Shakira's Got Some Surprising News

Photo: Courtesy Rovio.
When you think of mobile games, you probably imagine birds flying through the air like missiles and Scrabble-style word puzzles. You probably don't think of pop stars. But, the face of mobile games is changing. Shakira is joining the likes of Kim Kardashian and Demi Lovato as the latest celebrity to co-develop a mobile game. Hers is called Love Rocks.

Developed with Angry Birds-maker Rovio, the game is a cross between Tetris and a jewel-matching puzzler (think Bejeweled). The onscreen board is partially filled with stones and precious jewels, such as amethysts, a Shakira favorite. With each turn, it's your job to drop three of these gems onto the board to make a chain of the same kind. The game features a virtual Shakira, and as you play, you progress through different worlds, including Barcelona (her home), the Taj Mahal, and El Dorado, a mythical Colombian city.

We briefly chatted with Shakira to get the lowdown on the new game.

How did Love Rocks come to be?
"My boyfriend, Gerard Piqué, is a soccer player, but he also has an online game called Golden Manager. It’s pretty cool. He already knew and was friendly with Peter Vesterbacka, the Mighty Eagle from Angry Birds. He introduced me to him, and one time we went to a match together to see Gerard play, and we got to talking. It took us only five minutes to know we had a lot in common. We hit it off and thought it would be really fun to produce a game together."

Why did you want to work on a mobile game?
"The fact that Gerard had this online game inspired me to create my own. It has been like nothing I’ve done before, a new experience. It’s a new platform through which I can communicate with my fans, it’s another outlet for my creativity. I’ve been very involved with the design and creation of the game. We paid special attention to music — we re-adapted some of my songs that people know from my catalog to make it part of the game. I’ve been very involved with every single detail, the design, ideas, and comments. I think [the Rovio team is] probably sick of my voice now!"

You've got your own virtual representation of yourself in the app. How did you decide what outfit to wear for this version of you?
"It’s based on the episodes, we shot three teasers to promote the game. What I was wearing there is what we decided to make the avatar wear as well."

Have you beaten the game?
"I’ve played all the levels. I had to check every level of the first three worlds before the game was launched. The worlds stand for me, they mean something to me. They are places that I’ve been to or that I love, they have something to do with my life. The first world is Barcelona, the city where I live. Then the Taj Mahal, then El Dorado, a mythological city in Colombia."

Do you use an iPhone or Android phone?

I use both!

Love Rocks is available for download on the App Store and Google Play.

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