Gotcha! Celebrity Secrets

Game review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
Gotcha! Celebrity Secrets Game Poster Image
Well-made puzzle game with very questionable morals.

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 4 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Celebrity gossip is at the heart of the game. The fake celebrities in the game engage in negative behaviors such as cheating on lovers and unsafe sex (implied by the surprise pregnancy). They also get plastic surgery. The heroine becomes a success by digging into and reporting on the personal lives of celebrities, and often uses illicit means to get her information. In the one story that centers around plastic surgery, the protagonist does try to tell the reconstructed celebs that they looked better before and didn't need the work.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Gaby, the blogger who stars in the game, lives to dig up personal information about celebrities and reveal it on the Internet. She gets her information from informants, and often breaks laws to get the juiciest bits of gossip. She sneaks into hotel rooms, hacks into computers, swipes medical records, and the like. She occasionally expresses remorse for doing so, but justifies it to herself with lines like, "I hate to do this, but my readers really need to know." The one bit of positive messaging she expresses is that women don't need plastic surgery to be beautiful. Almost all the celebrities in the game are obviously negative role models.

Ease of Play

The main gameplay element is seek-and-find picture puzzles, which can be handled by anyone. Each hide-and-seek game is followed by a different kind of puzzle game that provides more mental challenge, but is never frustratingly difficult. These can be jigsaw puzzles, logic puzzles, memory puzzles, code-breaking puzzles, or similar brain games.

Violence

There is a "catfight" between two actresses, shown in still pictures, in which they are choking each other, pulling one another's hair, or engulfed in a cartoon-like ball of dust with arms and legs jutting from it.

Sex

No sexual encounters are shown in the game, but [SPOILER] a sexual affair is a major plot point in one of the stories. One male celebrity is cheating on two women and gets one pregnant. In the visuals of the game, there are many shirtless men and women in bikinis, with cleavage showing. In many scenes, a man is seen obviously ogling a scantily clad woman.

Language

There is no profanity, but there is talk of illicit affairs and surprise pregnancies.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Many people are seen holding drinks in the game. While none of those drinks are specified as alcohol, several appear to be. And at least one man holding a drink appears to be staggering as if drunk.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that while the gameplay involved in this story-based puzzler is simple enough for younger gamers to handle, the subject matter is very adult. Nothing is ever graphic, but the stories that Gaby the blogger uncovers range from [SPOILER] a secret celebrity wedding and the surprise reunion of a boy band to a plastic surgery epidemic among starlets and a love triangle that leads to an unplanned pregnancy and a physical fight. It really is the kind of material you'd find on a celebrity gossip web site -- only amplified to cartoonish levels. Gaby is a terrible role model for kids and constantly does unethical and sometimes criminal things. Teens (and tweens) will glom onto stories like these, so parents should exercise caution is choosing this game.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 15 years old Written bylilbit3232 March 19, 2010
Kid, 8 years old January 16, 2010
like the game!i'm going to play the game now!

What's it about?

GOTCHA! CELEBRITY SECRETS follows Gaby, an amateur blogger, in her quest to gain the biggest Internet audience and thereby win an exclusive interview with a hunky megastar. Gaby travels to places where she knows celebrities will be, then seeks out informants (in a Where's Waldo-style seek-and-find game). She puts together the clues she gets from them in order to unearth -- and then publicize -- celebrity secrets. She uncovers a private wedding, the birth of a baby, the surprise reunion of a band, plastic surgery, and romantic affairs.

Is it any good?

Gotcha! Celebrity Secrets is designed as a casual game and it succeeds, providing hours of enjoyable, not-too-difficult gameplay. Fans of Where's Waldo and I Spy games in particular can have a lot of fun with the increasingly challenging people hunts (people you need to seek out are first assigned to you as full-body shots, but as the game goes one, you may get headshots only, or silhouettes, or just verbal descriptions). And the brain-teaser type games in between give a much-appreciated dose of variety. The major problem with Gotcha is that the typical fans of Where's Waldo and I Spy are kids, and it's safe to say that this game is not for kids. All the over-the-top behavior in the game is meant to be tongue-and-cheek, but young players may not get the farcical humor of it all and merely take it on face value. Tweens and teens may easily be attracted by not just the gameplay style, but the salacious subject matter, so parents need to be sure they're around to filter the messages coming through. Still, the game is fun --  if you're old enough to understand its humor and to not take its inappropriate blogging methods as modeling good behavior.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about celebrity gossip. When someone is famous and in the public eye, does that mean that people have the right to know about their personal lives? How do you feel about celebrity gossip magazines and websites?

  • Parents can also discuss plastic surgery with their children. Gaby seems disappointed in all the celebrities who get plastic surgery in the game. Why do you think those stars -- and real Hollywood celebs -- get plastic surgery? Is there an irony in Gaby's disappointment when it's often celebrity gossip sites like hers that make celebrities feel they need to get plastic surgery?

  • You can also talk about rationalization for what is essentially criminal behavior. Is the public's desire to know something a good enough reason for making that information known? What kind of informaiton would be important enough to break the law for? If this were real life, do you think any of the celebrities in the game would take action against Gaby's blog in court?

Game details

  • Platforms: Mac, Windows
  • Price: $19.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: PlayFirst
  • Release date: December 15, 2009
  • Genre: Puzzle
  • ESRB rating: NR

For kids who love puzzle games

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate