Let’s just get it out of the way: Love Rocks Starring Shakira is the epitome of product-placement in video games. This game really has little to do with Shakira, other than featuring her name and likeness. Her cartoon form pops up throughout the experience, but that is about it.
Before playing Love Rocks Starring Shakira, I took a crash-course in Shakira at the University of Wikipedia. According to the site, Shakira is a pop singer, songwriter, and model from Columbia. Contrary to my incredible lack of music industry awareness, I did recognize Shakira’s name enough to know she is a singer.
…just don’t ask me to name any of her songs.
Remembering my entertaining experience with the game starring Lindsay Lohan, I decided to give the game based on another celebrity that is largely out of my comfort zone a shot.
Love Rocks Starring Shakira is a match-3 game where players drop jewels down onto other jewels, Tetris style, to match colors and symbols while attempting to clear the board before the jewels fill it up. To me, the funniest thing about this game isn’t that it has absolutely nothing to do with Shakira (other than some music-themed powerups) — it’s that the game itself isn’t half bad. In fact, the forced sense of licensing is probably the least appealing aspect of the game.
At Lindsay Lohan and Kim Kardashian’s games were at least relevant to their lifestyles. This is just a match-3 game with Shakira’s face smooshed onto the top of it.
What makes this a decent match-3 game, ignoring everything about Shakira for a moment, is that it is honestly fun to play. I played through the first thirty levels in one sitting because I just wanted to keep playing — and the lack of energy restrictions allowed me to do so. The fact that you get to match symbols and colors adds a lot to the game’s strategy. Some jewels have colors and symbols, so if you have a cluster of purple jewels, and a cluster of crown symbols, and suddenly you find yourself with a purple jewel with a crown carved into it? You can connect the two groups for a ton of extra points.
Having to plan ahead like that was really fun, and since you can see the next three jewels you’ll get to use, you’re given a small window to plan out your strategy. When you do match the jewels, they connect like a necklace and soar up in a nice little zooming animation that I found myself enjoying unabashedly.
If you’re a fan of Shakira and happen to like match-3 games, or even if you’re not a fan of hers but still like the genre, you’ll enjoy Love Rocks Starring Shakira. Those of you who get nothing out of match-3 games: thanks for reading this far. This game doesn’t bring anything drastically new to light, so nothing in this title will shift your opinion of the genre. But for everyone else? There’s enough different here to really warrant a play.