When I think of reality TV superstar Kim Kardashian, popular video games definitely do not come to mind. As soon as I found out Kardashian released a casual mobile game for tablets and smartphones, I groaned at the thought of what horrors could lie within its files. Surprisingly enough, the game took off and became rather popular, gaining attention even in large gaming outlets. Since I am always eager to jump into a game that is well received, even if I have no interest in it, I decided to take one for the team and load the game onto my Nexus tablet.
Kim Kardashian Hollywood is a fashion adventure title that can be downloaded for free via the Apple App Store or Android’s Google Play store. Even though the game is technically free, it is littered with in-app purchases that are similar to games like Farmville and Candy Crush. Good thing none of these purchases are required to enjoy the game unless you want to speed things along a bit, because the content is very overpriced! If kids are playing, make sure to block those in-app purchases on your device, because purchasing items with real money is as simple as a few taps.
Basically, the game allows the player to complete a certain amount of actions within a given timeframe and if the player runs out of action points, one cannot progress until power-ups are purchased or waits until an in-game timer replenishes their action points. In-app purchases also allow the player to spend real money on fake in-game currency that can be spent on clothing for your avatar. Technically, one could easily play through the entire game without ever purchasing power-ups or money, but it’ll be a long, slow process in order to do so.
Upon first booting up Kim Kardashian Hollywood, the player will be asked to create a character. The creation tools are rather basic and are not very extensive, but the clothing options are fortunately fairly vast but require work in order to unlock. Once the player is unleashed into the virtual Hollywood scene, they will find themselves working in a fashion store ran by a rather cruel manager.
Luckily, Kim walks into the front door of the player’s place of employment and gushes about how awesome of a model you would be. In turn, this causes the player to ditch their 9-5 retail job in pursuit of a modeling career. With Kim’s advice and connections, the player is set on a path of fame, fortune and fashion. Along the way, rivalries will be gained, friendships will be created and looking fabulous will be your goal!
The core gameplay consists of traveling to various Hollywood locales, meeting various characters, taking on quests and tapping lots of icons. Each completed action earns the player money and points that will level up their character and unlock new missions to be taken on. Think of this game as a point-and-click adventure title without any puzzles, where the story really progresses the whole experience forward.
Once and awhile the player will be faced with decisions that will shift the story in different directions and some of the player’s actions will also cause the narrative to change. If the journey of an inspiring model and the social shenanigans they get themselves into does not interest you, you may want to rethink wasting your precious storage space for this title. Kim Kardashian’s Hollywood certainly does not require much thinking or problem solving.
The first thing I noticed while playing Kim Kardashian Hollywood is that all of the male characters look and act ridiculous; I wanted to punch each and every one of them in the face. Everyone seems to have this model pose going on, which makes the game feel very goofy every time I encounter a new character. The game’s attempt at humor also falls flat due to the jokes consisting of someone’s lack of status or familiarity to trends or technology.
Female characters do not fare as well either, with many of them taking on stereotypical prissy and condescending attitudes. I feel like every character that isn’t aiding the player are all self-absorbed, conceded monsters who will back-stab anyone for self gain. If this game contains any accurate representation of a real social life in Hollywood, I want to steer clear of that city!
Hilariously, the game integrates social media into it’s world and tries to give the player an idea of what it is like to be famous amongst sites like Twitter, even going as far as integrating social media lingo into a lot of the dialog. One mission required me to snag a publicist to help steer me away from a negative Twitter smearing campaign hosted by some dork in a scarf that accused me of hitting on his girlfriend (which I technically did). After seeing so many condescending feux tweets with corny hashtags thrown into the mix, the whole game makes social media look like a cliche, snobby playground for rich socialites to battle one another over public supremacy.
All of this being said, I fully expected to mock this game and laugh at it. However, I find Kim Kardashian Hollywood to be sort of fascinating peek into the Hollywood lifestyle as I attempt to transition from rags to riches; even if the whole experience is extremely exaggerated. While I often find the game to be rather annoying and full of cynical and awful people, I can’t help but continue to slog through it while I’m sitting in a doctor’s office or waiting for a bus, just to see what will happen next. I’m certainly not the target audience for this sort of game, but the developers of Kim Kardashian Hollywood certainly knew what they were doing and crafted a rather enjoyable little mobile title. The game is driven solely by the curiosity to look into the life of a celebrity, or to live the fantasy of being one.. or if you want to poke fun at awful, snotty people.