Is the BitLife-Life Simulator App Safe?
A complete app review for parents.
What is the BitLife-Life Simulator App?
Description: This popular game lets you make choices from birth until death.
“Will you try to make all the right choices in an attempt to become a model citizen sometime before you die? You could marry the man/woman of your dreams, have kids, and pick up a good job along the way. Or will you make choices that horrify your parents? You could descend into a life of crime, start prison riots, smuggle duffle bags, and cheat on your spouse. It’s all up to you…” (from the Apple App Store)
APP Store rating: 17+
What do parents need to know about the BitLife app?
Does BitLife have Parental Controls?
What’s the appeal? Honestly, this game is boring. There are no images besides the icons for choosing the activities you want to participate in. You start your life by being born, then eventually you start elementary school. There is an option to drop out of school at the ripe old age of 5 (though my parents wouldn’t let me). You can drop out of high school at 15 years old.
You can choose to make regular doctor visits, go to the movies, go to the library, meditate, and go on vacation (if you have the money). Again, there are no images. A prompt will show up stating the outcome of that choice. Sometimes you are diagnosed with something. Sometimes you meet someone at the library and have to decide whether to ask them out.
But there are still plenty of adult themes. Once you turn 13 years old, you can pick your sexual orientation (straight, bisexual, or gay) and find a significant other. Once you have a significant other, there is the option to find a threesome. Sometimes your partner will get mad at you and then you have to choose whether to fight or apologize. There is also an option to have a one night stand. There will be a prompt as to whether to use a condom. Just beware, you could get an STD or become pregnant if female. There is a high likelihood that if you are in a heterosexual relationship, then you will become pregnant or get your girlfriend pregnant.
Once you turn 18 all of the activities are available to you. For example, you can commit a crime like grand theft auto (I was able to successfully steal a VW Beetle), pick pocket (I got $3 for pick pocketing a hippie), or murder. Yes, you can choose to murder a friend or a random person AND you can choose how. Note: the game randomly assigns your name, nationality, and sex.
Some other choices you can make are your career (though you do have to be qualified). Most of the careers are fine like firefighter, teacher, doctor, etc. However, you can choose exotic dancer and porn actor. You can also choose to have plastic surgery if you have the money (the options are specific to male and female…the screenshot below is for female but males can choose to get penis enlargement surgery).
Throughout the game, there will be random prompts that come up. For example, we were asked to deliver a duffel bag of unknown substance to Canada for $6,000. Another time, we were asked whether we wanted to try drugs. If you get caught doing illegal things, sometimes you will be caught and sent to jail (where you can attempt to escape or start a riot) or you will get off free (like when we stole that car). There are also times where the game will ask you if you want to assault someone. You can go to jail for this too.
Hidden browser doorways. Not that we could find. BUT, there are links to Twitter, Reddit, Instagram, and YouTube in the BitLife Community tab. Note – you can block sites like Reddit or Twitter using the “NEVER ALLOW” option in Apple’s Screen Time or on Family Link on Google, if you follow their instructions.
Related Post: How to set up Apple Screen Time
Advertisements. There is always an ad at the bottom of the screen (usually for another game). Whenever you go to the movies as one of your activities, it will cut to an ad video. Let’s just say that I was glad my older kids were in school and my youngest was napping. Some of the ads are definitely for 18+.
BitLife app bottom line – is it safe for your kids?
Even though it isn’t as suggestive as say Episode, the 17+ rating is our recommendation too.
Now what? A next step for parents.
Want to learn how to prevent your child from downloading this popular game? Turn off access to the App Store or Google Play! We’ll show you how. Just read our blog post for step-by-step instructions.Learn how to turn off the app store -> Apple and Google
I love life. Seriously! Each. Day. A. Gift. Former CPA, business advisor, youth pastor, development director. Manage marketing efforts for Covenant Eyes and CEO of PYE. God shares wild ideas with me about life while I run. I have a relentless drive to help families use technology well.