A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Ease of Play
The game's relatively simple to play, with players searching through and hacking Maya's phone, then analyzing the data found to further progress in the story. The difficulty comes in actually finding key information, as overlooking one detail can leave players stuck indefinitely.
Violence & Scariness
While the core focus of the gameplay is to track down who or what killed Maya before it kills again, most violence occurs offscreen, with players seeing the results via videos and photos, such as autopsy photos.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some photos and videos show suggestive content, with mild flirtation or suggestive outfits and behavior.
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Some mild profanity appears in portions of the dialogue in videos and in some text conversations.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some scenes in the video files show characters drinking alcohol or discussing drinking.
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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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.