While they’re no strangers to making hit mobile games, few titles in Glu’s stable — or any of their competitors for that matter — can really hold a candle to the success of Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. Its popularity has seen a parade of celebrities lining up for their own Glu games, with Katy Perry, Britney Spears and the Jenner sisters mobile releases all in the pipeline.
And, of course, you’ve got to expect more from Kim K.
What might surprise you, though, is the direction Glu has decided to go for Mrs. Kardashian-West’s second mobile games release. Instead of a sequel to Hollywood, the company has soft-launched a casino game featuring the starlet’s likeness. Kim Kardashian: Slots quietly soft-launched on the Canadian App Store in mid-May, taking Kim and her friends on a whirlwind trip to fabulous Las Vegas.
After spending a few minutes with the game, it delivers pretty much exactly what you’d expect from the title. If anything, it feels less like a new game and more like a way to repurpose assets from Kim Kardashian: Hollywood to compete in one of mobile’s most profitable genres.
From a business standpoint, that’s a pretty smart move — though whether fans of Kim K will find it as appealing as Glu’s investors might is anybody’s guess at this point. I’m not personally much of a slots fan, so I can’t really speak to the quality of the game from a casino enthusiasts point of view. Having said that, the initial reviews on iTunes aren’t exactly glowing:
“The game would be better if it didn’t crash all the time and if it gave you free chips every few hours like other slot games,” reads a two-star review from iTunes user Quirky Smurf. “not fun like any other slot games here,” says Gothica05’s one-star review. “Ive been playing this game for a week now and bever [sp] have i ever hit on free spins or bonus”.
Still, if the purpose of a soft launch is to get feedback and tweak a game to satisfy potential players, complaints like these may be exactly what’s needed to right the ship before a global release. Likewise, people have complained about difficulties getting the game to load; hiccups like these are exactly why soft launches are so valuable to mobile game developers.
On a sidenote: I can’t attest to how common a practice this is because I’m not a slots player, but I couldn’t help but be amused at the game’s “auto-play” option. I activated it while writing this article, and have watched myself grow from Level 3 to Level 7 without ever needing to touch my phone. If that doesn’t speak to the futility of gambling, I don’t know what does.
Still, somebody out there is a fan of slots, even if it’s not me. After all, there’s a reason three of the top 10 grossing games on the App Store are all about the one-armed bandit. If you count yourself among the slots-playing faithful, and know how to wield a Canadian iTunes account, you can check out Kim Kardashian: Slots in soft-launch on the Canadian App Store right now.