We live in a world where it's not enough for an A-list celebrity to be a 10-time Grammy Award winner or the namesake of a reality show on E!. She also needs to have a mobile game — or so it seems based on the ever-increasing numbers of famous people creating them. Following the success of Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, which launched in June 2014, mega-stars like Taylor Swift and Katy Perry have all signed on to drop their own versions of the role-playing app, as have Demi Lovato and Paris Hilton.
This is the future, folks.
Lucky for me, my favorite teen millionaires and contemporary lifestyle brand moguls Kendall and Kylie Jenner are set to launch a mobile game of their own — aptly named the Kendall & Kylie Game, with Glu Mobile, the same developer behind Kim Kardashian: Hollywood — and I was granted a chance to take it for an advance spin.
So, on one particularly stormy afternoon smack-dab in the middle of New York Fashion Week, that's exactly what I did over a bag of white cheddar Cheez-Its. Let me guide you through my Kendall & Kylie Game experience in excruciating detail, below.
This being a role-playing game, I'm first tasked with customizing my player, and I opted out of a lavender ombré hairstyle for a brown shade that slightly resembles my own. I select a putty-pink lip color, and green eyes. Regardless of what you choose — face shape, eyebrow width, hair length — you just end up looking like a digitized Kardashian bot, which — okay, sure — is the point. You get to pick out your clothes, too, but everything available falls into either of the following categories: 1) I'm a 46-Year-Old Mother of Two, Seeing "Cats" on Broadway for the First Time With My Sister, Peg, or 2) I Just Dropped $112 at Forever 21 Let's Driiiiiiiiiiiiiiink! I went with what I believe to be a tasteful combination of the two: a body-con dress with sneakers.
I look nothing like this in real life.
As the game begins, I'm told I've just moved to Santa Monica. Where from? What's my background story? Am I a cat or dog person? How do I feel about Bernie Sanders? Who cares!
I'm introduced to my roommate, "Debbie Rose," who's wearing an outfit Marissa Cooper would've loved in 2006.
Debbie gets down to business right away, asking me how I plan to pay rent. (If Kendall and Kylie are trying to teach their game's users about what it's like to find and secure a rodent-free apartment in Manhattan, they're doing an excellent job.) I ask for her help looking for a job, and she agrees — but not before she asks that I clean up some of her boxes; she just got a manicure and doesn't want it to smudge. I do it, because Jenner-Bot Maura has little to no self-respect.
Debbie then brings up a job that "isn't glamorous, but it'll pay the bills." I'm provided with two options, one of which is "I'm going to go viral!" I'm going to go viral is a career path in this game. Both Bot Maura and Human Maura make the decision not to dwell on this too heavily.
Debbie makes me change my clothes. I pick a green tank dress. (Body-con, obviously.)
The scene shifts to the Van Norman Salon, where I meet its owner, "Gretta Van Norman," and am asked to enter a name. For some reason, the game automatically assumes my name is "Charlotte." This, obviously, is not true.
Gretta puts me to work. (As it turns out, manual labor is a minor cornerstone of this game.)
Before we head inside to the salon, I meet "Emily" — whom, judging from the "BFF" sticker next to her name, must be a game-granted companion. She's edgy, the Miranda to my Lizzie McGuire. Emily asks if I want to help her "make a style video to post online." I say yes — because I know nobody in this town and I just want to be famous. "Style videos" seem like a good way to do it.
But before we do that, Emily gets a text that reminds her to pick up some concert tickets for a friend. I'm told to watch the store, which I'm doing, when some blonde lady wearing a fedora, "Aubrey Maddison," tells me she'll "literally die" if she doesn't get her bangs trimmed before a concert.
I mean, I get it.
I ask if Kendall and Kylie will be there, to which Aubrey replies:
This was the point I closed the game. I'd eaten all my Cheez-Its, and Aubrey was a little too much for me. I figure I'll get to know her backstory later on in the game's story line, should I continue on my quest towards Insta-fame.
I'll admit, delving into Kendall and Kylie's virtual world was 30-odd minutes well-spent (or, at least, decently spent). It was fun getting to build a bot version of myself, and the graphics were entertaining in that they were completely self-aware. This, of course, explains the Kardashian-Jenners' rigid, perfectly structured brand: They're in on the joke, and they want you to know it.
Would I play this again? Perhaps, on a subway car that's stalled underground between stops, waiting for signal clearance, or maybe if iTunes deletes my entire music library aside from that free U2 album.