Kim Kardashian is set to make $200 million off her new app, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. But what are you committing to spend by playing?
The app itself doesn't cost a thing. But if you were paying attention in the first sentence, Kim K is set to make $200 million off this. That's not all coming from ads – as it turns out, if you want to succeed in the game, you'll be shelling out more than a few extra dollars.
How will living in #KimKardashiansHollywood get you to spend real money? We've got your breakdown below.
Hooray for Hollywood?
Kim Kardashian: Hollywood uses a fairly basic currency system, or so you think at first. Finances are broken down into two categories: dollars and K coins. The first is commonly given just by talking to people and completing minor tasks – not hard to accumulate.
The thing you learn quickly is that in Kim Kardashian's Hollywood, everything is expensive. Outside of a couple of basic options, nothing comes for free. So yes, you can build up a decent cash flow early. But if you get trapped in the vortex of customizing your look, chances are you'll find yourself broke in a flash.
The other form of currency is K coins (heretofore known as Koins, sorry), which are only given out for completing special tasks and increasing your level. You increase your level by networking, completing tasks, etc. Sounds pretty simple, if time-consuming, right?
Wrong, because prices escalate like crazy in this game. Even if you get up to level 7 – the most realistic early threshold for having 10 Koins – you'll blow it all in one fell swoop on an apartment, even one cheap by real world standards. And that makes the rest of the game much harder for you.
Because see the blue bar? That's the fourth point meter you need to keep an eye on. It's your energy bar, and it's the most important stat in this game.
Diggin' On Your Energy
If you don't have energy in Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, you're virtually stalled from doing anything. You can't work, date or network. Without doing those things, you can't level up. And the easiest way to regain your energy is by leveling up. The only other free way is to wait for your energy to refill, which it does sloooooowly. Waiting on your energy to reload can put you in some hilarious spots! Like on a date:
On the runway:
Or attempting to prove to your new BFF Kim that you can run her Miami store:
Now, if you look at the bottom-left of each of those screenshots, you'll notice a star counter and a timer. Your goal is to fill the star counter as full as you can within the given time. The time limit keeps you from just waiting around for your energy counter to refill. Wait too long, and you get a poor star score. Get a poor star score, and you won't get as much buzz from fans. The game's ultimate goal is to raise yourself up to the A-list by growing your buzz.
In other words, the game is designed against you. You need to keep up your momentum to grow your fanbase and become famous. Time limits and tasks that use up more and more of your energy while granting you less and less experience towards leveling up restrict your progress. What's the antidote? You already know the an$wer.
In A Rich Woman's World
If you take a look at the energy purchase screen, you might begin to exhale a sigh of relief. It doesn't cost any real world money to restore energy – just Koins! That's no trouble at all, then. But wait, you only earn Koins by leveling up, and you can only level up when you're doing tasks, all of which require energy. So we're back to square one. How do you get more Koins?
Look and despair at your only real option for making speedy progress in this game: cold hard cash. Everything in the game comes back to having Koins, and the only real option for getting them is by spending real money. This is no better than your average Candy Crush or Tetris Blitz: It's yet another "free" game that'll bleed you dry faster than you can imagine.
That's what living in virtual Hollywood is, just like the real L.A. It's Kim K's world, and we're just living in it.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.