Gacha Life

App review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Gacha Life App Poster Image
Friend sim game promotes ads more than relationships.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 105 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 475 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

A brief tutorial is available, but it doesn't go into enough detail about what the gameplay rules are or what the ultimate goal might be.

Violence

Kids can add swords as an accessory to their outfit, but they aren't used in play.

Sex
Language

Users can chat with each other, and messages are unmoderated, which could expose them to inappropriate content. But the functionality is spotty -- the messages often just disappear -- so users may not see comments for long.

Consumerism

Players can purchase packs of gems, the app's currency, which they can also win playing games, that range from $1.99 to $19.99. The game does tend to burn through in-game provided currency and energy quickly, funneling you towards purchases for progress. Players will also see commercials occasionally, particulary when transitioning between areas or when trying to earn some currency.

 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Gacha Life is a life simulation app for iOS and Android devices. The game doesn't involve gory violence, or much other inappropriate content -- although if users can get the chat function to work, they may see some swearing. But 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. Figuring out what to do when you're cruising around in the app can be a little confusing, especially since the included tutorial is so limited that it's almost impossible to tell what you're supposed to do; it's also easy to run out of stamina and the app currency you need to get more of it without paying for more, which can slow things down. Players will also see ads; they aren't nonstop, and many are fairly short, but they play every now and again when you're switching from one section of the app to another. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared, and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byHonestreviews111 September 26, 2019

Some Parents Are Just Worried

Dont let kids under 12 play it. It's just the community thats messed up, meaning the app overall is fine.
Adult Written bysamanthacross999 July 7, 2020

Really helped my kid

Great app, awesome community. The app itself holds unlimited creation potential and the super supportive community is a good addition to it! My daughter made a... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old October 10, 2019

Guys this app doesn't need the bad ratings, but the community does!

this app is good n' all, but it's not intended for younger kids because once you reach lvl. 10, you can open chat and there's a lot of bad messag... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bysleepii.stranger October 9, 2019

Another case of good game, bad community

This doesn't really deserve the bad rep it's getting.

Gacha Life is a fun game that promotes creativity and storytelling in kids. By itself it's... Continue reading

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?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: February 11, 2019
  • Category: Simulation Games
  • Size: 176.00 MB
  • Publisher: Lunime
  • Version: 4.0
  • Minimum software requirements: Requires 4.0 and up or iOS 8.0 or later.
  • Last updated: July 11, 2020

Our editors recommend

For kids who love simulations

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