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Orange tans, lifting weights, excessive amounts of hair gel – these are the tools of the Jersey Shore set. And as impossible and illogical as it is to comprehend, since the debut of MTV's show of the same name, the "guido" has become somewhat in vogue again. In fact, they’ve got their own game. "GTL" stands for the holy trifecta of the guido's existence: gym, tan, laundry. And in Jersey Shore: GTL, your goals are simple -- do those three things every day as much as you can. If you don't, you may die (heaven forbid - of paleness).
Jersey Shore: GTL is a very simple game. The graphics will immediately get you thinking of Mega Man (because the sprites appear to be directly taken from that game), and the setting of River City Ransom. You'll find yourself on a left to right sidescrolling board which looks more or less like Venice Beach. Your goal is to navigate your way through this, picking up gold necklaces, pizza and beer along the way for points. The speed of movement is on rails, so you'll only control up and down movement. There will be lots of bad dudes standing in your way, so you'll need to avoid them as you progress. There are also women swooning over you for some mysterious reason, and if you want to stop to grab them, you'll earn points as you go.
However, none of that is going to keep you alive. That's where the guido's trifecta comes in. As you go, you'll see laundromats, gyms and tanning salons, which you'll need to stop into to make sure your tan stays hideous, your muscles stay bulging and your wifebeaters stay white. The game speeds up so you must move more quickly, avoiding the guys on the street who want to beat you up because of how awesome you are.
A visit to the gym will grant you a temporarily state of invincibility called "juice head", so that can come in handy later down the line when it all speeds up. One of the funniest details about this part of the game is that the designers chose to use the same sounds as the Mario games when you successfully complete a task or fail at one. Hearing the Mario sound for getting hit and becoming small again when your tan fades totally works with the tongue in cheek style of what the game is going for.
Jersey GTL works with Feint, so you can share your high scores via Twitter or Facebook, or even invite friends to come try to beat your score. It's a simple game and the premise is a novelty, but even then, it's a buck and it's funny. In fact, it’s the rare tribute game that works regardless of your opinion of its inspiration. Jersey Shore fans will like it because it’s Jersey Shore and that’ll be enough. Non-fans will like it because it’s ludicrous and hokey and cheese-filled, and that seems about right too.
May 23, 2011