Critical Play: Competitive Analysis on BitLife

BitLife is an online, text-based life simulator game (mobile app) created by Candywriter. This game is rated 17+ due to mature content (e.g. sexual content, alcohol use, death).

Overall, the theme of the game is to live your best or worst life possible and have the most happiness (how you enjoy life) and karma (how much good you do for others) elements.

[Andre who wasn’t too happy in his life but died trying to stop a store robbery (maximum karma).]

This is a single player game where users begin by becoming someone else and starting their BitLife at the age of 0. There is profile log that updates with information about key events and your decisions; the log takes up almost the entire screen.

The mechanics of the game include almost all types of interactions possible in real life. Key mechanics include interacting with your digital acquaintances, making important decisions, and deciding when you want to age. For example, you can choose to spend time with your brother, start a fight with your mother, or buy your stepfather a gift as means of interacting with others. Important decision making is handling required tasks as you progress in your life. The bare minimum storyline is attending school and graduating high school. This is reinforced through the graphics; when in school, the focus is education but this is not to say you don’t have the option to drop out or get a part-time job!

[The theme of living your best or worst life is shown by the graph at the bottom.]

An important mechanic is choosing when to age. You can stay at age 4 for as long as you would like, but you would be limited to certain actions in your infant stage. Until you reach around high school or college, you are unable to do tasks like visit the casino, emigrate, sue someone, go clubbing.

These mechanics are aimed to provide users with fantasy and narrative fun. Some actions are out of the control of the player, which makes it even more unique per play. The graphic design of the app may sometimes may the user feel as though the main task is to age but this can be a rash decision.

BitLife is different from other games because it is more extreme and has very intense, mature options. However, this does mean it has diverse occupations and decisions. They do not quite handle abuse but might actually instigate abuse in some scenarios due to some uncensored content and lack of trigger warnings.

I would tone down on the extreme cases introduced in the game and have better navigation and organization in the game. It is sometimes difficult to find actions to take because there are too many nested elements. Overall, the game feels like it can never get boring and lifespans are very thorough!

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