Inside the wildly successful, weirdly addicting ‘Kim Kardashian: Hollywood’ game app


Notice the giant engagement ring: Now that’s attention to detail. (Screengrab via “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood”)

Everything about the success of the wildly successful “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood” game app pretty much sums up the Kardashian family as a concept: It’s ridiculous. It’s laughable. It grates on your nerves after awhile.

And it’s nearly impossible to look away.

The Kardashians have built a multimillion-dollar empire on the public’s inexplicable fascination with their outlandish, extremely wealthy family, and the absurd antics that make up their daily lives. That trend continues with “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood,” a new extremely popular game app — in which users conquer various levels to become an “A-list” celebrity, with Kim as your spirit guide — that is projected to make $200 million this year.

At first, our reaction was the same as everyone else: Seriously? How does Kim Kardashian, already famous for her unstoppable reality show franchise and slew of endorsement deals, even succeed when it comes to iPhone apps?

Then we played the game. And kept playing it. Yeah — turns out, it’s pretty addicting.We can see why it’s already caused a minor government Twitter scandal.

So what’s the hook? Well, the creators behind it (San Francisco-based Glu Mobile) made a great call and decided to not take it too seriously. The whole game — in which users take on the persona of a Sims-like character — has a sense of humor behind its silly premise: To rise through Hollywood, one level at a time, until you’re officially “A list.” This includes challenges such as baiting the paparazzi; getting into Twitter wars with a rival wannabe celeb; and dating as many other famous people as possible, because that’s always important.

As a result, playing the game is similar to reading the tabloids — you’re morbidly fascinated that people could actually live life this way. And you have to keep playing to see what happens next.

For those who are curious but not quite motivated enough to download the app — which is free, although you can earn more points by shelling out real money — here’s what happens inside the game.

To start, you meet your character on the red carpet. That’s just pretend, though, because you aren’t famous enough to warrant a red carpet event yet.


(screengrab via “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood”)

The script sticks to real life: You’re a Hollywood nobody, just a lowly worker at So Chic Boutique, and your boss keeps yelling at you to perform random tasks.


(screengrab via “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood”)

Luckily, Kim comes in to save the day! Well, technically, you already left, but she begs you to open the store. And you do, because she’s a famous person. She’s very grateful — so much that she invites you to a random photo shoot.


(screengrab via “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood”)

You accept, obviously, so you exit the store and travel to the shoot. When you get there, surprise! Kim was impressed by your “look” and the photo shoot is actually for you. She thinks you have a natural talent for modeling.

(By the way, at this point you can choose your character’s name: We chose “North” as an homage to Kim’s daughter, and in case we accidentally clicked anything that would make our identity public.)


(screengrab via “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood”)

See what we meant about a sense of humor? (a.k.a. a dig at Kris Jenner, the world’s most famous momager.) Anyway, Kim invites you to a party in Hollywood, but you have to figure out how to get there. The game offers some helpful tips in the purple boxes.


(screengrab via “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood”)

When you’re outside the party, you run into a rude photographer who delivers another harsh lesson.


(screengrab via “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood”)

Ouch! Oh good — another purple box with life advice.


(screengrab via “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood”)

When you choose to “flirt,” you get guys like this one.


(screengrab via “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood”)

When you find Kim at the party, she tells you that she recommended you to her manager friend, Simon. You then have to travel all the way to his office, where he gives you some good (?) news.


(screengrab via “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood”)

Simon says he has a photo shoot gig for you, but you have to wait — in the meantime Kim (who is not very busy today) calls and asks you to meet up.


(screengrab via “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood”)

The most unrealistic part of this whole game, by the way, is that your character has to take the metro to meet Kim. Like Kim would ever be friends with one of the few people in Los Angeles taking public transportation.

On your journey to meet Kim, a random photographer tells you that another “celeb,” Willow Pape, has been tweeting mean things about you. Apparently you tried to steal her boyfriend. You are not on Twitter, so did not realize.


(screengrab via “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood”)

Then this magic happens!


(screengrab via “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood”)

Later, after your photoshoot where it’s clear you’re going to be a star, Kim advises you that you REALLY need a publicist to deal with pesky wannabes like Willow Pape, trying to bring you down.

Your manager Simon hooks you up with a PR person, Maria Holmes, who isn’t afraid to take matters into your own hands.


(screengrab via “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood”)

Maria also advises that you start dating, because if Willow’s spreading rumors that you’re a homewrecker, then the best ammunition is to already be in a relationship. Kim sets you up with a “sporty” guy at a fancy restaurant.


(screengrab via “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood”)

…and that’s pretty much the gist. Just never forget the real goal. (Top left — remember, you want to eventually rise to A.)


(screengrab via “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood”)

And, proving why this game is smarter than it lets on, there are these kind of gems scattered throughout: A random nobody whose name appears to be “????? ????” Because that’s accurate if you’re not a celeb.


(screengrab via “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood”)
Emily Yahr covers pop culture and entertainment for the Post. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyYahr.
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