Last January, Y Combinator startup Addmired released the game iMob for the iPhone, tapping into the immense popularity of text-based mafia games on Facebook and other social networks and bringing them to Apple’s hot mobile platform. That game has fared quite well, peaking as the App Store’s fourth most popular game (other companies like Zynga have since released their own mob-based games). Now the Addmired team is looking to capitalize on the craze by building clones like iVampires, which swaps out the Mafia-themed gameplay for one that focuses on the creatures of the night. And today they’re launching a version that is focused on an entirely new demographic: the tween girl crowd.
Dubbed Girl Wars (iTunes Link), the game replaces the gritty guns and knives of iMob with stiletto heels and handbags. Founder Gabriel Leydon says that the gameplay is similar to Addmired’s other games, but that it has been made significantly easier (presumably to appeal to a younger audience), allowing gamers to unlock items much more quickly.
Let me make one thing clear: after playing Girl Wars for five minutes, I have no intention of ever touching it again. The game’s ridiculously colorful interface gave me a headache almost immediately. And frankly, I won’t be surprised if some women find the game’s focus on clothing, malls, and ‘cat fights’ to be sexist.
But Girl Wars does exactly what it sets out to do, offering the addictive gameplay of iMob and its ilk in a form that will appeal to tweenage girls. And Leydon believes that it is the first MMO on the App Store that is geared towards the tween crowd, which may help it reach the explosive growth iMob achieved three months ago, though we can certainly expect knockoffs if the game fares well.