Happy Wheels

App review by
Paul Semel, Common Sense Media
Happy Wheels App Poster Image
Gory, ad-happy arcade game darkly funny (for some).
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 20 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Created for entertainment and not with educational intent.

Ease of Play

Though controlled through simple on-screen buttons, the game becomes increasingly difficult. Controls don't allow for fine-tuning, and some are unclear.

Violence

Characters (including children) are torn apart, crushed, maimed, and beheaded. Lots of animated blood, guts, dismemberment, and splatter.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

Frequent pop-up ads, which users can remove with a $1.99 in-app purchase.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Happy Wheels is a gory, bloody arcade game that's inappropriate for kids and the squeamish. Riding on bicycles, Segways, and other vehicles, characters (including children) navigate dangerous obstacle courses, where they may be squished into bloody chunks, have limbs torn off vividly, or even be blown to bits. Characters are also sometimes forced to keep going when injured, dragging what's left of their legs behind them. Pop-up and banner ads are frequent, but users can pay $1.99 to remove them. Players can also make their own levels and send them to their friends. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the information collected and shared.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byEthan C. December 6, 2016

Very Very VERY Violent do not let your gets play it.

Sometimes intestines come out lots of blood and gore i remember a lot of gore even call of duty black ops 3 is better since it has a filter. so buy your kids bl... Continue reading
Adult Written byscallywag05 n. December 22, 2016

a little violent, but not bad really!

you only get hurt if you fall off your bike, and the intention is not to kill, but survive.
Kid, 8 years old November 28, 2016

SO MUCH FUN!!!

there is a lot of blood and body parts flying every where but it is a lot of FUN!! i think its one of the best games of 2016
Kid, 12 years old November 12, 2016

If you can handle the blood and guts, it's a really good game.

I am talking about the PC version here for the most part, but I will add some things in about the mobile version. The best place to begin is at the featured lev... Continue reading

What's it about?

In the sarcastically titled HAPPY WHEELS, you have to ride a Segway, bicycle, or other vehicle through a sadistic obstacle course full of jumps, elevators, moving platforms, spinning spiked wheels, and other death traps. If you miss, you'll die or get maimed. Hit a land mine, for instance, and pieces of you and your blood will splatter everywhere. You can choose from a growing variety of characters, including Business Guy, Irresponsible Dad, and Wheelchair Guy (coming soon at time of review). Irresponsible Dad has a child in a bicycle seat, and the kid can get hurt in all the same ways as the adult character. Pop-up and banner ads are frequent, but users can make an in-app purchase to eliminate them. 

Is it any good?

Though covered in blood and gore, this dark and tricky physics-based puzzling arcade game is funny for some and horrifying for others. Though the violence is over-the-top on purpose and meant to appeal to a certain kind of humor, it's pretty intense. The use of kids and a man in a wheelchair only ups the ante. The volume of ads is also a potential deal breaker. Small ads appear when you die, and full-screen video ads pop up between every level. You can get rid of them for $1.99, but it may not be the kind of game you want to pay for. Still, despite the persistent ads and the cartoonish gore, if you're a mentally stable adult with a dark sense of humor and a penchant for puzzling arcade games, Happy Wheels will challenge your reflexes and problem-solving skills. However, it's definitely not an app for most kids and probably best for teens and adults.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games and apps like Happy Wheels. Though it's a silly game and there's no person-to-person violence, can the graphic injuries still affect the player? How do you feel when you play it?

  • Talk about different types of humor. Some people play this app because they think it's funny. Do you? Why, or why not?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free (optional in-app purchase to remove pop-up ads)
  • Release date: September 29, 2016
  • Category: Arcade Games
  • Size: 37.40 MB
  • Publisher: Jim Bonacci
  • Version: 1.0.5
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.0 or later

For kids who love arcade and strategy apps

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