Two weeks ago, the queen of self-promotion, Kim Kardashian, revealed on her Instagram account that she had been working on her very own iPad and Android game, and my first response was: “She didn’t already have one?” With the incredible success and addictive nature of hundreds of thousands of stupid games that feature in-app purchases, you’d have thought that Kardashian would have already released her own game years ago, perhaps with a title like I Made a Sex Tape with Ray J and All I Got was this Lousy Reality TV Empire or something a little simpler and more flattering. But Kim Kardashian: Hollywood was the first of its kind, released on June 24 by Glu Games Inc., which also gave us the fun but pointless Deer Hunter 2014 that crashed my iPad more than any game before it.
Much like the young adult fantasy novel that Kardashian’s half-sisters, Kylie and Kendall Jenner, “wrote” and released last month, I expected Hollywood to have very terrible reviews. However, it seems that people really love this game, as it’s currently working with a near-5-star review with more than 49,000 people taking the time to chime in. Granted, millions of people watch Keeping Up with the Kardashians and subsequently worship this family of talentless fame mongers, so the fact that it doesn’t have 490,000 reviews might actually be a sign of societal progress.
Reviews don’t mean a lick, though, because while “StickyIckyRicky” is only giving the game 3 stars, it’s less because it’s an average game and more because “the skin tones bother me cause from the choices available, you’re either white, black, or red sunburned” and Kim’s skin tone isn’t available. So much for authenticity, am I right? Meanwhile, of the few users who issued a 1-star review, “EllewhoMeows” said that she would have given it 5 stars, but you can’t play “for a good chunk of the day,” because it takes so long for the “energy bars” to fill up. Ultimately, the only review I trust is my own, so I downloaded Kim Kardashian: Hollywood and decided to start an adventure with my male character, C-Tates.
“Before you were famous… you were new to Hollywood.”
That’s the message that you’re greeted with after you log in and “Kustomize” – shoot me already – your character. I actually didn’t immediately proceed with the game after reading that, because I was suddenly very confused. Obviously, you’re new to Hollywood before you’re famous, unless you’ve been living there for a while as some kind of nobody, fluffing his way across the bottom. Everyone in Hollywood is famous, right? I thought that was a given. Once I cleaned up the nose bleed and called off my heroin order, my character was greeted by Luther Alexander, who owns some kind of retail shop that C-Tates is working at.
(It’s almost distracting, the way that your character just sort of stands there and rubs his hands through his hair and winks at you the whole time. I’d have been annoyed by it if C-Tates wasn’t a handsome, rippled mirror image of yours truly. But can my character run almost a quarter of a mile before vomiting? Ha, I doubt it.)
“I love to shop and I love fashion.”
Once you’ve closed up Luther’s shop, it’s time to meet Kim on the street as most people often do. Even more realistic is the fact that she’s shopping alone. Kim is in a hurry to a photo shoot with THE Garrett St. Clair, and she’s in a super hurry so she needs something “cute but super quick.” Like a marriage to Kris Humphries, haha! But seriously, Kim concludes, “I love to shop and I love fashion,” and I believe that she recorded this part while dancing on Susan B. Anthony’s grave. Once my character correctly assists Kim with picking out a new dress for her photo shoot – I assume it’s correct, because C-Tates gives her a dress for free and isn’t arrested or fired – she invites him to Beverly Hills with her, which is exactly what would happen in real life.
Also, just like in real life, my character gets paid and rewarded for every decision that he makes. Lock up the store? Get cash. Go to your apartment? Get cash. Change your clothes? Get cash. Kim told C-Tates to change his clothes before he went to St. Clair’s photo shoot, so the game recommended that my character put on a jean jacket. Hollywood is apparently a lot like Gainesville.
“I love your style.”
Once my character finally arrives at the photo shoot, Kim has the surprise of a lifetime for him – she got him a photo shoot with THE Garrett St. Clair, who I assume is like a less pervy representation of Terry Richardson. I won’t jump to any conclusions, because he might ask C-Tates to suck all of the kernels off a corn cob later, but so far the modeling industry is full of professionals. In fact, the Hollywood lifestyle moves so fast that I’m barely at Level 3 and Kim already has a manager in mind for C-Tates, and THE Garrett St. Clair invited him to one of his parties. I have to admit, even though this was just a game, I was already very overwhelmed. It was more overwhelming than the time that my golfer, John Golfmaster, shot a total score of -72 to win at St. Andrews*.
