A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Kids can dress characters up and visit different scenes in GACHA LIFE. They can play eight games and earn gems, create brief character skits in Studio Mode, and chat with other players. In Life Mode, kids can establish friendships by letting game characters speak to them. When kids' stamina gets low, they need to spend gems they've earned to get Gacha -- basically, gifts such as an animal, shirt, or other items -- that gives them energy to keep playing, and they can give the gifts to other characters to help advance their friendship level.
Is it any good?
Kids who love outfitting an avatar should enjoy that portion of this multi-activity app, but the other aspects, including its reliance on energy for characters, can be very confusing. Gacha Life's skit builder offers a fun way to create simple animated features, because players can creatively express themselves with its customizable scenes. But parents and kids should be careful, because some players have been using the skit builder to create inappropriate content that isn't included in the app itself and posting videos of these skits online. Be cautious of what you search for around Gacha Life online, particularly on YouTube. Some of its games are also fun -- for instance, players catch chicken nuggets that are falling from the sky in one. But many others run very fast and/or are almost laughably short. A game that involves giving rabbits that pop out of a hole candy can last literally 10 seconds. In addition, while it's fairly easy to figure out how to walk around the different worlds, it's unclear what you're supposed to do in each location, or how to advance to higher levels. Essentially, users want to speak with, then give gifts to characters to increase their friendship level. But each action costs stamina points, so as you're moving forward with friendships, which presumably helps you go farther, you're also losing energy. If you haven't paid attention to what your new friends are saying, the point loss when you're quizzed about these characters might not be worth it.
Worse, you'll repeatedly run out of stamina, have to go purchase new Gacha and gifts to give away, and when you inevitably run out of energy again, you need to play games, watch an ad, or buy gems (with real-world money) to keep working toward the next friendship level. It seems to be an excuse to make you switch screens and watch an ad, which slows down gameplay to the point it's hard to imagine happily waiting around and being interested in playing for long.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about focusing on things other than appearance. What other qualities or traits are important? Why do you think there's less of a focus on inner beauty instead of outward appearance?
Do apps, shows, and other experiences that emphasize buying things make you feel like happiness is linked to spending money? What are some fun things you can do for free?
For kids who love simulations
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.