Is "Kim Kardashian: Hollywood" The Most Progressive Game on the Market?
It may not offer challenging gameplay, but the game's take on sexuality is refreshingly open.
Kim Kardashian: Hollywood
While most serious gamers look down on mobile and free to play games, there's no question that these games can be a ton of fun. It's being fun that makes them work, compelling their players to pay a small fee (or microtransaction) in exchange for more gameplay options — if you aren't hooked on the gameplay, there's no motivation to make the payments that keep these games afloat. And no mobile game reflects that model better than Kim Kardashian: Hollywood.
The game is relatively simple: you're an up and coming Hollywood star (or at least you'd like to be) working your way up the celebrity ranks while being mentored by Kim Kardashian herself. To do this, you dress up in different outfits, network with celebs (and celeb wannabes), do photo shoots, acting gigs, promotional appearances, and go on dates... and it's that dating part that first caught my eye.
While there are still plenty of games that don't let you even pick your gender, Hollywood lets you play as a man or a woman, complete with customizable facial features, hair color, makeup, and wardrobe — really, it's an elaborate, digital version of playing with Barbie dolls. And when it comes to dating, your mentor Kim notices if you aren't flirting with the guys you meet on your way to super-stardom.
If you tell her you're looking to meet women, the game doesn't judge: Kim sets you up with a woman and the game continues as if nothing interesting happened. And making gay and lesbian relationships something so normal, ordinary, and boring that it doesn't even require comment is something that you very rarely see games doing — much less games with as much mainstream popularity as Kim Kardashian: Hollywood.
As to the game itself, the gameplay — and the romance — is a simple point-and-click affair. Options will show up on the screen like "flirt" or "kiss" while you're on a date and you click them in order to do them. You'll have to use your imagination, though, because the game's characters do nothing but pose, smile, and occasionally adjust their hair no matter which options you select. Though the game may be progressive in some ways, it's bare bones in others — but the fact that you get to choose who you're playing, including your sexuality, is a big bonus.
Still, the simplistic gameplay is surprisingly addictive — and makes for a good mobile game where you may play for just a few minutes at a time. Just beware that its addictive nature may compel you to drop some actual cash on the game to restore your energy or buy stars you can trade in for premium fashion items to help you make it to A-list celebrity status just a little faster. Unlike your virtual avatar, however, we definitely advise restraint, because those $9.99 star purchases can add up.