Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

App review by
Chris Morris, Common Sense Media
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas App Poster Image
Incredible game -- but incredibly inappropriate for kids.
Popular with kidsParents recommend

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 17 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

Ease of Play

The game gives a variety of control options -- from a virtual analog stick to swipe gestures -- and has well-placed controls for other game features. This is optimal for tablets, but smartphone users might have too much on-screen at one time.

Violence

You'll find everything you can imagine here: gang warfare, beatings, drive-by shootings, the killing of innocent bystanders, and bloody deaths. Players can drive on the sidewalk, running over pedestrians at will, or assault a pedestrian on the street, beating him to death to get money (or beating a police officer to death to get his weapon).

Sex

Explicitly sexual. Prostitutes are prominent characters in the game, both as part of the story and non-player characters -- and they're dressed in low-cut apparel, true to the streetwalker cliche. You can gain "health points" by having implied sex with a prostitute in your car, where you hear what's happening and watch the rhythmic actions of the couple from a distance but don't actually see the act. 

Language

There's near-constant profanity, with innumerable f-bombs and pretty much any other word you can think of. And if you happen to miss the audio version, the words are often in the captions. 

Consumerism

The game is part of a long-running franchise, and players may be moved to buy a more recent version of the game after playing this.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drug use is prevalent, and there's some alcohol consumption, as well.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is a game that's completely inappropriate for children -- as are other games in the GTA series. The drug trade is glamorized and there's nonstop violence and sex, and it could teach them a few obscenities that even parents are unfamiliar with. The game is a direct recreation of the console hit, and what didn't work for kids then still doesn't today. Players can lead a life of crime, shoot police officers (as well as civilians and drug dealers), drink and drive, and have sex with prostitutes. The infamous "Hot Coffee" interactive sex scene that could be unlocked in the original game has been removed, though. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byFormula4madness April 1, 2014

Adults only please.

Parents, please read the rating of a game, at the very least, before considering it for your child's library. Games often have explicit content and are rat... Continue reading
Adult Written byChrisP 1 January 17, 2015

Sorry, No positive messages or role models here

Welcome to psychopathology 101. I played the regular platform game knowing the only message is the game promotes a life of crime and can be addicting. While... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bySalsander January 29, 2014

Borderline

If all of GTA San Andreas were put into one word, it would be this. It's borderline offensive with it's extreme stereotypes. It's borderline perf... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byEsrbFreak June 21, 2014

What's it about?

Players can select how they move around the screen. They can use a virtual analog stick on the lower-left corner of the screen; digital buttons, which can be resized and moved around the screen to a place most comfortable for the player; or finger flicks, which can also be used in the lower-left corner of the screen. Controls to accelerate or brake while driving are on the lower-right corner of the screen, as are combat options when on foot.

Is it any good?

There shouldn't be any doubt by now that any game in the Grand Theft Auto series is a poor choice for young players. That doesn't take away the quality of the game for mature audiences. GRAND THEFT AUTO: SAN ANDREAS is widely considered one of the best games in the series, with a strong story, plot twists, and mature themes. Also, this mobile port of the game is just as solid as the console version. 

That said, the pervasive sex, drugs, harsh language, and nonstop violence make it wholly inappropriate for children. However, adults looking for a solid, interactive action-adventure game won't be able to put it down. 

App details

For kids who love action games

Our editors recommend

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