A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Simulacra 2 is a mystery adventure app available for download on iOS and Android mobile devices, as well as Windows-based PCs. Players attempt to solve the murder of a pseudo-celebrity by accessing files, contacts, and social media stored in the victim's phone. Some of the videos show characters that are happy and celebrating in a party atmosphere, while others show more disturbing images of panic and fear. Some images include close shots of corpses and wounds via police and autopsy files. There's also some occasional use of profanity in the game's dialogue, in videos and in text chats. Scenes in some videos show characters drinking or talking about drinking, and there's also mild flirtation or suggestive behavior in some photos or clips.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
In SIMULACRA 2, it's up to you to unlock dig deep into the virtual lives of others to discover the truth behind a deadly secret before it can claim even more lives. After an up and coming social media influencer is found dead, the only evidence left behind is her phone. Though the case has been officially closed, too many questions remain unanswered. Now, the detective in charge of the case has enlisted your unique skills in an unsanctioned investigation, as you're tasked to hack into the device, recover files, and uncover clues behind the events that led up to her death. Will you be able to unravel the mystery and unmask the killer? Or will the bodies continue to pile up?
Is it any good?
The key to a good mystery, whether it’s uncovering supernatural evil or calling out Colonel Mustard in the library with the candlestick, is how the pieces of the puzzle fall into place. Simulacra 2 gets the players involved by making them part of the story, using the victim's phone to interact directly with her world while investigating what led up to her death. The game has a solid presentation, recreating the look and feel of Maya's phone. Navigating menus feels instantly comfortable to anyone that's spent any time monitoring their social media feeds on the go. And the acting, while far from Oscar worthy, still manages to give each character a distinct (if not occasionally overdramatic) personality.
Simulacra 2's presentation makes for an interesting storytelling technique, as it gives players an active role to play, but it also often makes the plot unfold in a disjointed way. It's easy to overlook or completely miss clues vital to your progress, and the game doesn't do anything to help guide armchair detectives if they should happen to stray a bit off the predetermined path. This can lead to long periods of frustration or even just giving up and starting from scratch. Making matters worse, once players finally do complete the story, there's never any reason to go back and try again. Solving the mystery once might be satisfying, but once is also more than enough as none of the effort feels worth repeating.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the hazards of social media. How much of our lives do we live in social media, and what are some of the risks of that exposure? What can we do to minimize those risks?
What are some of the ways we see horror in entertainment such as movies and games? Is it scarier to see direct violence and horror, or does the suspense of the unknown (or unseen) make horror more frightening?
- Devices: iPhone, iPad, Android
- Price: 4.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Release date: December 12, 2019
- Category: Adventure Games
- Topics: Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs
- Size: 36.00 MB
- Publisher: Kaigan Games OÜ
- Version: 2.4.769.257
- Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 9.0 or higher; Android 5.0 and up
- Last updated: December 19, 2019
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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.