*On Tiger Woods PGA Tour ’12, natch.
Of all places to run into Luther, the owner of the store that C-Tates basically robbed by giving Kim a free dress, he’s there in Hollywood as soon as C-Tates gets off the bus to go to THE Garrett St. Clair’s party. Also, C-Tates meets some guy named Ian Carter, who was wearing a fur coat and said that he was going to sneak into the party. If I’m given the option, I’m going to call the cops on him, because I have a feeling he’s related to Nick and Aaron Carter, and we want nothing to do with them. Anyway, I was kind of upset that Luther didn’t believe that C-Tates met Kim, but we also didn’t tell him about the dress. He was already upset enough that C-Tates wouldn’t go work for him, but fortunately we used a charm coin and he was cool with it. I have a feeling there aren’t enough charm coins in the world for when he finds out about that dress, though.
As soon as C-Tates walked into the Brew Palms for the party, my heart broke. Kim told him to go talk to a girl that had been looking at him, and my dream of C-Tates stealing Kim away from Kanye West was practically shattered before my eyes. This game may be off to a rousing start, but there aren’t enough in-app purchases to protect my fragile emotions.
“Since you don’t have a ‘momager,’ you might as well have a manager.”
Kim’s manager friend couldn’t stick around at the party to meet C-Tates, but he wants him – little, old C-Tates, who was just working in a retail store this morning – to swing by his office. Meanwhile, that girl Kim wanted him to meet? That’s Willow Pape. We didn’t flirt with her, but it didn’t matter, because her boyfriend Dirk Diamonds thinks otherwise. I don’t think he and C-Tates are going to be BFF anytime soon, but that doesn’t matter right now either. We have to get to CTM Management to get C-Tates’s career launched!
Simon Orsik is the manager who has a “gut feeling” about taking on C-Tates as a client, or “maybe it’s the Chinese I had last night,” he jokes. I’m willing to bet that if a hilarious joke like that made its way into the game, Khloe Kardashian had something to do with it. She’s a cut up. Simon also has a 14-year old daughter who says “YOLO” and he thinks we might meet her at some point. I’m sort of nervous about where this is going.
After meeting with Simon, C-Tates made his way over to the PopGlam studio again to see THE Garrett St. Clair for headshots. That’s when the game told me I’d have to wait one hour for the headshots to be done, but fortunately, you can perform a bunch of tasks to make your “missions” go faster, and at least through the first five levels, I didn’t have to worry about running out of energy because of the level upgrades.
“I’ll take you on as a client… for now.”
Sh*t’s getting real in Hollywood for C-Tates, after Dirk Diamonds Tweeted that we’re stalking him. I don’t know what this guy’s deal is, but I do NOT like this bro, bros. Thanks to that dick, C-Tates lost 200 fans, but fortunately his new publicist stepped in and started a rumor about Dirk being addicted to plastic surgery, and I really felt like I was right smack in the middle of a classic Hollywood feud. The next step in repairing our E-list celebrity image is going on a date, and Kim is the best at setting people up.
Then came the ultimate decision – did C-Tates want to be set up with a man or woman? Even in the iPad in-app purchase gaming universe, C-Tates is a man who loves the ladies, so he agreed to let Kim set him up with her “sporty” friend Steph, who is so sporty that she owns a sporting goods store. Unfortunately, while on our date with Steph, I ran out of energy, and I realized that I’d already just wasted an hour playing this game and 1,600 words writing about it. I suddenly felt very depressed. Extremely depressed. God, how did this become my life?
Final Grade: F
Let’s do better, society. Stop playing Kim Kardashian: Hollywood and download Civilization Revolution 2. It might cost $14.99, as opposed to free, but instead of a clearly shallow and pointless attempt to trivialize how to make it big in Hollywood, you’ll learn how to conquer other cultures, and that’s way more educational and relevant.