You guys!!!! Kim Kardashian is the new Candy Crush!!!!!
But really. Sitting at #5 on the Apple Store Top Free list, her new game, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, is a “free” Sims-esque iPhone game in which you – [Insert Name Here] or, accept game-created name (mine is Nevaeh) – meet Kim, befriend Kim, and slowly but surely try to become Kim as you work your way up to celebrity status by dating, shopping, complimenting Virtual Kim, and networking with managers and publicists. No Kanye so far. I, Nevaeh, am currently “working my way up to D-List celebrity” – yes, that’s a real thing. I’ve been playing for about a day, and, I’ll be honest, it’s a little addictive. When I accomplish things (Change pose during a photoshoot! Makeup check! Network with guy at bar! Go on a date!) flying balls of money, energy, and starpower explode onto the screen and begin to bounce away, making me chase after them by tapping my screen frantically until they explode into little bundles of joy/money/energy/future fame! It’s exhilarating! Until it’s not.
Which happens when you run out of money. Then they send you here, to in-app purchase land, where you can buy your way to Beverly Hills, happiness, and D-List celebrity status.
So, it’s not free. And unlike most other free games with in-app purchases, it gets un-free really really really fast. I ran out of energy mid-photoshoot and was left with no way to get it without making an in-app purchase, relegating me to the Metro (LA Public Transportation? Ew. When do I get to upgrade to an Uber?), where I traveled back and forth between Beverly Hills and Hollywood, not having unlocked my ability to venture any further toward the Pacific Ocean.
You can get more points for sharing your personal information, connecting with your Facebook, and playing with friends, but then it would be officially ingrained in the internet that you were playing the Kim Kardashian game for purposes that extend beyond a silly blog post. And I can’t make myself stoop that low. I’d rather quit playing the game, and cling to that small, idealistic voice inside my head, foolishly insisting that money can’t buy happiness.