After the Flappy Bird and 2048 crazes, I’ve come to accept that I have no resistance whatsoever to app-related peer pressure, which is how, against all odds, I found myself downloading a Kim Kardashian game onto my phone this week. The latest contender in the fast and fickle world of mobile gaming apps, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, has captivated the world by doing something that’s been done thousands of times before, but this time with Kim Kardashian. But hey, if it ain’t broke... The premise of the game is fairly simple. You play a stunningly attractive young person working at a fashion store in Los Angeles (so relatable!) who just happens to meet Kim Kardashian as you’re closing the store one day, who in turn just happens to have ripped her dress, and who just happens to realize your potential as a model. Yup, in true Kim Kardashian fashion, the game’s about you becoming famous for no apparent reason. If you’ve played any social media-focused game since, I dunno, the invention of Facebook, you know how to play this game. You gain money and experience in exchange for expending your energy through such gruelling tasks as posing for the camera or going on a coffee break, energy which recharges over time to keep players without self-control hooked. Connecting to Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ gives you more chances to get money and fame, though what little shame I maintain prevented me from syncing my accounts and accessing all the fun that comes from my friends knowing what kind of weird crap I get into at 12 a.m. on Monday nights. Of course, for the impatient and/or friendless, buying in-game currency with real money is always an option, as with any other freemium game. When you’re not selling your soul to photographers or getting into Twitter feuds with other models, you can spend your downtime going on dates (which taught me that I really can get girls to like me if I just buy them stuff and stare at them long enough), give your character makeovers, and silently wonder to yourself how you let things get this far. Didn’t you used to have goals once? Standards, at the very least? Tragically, those coming to Kim Kardashian: Hollywood looking for a refreshing, thought-provoking story are likely to be disappointed. Most of the characters your Mary Sue will come across in their adventures toward wholly-undeserved stardom (apparently giving Kim Kardashian a free dress will get you everywhere) are about as one-note as you are: be it the large array of models who will adore you as soon as you press the “charm” option, or the eccentric, fatally out-of-touch manager who notices your talent and helps you settle into the glamourous life you were always destined to have. Is it possible that, as a former and not-all-that-successful child model, playing this game has left me bitter for reasons defying explanation? Maybe. But my personal biases aside, there’s not all that much going on here. Is Kim Kardashian: Hollywood a bad game? No. If you’ve still got a tolerance for cookie-cutter social media games and really, really like Kim Kardashian, fashion, and stroking your ego, you might even enjoy the game. Still, odds are this app isn’t really going to show you anything you haven’t seen before, so be wary of the hype train that’s going around — there’s no need to be Kar-dashing to pick this up from the app store.
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