Adventure Bay

App review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
Adventure Bay App Poster Image
"Velvet rope" sim is imaginative, but it eats up time.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

The controls are mostly easy to use, and simple to understand, although it's fairly easy to click on something unintentionally when redesigning your layout or to accidentally click on (and therefore spend) your precious spice. But really, waiting is the hardest part of this app.

Violence & Scariness

While on adventures, your pirate characters can engage in swordfights with foes. These fights are depicted in stiff turn-based animations, and defeated enemies simply vanish from the board.

Sexy Stuff

Female characters like a hula dancer and a voodoo priestess wear slightly revealing clothing.


This is a "velvet rope" game, in which you can purchase -- with real money -- extra spice, for up to $100 a pack. "Spice" is used in the game to speed things up, and prevent you from having to wait several hours for a crop to grow or for a ship to reach its destination. You'll also see ads in the app, and an offer of "free gold" if you click on certain ads.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Adventure Bay is a pirate-based village-building simulation game, in which your characters can go on quests for treasure, during which they can engage in duels with enemies. It is also important to know that this is a "velvet rope" app, meaning that kids will be tempted to spend real money in order to speed up the progress of the game. While it's not necessary to spend real money, kids will be forced to wait anywhere from several minutes to several hours between taking turns unless they use "spice." Spice is unfortunately rare in the game, but, of course, can be purchased with real money. An iPad-only version of Adventure Bay is available as well.

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Is it any good?

In terms of content, ADVENTURE BAY is a step above and beyond most city-building sim apps. It's got all the requisite elements, like buildings to purchase, crops to grow, etc. But it also allows you to amass a whole crew of different characters, each of whom can go on individual quests, which are played out in  board-game-like mini-games. And Adventure Bay lets you collect different sets of treasures and trade them with friends; connecting with a lot of friends will help you move forward faster. It is a "velvet rope" app, though, and you'll be forced to wait hours for things to happen unless you use your time-speeding "spice." Adventure Bay can also eat up a lot of time, because you need to check in on the game frequently. If you plant some crops and set a ship off on a quest, and then don't play again until the next day, you can find those crops wilted and your ship returned empty-handed. So, ask yourself if you want a game that you are required to play every few hours.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: December 5, 2010
  • Category: Simulation Games
  • Publisher: ngmoco, LLC
  • Version: 1.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 3.0 or later
  • Last updated: June 19, 2019

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