Surviving High School

 
(i)

 

Learning(i)

Tweens experience high school in an age-appropriate way.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The game maintains a good pace and responds quickly to taps. However, sometimes the dialogue requires viewing a second screen just to read one or two additional words. 

Violence

Male characters are confronted with bullies and can choose whether to fistfight or not.

Sex

Characters flirt, date, and hold hands and kiss.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Banner ads run across the top of the screen throughout the game. While the app is free to install, players can buy more episodes via in-app purchases ranging from 99 cents to $20 or $30, depending on the mobile platform. A "More EA Games" link takes players to a list of more apps available from the developer.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

It's a somewhat hidden option, but players can disable usage sharing in the Help & About section. If usage sharing is disabled, the the app won't send usage information such as game statistics to EA.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this interactive game lets kids take on different roles as students at the fictional Centerscore High School. Friendship, romance, and scholastic success all depend on the answers given to multiple-choice questions at critical junctures in the story. Will kids be nerds, jocks, or something in between? There are bullies and gossips just like in real life, and sex is hinted at, but even the bad kids are good at heart and the language is clean. At least, so far. New episodes are downloadable weekly.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • discussion
  • reading comprehension

Hobbies

  • sports

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • decision-making

Self-Direction

  • achieving goals
  • self-reflection
  • time management
  • initiative

Emotional Development

  • persevering
  • empathy
  • handling stress

Communication

  • speaking
  • friendship building
  • listening

Responsibility & Ethics

  • making wise decisions
  • respect for others
  • learning from consequences

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Learning Approach

Support

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • discussion
  • reading comprehension

Hobbies

  • sports

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • decision-making

Self-Direction

  • achieving goals
  • self-reflection
  • time management
  • initiative

Emotional Development

  • persevering
  • empathy
  • handling stress

Communication

  • speaking
  • friendship building
  • listening

Responsibility & Ethics

  • making wise decisions
  • respect for others
  • learning from consequences

Kids can learn to assess personal, academic, and social situations, then make decisions to impact those situations. By reading dialogue, tweens see strengths and weaknesses, build friendships or ignore them, handle stress, and get around obstacles like cheerleaders who hate them because of their shoes. Episodes can drag, and though the abundant dialogue is scarily realistic at times, personalities are mostly stereotypical. Surviving High School gives tweens an entertaining glimpse at high school life but falls a bit short on sophistication and pace.

This Learning Rating review was written by Leslie Crenna

What's it about?

Your tween is the main character in their choice of story lines. Players tap the screen to advance the story, and choose among actions and reactions when prompted. Relationships are rated by smiley faces and skulls: If you give the evil quarterback a ride home in the rain, one of his hateful skulls disappears. If you act as "wingman" for a buddy, a smiley face appears. Success on simple puzzles and games adds to your chances of success. When the dance or tryout or project is over, so is the game.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Real high school students might find this episodic game less than engrossing, but tweens will have fun guiding alter selves through the upper grades. The situations are true to high school but not too dark while they teach kids the consequences of their decisions. Studying begets higher grades; acting like a jerk loses friends. The game alternates between male and female characters so kids get the other sex's perspective. The writing is witty and the background graphics of classrooms and football fields are gorgeous.

Families can talk about...

  • Talk with your tween about the personalities presented in Surviving High School. How are teens portrayed? Does your tween find the portrayal realistic?

  • Attend a local high school drama production, sports event, or fundraiser.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:November 16, 2009
Category:Simulation Games
Publisher:Electronic Arts
Version:1.1.1
Minimum software requirements:iOS 3.1 or later; Android 2.1 and up

This review of Surviving High School was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 15 years old Written bybpixie July 11, 2010
 

Five star time waster! Loves it!

SOOO MUCH FUN!!!! An amazing time-waster, no bad stuff except the occasional "hint" of inappropriate things, totally fun and just the game I was looking for! FIVE STARS ALL THE WAY!
What other families should know
Educational value
Kid, 12 years old July 8, 2010
 
this game is fun and actually has a somewhat age apropreat way of introducing the troubles of highschool to young kids. Like bullying and fitting in and making a good grade point averadge. In this game kids can also make characters hold hands, kiss, and call eachother hot. They can also chose to have fist fits or not. the teachers in the game can also ask some educational questions relating to biology, ELA, and social studies. bottom line great GAME!!!!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Educational value
Teen, 14 years old Written byleftbehindcrazed8 January 24, 2012
 

awesome!

Great game!! I love playing the New Girl episodes and the whole idea of the app! Also, sometimes when you play you'll have to take "tests" which asks you questions about math, biology, history, and english. You're rewarded for good behavior (such as being nice or not cutting class) and face consequences for bad. It's so fun and older kids will love it!!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex

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