Keeping Up with Kim Kardashian’s Insanely Popular, Addictive App

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Does it feel like everyone around you is not only playing the Kim Kardashian game, but also can’t stop talking about how they are playing the Kim Kardashian game?  That’s because they are, and they can’t.

Confession: I’ve logged quite a few hours (ahem, days) playing this thing, and it’s kind of awesome. In fact, it’s a really well-made game that even a Kardashian hater might love.

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.

Here are just a few reasons why Kim Kardashian: Hollywood is a legitimately good game:

Because it’s a funny and well-written parody

This is by far the most baffling thing about KKH. The game is very funny!  It not only plays off the absurdity of Kim’s entire career (she’s famous for “nothing”!), but also the general absurdity of Hollywood and conceived vapidness of celebrity. You can see it in the people you meet to “flirt” or “network” with: “I’m a dental hygienist,” one of them tells you, the status letter next to his name a big fat D. After you gain access to cooler clubs, you meet C-listers who introduce themselves with: “Lovely to meet you. My name is Nevaeh. While I spend my days as a wealthy socialite, my heart yearns to break free. Your acquaintance is a ray of warm sunshine on a dull day of tedium.” And notice this this offhand remark from a salesperson at the So Chic Boutique:

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Because it’s already a meme

If you chat with KKH fans, there are few things that will always come up: There’s Willow Pape, your Paris Hilton look-alike rival; your manager Simon Orsik, who is just full of dad jokes; a Miami nightclub hilariously called “Lif”; the game’s frequent outages, and the hysteria that follows. Just like a TV show so popular that it crosses over into popular culture (see: Lost or Breaking Bad), if you’re playing KKH at the peak of its popularity (aka right now), there’s no question you’ll find thing things to celebrate (new hair styles!) or commiserate (running out of energy during a photo shoot).

Because it’s accepting of all looks and sexualities

A small detail, sure, but something that really stood out about KKH was after Kim K herself first tries to set you up with her friend and accuses you of not being “into him” (or her, if you choose to be a man), she basically asks you if you’re gay. And after that: You can date whomever you choose. The only person you can’t date? Kim. (She’s married!)

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Because it never directly demands that you pay for it

You’ve probably heard people complaining about having spent “hundreds” of dollars on in-app purchases — on either energy (so that they can completely photo shoots faster) or game money (so that they can buy cute outfits). If you are patient (fame takes time, people!), you can play the entire game without paying a dime. Clearly, Kim K and the people behind the game had to find a way to monetize things — and they’re being rewarded by those of us without self-control. But unlike other games that will sometimes demand a small fee to advance to a new stage, Kim K will never directly charge you money. (At least, not real money.)

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