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Overview

Mojo Master was a free advergame developed by WildTangent and sponsored by AXE Unlimited. In tune with the AXE style of advertisements, the game focused on a ladies' man who just needed a little help in the form of player intervention and copious amounts of AXE men's grooming products. A month after release the game was patched to include "Playa versus Playa", a competitive head-to-head multiplayer mode, in addition to new content. It was quietly discontinued a few months afterward. While the game was never submitted for an ESRB review, the official website featured a disclaimer recommending the game for mature gamers 17 and up.

 

Gameplay

The game was structured as a series of card games played against NPC females. The player's health was referred to as his "mojo" and the opponent's health bar was her level of resistance to his advances. Once depleted, she relinquished her phone number to the player as a functionless trophy that resided in his cellular phonebook. If the player's mojo meter depleted, he received a virtual slap across the face from the opponent and was dumped back on the map, although he was free to try again with no real penalty. The overt advertisement portion of the game was found in the form of items such as AXE Body Spray that the player could use during card battles to bolster his mojo, much like a potion would function in an RPG. More subtle was the placement of the AXE logo in locations such as a neon sign in the back of a bar.

The maps were originally made up of 28 locations across seven U.S. cities populated by 100 unique girls. The game originally started in Chicago at a baseball game luxury box, and progressively unlocked new venues and new cities through play, including spots such as a graveyard in New Orleans and a penthouse party in New York. Each location was a 3D-rendered image populated by multiple 3D models, casually idling until engaged in a card battle simulation of a pickup.

Each woman had a level (indicating effectively how much health she had), and a mental and physical type. These types were metaphorically described as elemental types on the player's "Seduction Compass": Fire, Ice, Earth, Light, and Shadow. These coincided with traits traditionally attributed to those elements. For example, a Fire/Ice girl would be a hedonistic business woman, while her Ice/Fire counterpart would an intellectual party girl. As a result, the gameplay was somewhat similar to Pokémon, as knowing an opponent's elemental type was key to defeating them.

When starting, the player was asked to configure an avatar and style that avatar with clothing and bling (such as an Ice-aligned expensive wristwatch). This was also keyed into the Seduction Compass and provided an initial benefit or disadvantage depending on the girl encountered and could be changed between matches to any additional types acquired along the way from opponents.

Combat consisted of using the player playbook to play different types of cards. Each card had a short description, either the physical or mental type, an elemental attribute, as well as being one of 3 levels of intensity. These were labeled in the game as "Opener", Flirt", and "Sexy", and each card was tied to a pickup line factoring each of those things in, which was only displayed when the card was played, emulating a flirtatious conversation. The goal of the girl was to flirtatiously discourage your advances, while the player character attempted to seduce. Additional complexity was added by limiting when specific cards could be played, allowing for more effective attacks by correctly responding to the girl's card, and deciding when to play the "spark", a single use card supercharger that leveled throughout play and devastated the opponent's resistance depending on what card it was attached to and when it was played.

Players progressed with the ultimate goal of seducing the "Player Slayer" in order to become the titular "Mojo Master". This most desirable and challenging final girl was modeled after 2005 Playboy Playmate of the Year Tiffany Fallon. Fallon was not present in the first wave of the game, however, which turned out to be more of a tutorial phase.


Multiplayer

The multiplayer phase was implemented in August, along with new multiplayer locations and the inclusion of Fallon. The updated game matched players against other players online in a race to pick up the same girl, although otherwise the mechanics remained essentially the same. They player landing the "killing blow" received credit for the win. The game was discontinued shortly thereafter.

 

Advertising Context

AXE Unlimited preceded this game with a web series chronicling the adventures of two improv comedians, Evan and Gareth, that they provided with $25,000 in an attempt to travel the country and seduce as many women as possible. The pick up lines from the cards were supposedly written from what was learned as a result of this mission, and the game itself was veiled as a potential training tool for men in the art of seduction. Prior to any of this, Axe/UniLever had contracted third party Conductor in order to help build the then new brand of the Axe Unlimited line of products with an engaging promotional campaign targeting young men. They in turn proposed the web series that was greenlit and contracted WildTangent to create the Mojo Master game from their core concept.

 

Promotional Material

WildTangent featured the 5 women in the game that had identical mental and physical elemental attributes on their marketing material (Ice Girl, Fire Girl, et al), and also hired professional models to portray them as booth babes when the game was first made playable at E3 2005. Both high resolution renders and model photographs were used in promotional images and videos.

A Winamp visualizer plugin was also released that featured Mojo Master's Fire Girl dancing to your music. The model however was not the one from the game but an original one designed by Paul Steed, who was at the time working at WildTangent. Ironically due to WildTangent's forced discontinuation of the game after the promotion (it requires an online connection and permission from WildTangent's servers in order to run), the visualizer is the only aspect of this game that will still run as intended.
   

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