City of Love: Paris — iPhone Game Review

Before I got married, I used to play video games. I loved Nintendo, Super Nintendo and Game Boy back in the day! This is one of the things my husband liked about me when we met. When I lived in Japan, I even bought the Game Boy Advance that was a lovely pearl pink color, which at the time was only available in Japan; I got the old-school Zelda and Mario rereleases that came out for it at the time. I know, I’m dating myself!

Once we had our first daughter, I had no more time for games. Well, more accurately, I didn’t prioritize them, much to my husband’s chagrin. He was in grad school, I was working and taking care of the baby, and we were exhausted. To be honest, I still don’t really have the desire to prioritize games like I used to — I can always think of a hundred other things to do! I know this annoys him because he makes video games for a living. Sorry, Honey!

A week or so ago, I came across an iPhone game called City of Love: Paris, by a developer called Ubisoft. I can’t even remember how I heard of it! Maybe I was researching materials for learning French? I have no idea. Anyway, the concept sounded intriguing: you’re an American woman working in Paris and solving a mystery while enjoying French culture and possibly finding video game romance. Oh là là!

The game works like those old “choose your own adventure” books — you choose how to react to the people you come into contact with, and your choices affect the results in the game. So it’s not a hardcore game in any sense, but rather a fun storyline where you choose your personality.

It’s free to download and free to play, with the caveat that you’re very limited in how long you can play per day. You’re given a certain amount of “energy” and each choice you make in the game takes some of your energy; when your energy runs out you’re done until it refills the next day. Of course, you can buy more energy with real money, but so far I haven’t chosen to. That means I can play for 5 to 10 minutes per day for free, which is about perfect for my stage of life and priorities right now!

I haven’t gotten very far into the game yet because I haven’t paid in, but so far I’m enjoying it a lot! I’m not into romance stories in particular, but I think you can avoid some of that by making certain choices. I won’t know for sure until I play more, and you can also replay the game making different choices to see how your story changes.

What I really love about the game is the gorgeous art set in famous Parisian settings! We went to Paris and London for the first time last year and I adore the architecture and scenery there. I can’t wait to go back! So this game gives me another small taste of French culture, which I’ve been missing. The characters you interact with are also attractive and draw you into the story.

I’m posting about this game in part because you can choose to play in English, Spanish or French! That’s a nice feature. When I noticed that, I started two more games, one in Spanish and one in French (you can have up to three games running).

And of course, I’ve noticed typos — I can’t help it! I noticed one strange line in Spanish that makes very little sense if I didn’t already know what it was in English. Here’s a screenshot:

She’s trying to say something like, “Iba a traer tu llave,” but as it is, it’s hard to understand. I asked my Mexican friend about that one and she couldn’t even figure out what the character was trying to say at first.

The English version has had a couple of typos so far as well:

This is a very small error — “heartbeats” is one word, not two. But still, something I would have caught!

Here, “God” is being used as a name — a proper noun — not as an abstraction such as a pantheon of Greek/Roman gods, so it really needs to be capitalized. Again, minor, but I would have fixed it.

As for the French version, I’ve barely started it, so I haven’t seen anything yet. Also, any error would have to be pretty egregious for me to be certain it’s an error. I’m confident in my understanding of French, but not as much in my ability to catch grammatical errors.

I’m also curious as to which language the story was originally written in. Ubisoft is a French company, so perhaps it was written in French and translated to English and Spanish? I don’t know, but that may explain the errors I’ve found so far. No matter what, it’s a fun way to read some casual French and Spanish!

The French I know leans toward business and classroom usage, so I’m not extremely familiar with informal French. I learned two new words here: fac is an informal way to say “college,” and colocs is an informal way of saying colocataires— “roommates.” Of course, I could guess that based on context and because I had played this part in English already, but I learned new words! This game will probably be great for that.

So why not give it a try? As long as you don’t mind playing a short time each day, it’s free! Eventually I may give in and buy some more energy, but for now I’m enjoying it bit by bit.

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2 thoughts on “City of Love: Paris — iPhone Game Review

  1. Ruth says:

    You wrote: “I’m also curious as to which language the story was originally written in.”

    Has the rule about not ending a sentence in a preposition been changed?

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