For a long time I wanted something like Farmville or Animal Crossing: engaging but not intense, with a grind that’s somewhat fun. Nothing caught my fancy, until now . Cinderella Girls is just that: a Pokegirl Farmville, spun off Idolm@ster. The instructions how to fool Mobage into letting gaijins to play worked well enough, and so there we are.
So, what do we find? Firstly, the grind is moderated by real time. In order to do anything, you need money, and to get money you need your idols to “work”. To do that, you need stamina. Stamina regenerates by 1 point in 6 minutes.
Actually, you can also battle other players for prize money instead of working, but that’s tricky business. If you lose, they take your money, so choose your battles carefully. Also, there is no way to refuse a challenge. I imagine stronger players roam around and beat up weaker ones for their lunch money. I lose about a 150 each night to these raids. I won once.
If the world of necessary bullying was not bad enough, there is a certain schizophrenic quality to the way idols are handled. On the one hand, they are reflections of RL idols, twice removed. Just look at their portraits. On the other hand, they eat each other to level. Yes, really: the player selects who eats whom, the object idol is absorbed, and the subject receives a small boost in stats. The only sane way to think of them is to consider them cards. It’s good, then, that their personalities are extremely rudimentary and expressed through stock phrases. The cards cannot act in any other way on their own.
While the game is simple and comes to the management of various parameters, not completely unlike Civilization, the surroundings are not so, for anyone not holding a real Japanese cellphone. Like in Zynga’s wares (and in Nintendo’s), a socium is supposed to exist where one enters into “productions”, trades idols, befriends others, and so on. It is extremely difficult to decipher without a native-equivalent Japanese. For now I completely ignore the constant flow of wall posts and whatnot.
But gosh, the chara posters are the cutest ever.
 I looked at Billy vs. Snakeman in particular, but the way they ripped off our beloved stereotypes was too offensive. The screencaps of the gameplay did not help much.
 Apparently, 765PRO comes from “production”, not “professional”.