never stops being fun”, says Shannon, at the end of the level. Clearly sarcasm – or perhaps just a very, very clever little bit of wordplay. It can’t stop being fun, because it never started. I continue to be more and more impressed by this game.
Huh, apparently I’m bleeding from most of the orifices in my head. Hadn’t noticed that. Probably unrelated.
Proof that I was right: now I’ve unlocked the paparazzi as enemies. Seriously, this is a lengthy videogame treatise on the futility of a famous existence. Not quite sure why makeup removal guns are beating them back, though. Maybe that’s trying to say something about flawed premises? Hmm. I’ll have a think.
Actually quite a lot of blood now. Going to take a break and maybe have a lie down.
I return, feeling slightly better. I was wrong – this isn’t any sort of art. It’s just horrible. It’s just a terrible, terrible game. It’s a tower defence game that involves absolutely no strategy. How do you create that? How is it even possible? There are all these tower types, and none of them matter! There are all these enemies, and almost none of them do anything different! How do you do this? Particularly when you’re ripping off Plants vs Zombies, one of the most inventive and just plain fun lane-based tower defence games there is? How? How do you fuck up this badly when your design document is just “play Plants vs Zombies”?
I have unlocked “The Tweed”, which is “our most powerful weapon.” It’s a two-barrelled version of the gun that shoots slowing slime. If you’re naming something that hurls green slime at people after yourself, I think you have some serious issues that need to be worked out.
Also, as there’s still one empty weapon slot, I’m guessing this isn’t actually “our most powerful weapon”, but this doesn’t seem like a game that’ll let facts get in the way.
Actually slightly amused by the way that this area has Gene Simmons, wearing a red onesie, lounging around while Shannon sets up giant make-up removal guns in the yard, as hordes of groupies attempt to break through. I’m assuming this is a daily occurrence at the Tweed-Simmons household.
Clarification to day 49: this game doesn’t seem to want to let facts or entertainment get in the way. Fucking hell, when will this end?
I’ve now unlocked the Sophie Q, which I can only assume is a weird play on both Sophie Tweed-Simmons and the Credence Clearwater song Susie Q. If so, though, it makes no sense. Also, this is probably the most powerful weapon in the game, so the description for The Tweed is LIES. The description for the Sophie Q is also LIES, because it claims that it has four times the range of a bomb.
Nothing in this game has an appreciable difference in range, barring the obvious. Anything that fires a projectile will fire it the full length of the game field. Anything that doesn’t, only takes effect at point-blank range. Anything that you put down which then explodes does have an effective range, but as this only appears to damage the target it hits, this having “four times the range” of a bomb is complete bullshit.
Incidentally, “the bomb” weapon functions like a landmine. The Skunkinator, however, which claims to be a landmine, functions like a bomb. As in, you put it down and it explodes.
My God, I think it’s actually nearly over. I think I’ve nearly done it. One last level. Which, naturally, is beaten by the game-long strategy of “put down the tower types and upgrade them and then wait.” In fairness, this level occasionally required me to put down a Skunkinator to clear out any massive groups of enemies, but considering that thing has a reload time of about 10 seconds, I don’t think I was ever in any actual danger of losing.
The ending sequence
The ending sequence is completely horrible and involves Shannon and Gene getting married on a beach, or something, and then Shannon uppercuts a cheerleader. Which actually sounds hilarious when I write it like that. Or maybe it doesn’t sound hilarious and playing this for seven fucking hours has completely ruined me.
Finishing the game unlocked Survival Mode, and obviously I can’t review this game effectively without at least trying that out. So here’s what I did: I employed my usual strategy. I put down the usual load of towers, and upgraded them to full. Then I left it running. I went to the toilet. I got a drink. I chatted with people. I wandered back later to see the following screen.
As the game was seemingly still running in the background at this point and all of my towers were seemingly intact, I have no idea if I actually somehow lost, or if Survival Mode just gives up at exactly 20 minute mark. I also don’t care. I really don’t. I just don’t. I never, ever want to look at this game again.
Shannon Tweed’s Attack of the Groupies is completely horrible. It’s a Plants vs Zombies rip-off that manages to take the game design, tower types, and enemy types, and then removes absolutely any semblance of tension, strategy, fun, humour, design, entertainment, style, playability, and positivity. Enemies don’t physically react to shots. Towers and bouncers don’t physically react to enemies. Animations are about three frames. The sound is appalling. The music is ear-gouging. Your choice of towers is irrelevant because of how phenomenally easy the game is.
I almost – almost – want to give this a point for including photo albums of the Tweed-Simmons family, because they actually make the family look like a cheery bunch and maybe fans of Shannon Tweed or Gene Simmons would want to see them, but they aren’t worth the agonising trudge to unlock them.
This is one of the most shameless cash-ins I’ve ever played. About the only thing in its favour is that it doesn’t actually seem to have any bugs, which is a minor miracle considering how bad literally every other aspect of the game is, but if the only positive thing I can say about a game is “well, it works” that is not a reason to give it anything above the bare minimum score.
Don’t buy this. Not even as a joke.