Westworld

App review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
Westworld App Poster Image
Tame tie-in to adult TV show glosses over disturbing themes.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

Success of building, growing your park depends on strategy, patience.

Violence

Mock fistfights, gun use; humanoid robots get shot; no blood, gore shown. Cartoonish visuals.

Sex

Guests interested in "romance" get flowers and kisses. Humanoid robots are shown naked, but without nipples or genitalia.

Language
Consumerism

Progress possible, but slow without purchases. Frequent messaging for in-app store. Tie-in to popular TV show.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Towns feature saloons, where characters can gamble.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Westworld is a free-to-play strategy app based on the same-named hit HBO TV series. Though cartoonish in nature and far tamer than the show, park guests do shoot robots and get in fights, although there's no blood or gore. There's also nudity, but the naked robots don't show nipples or genitalia. "Romance" is represented by kissing, embracing, and flowers. There's also gambling in saloons. The in-app shop is frequently promoted through in-app messages, and connections to other users are encouraged via the built-in "co-worker" social network and Facebook. The app's privacy policy describes the kinds of information collected and shared. To read the privacy policy in full, visit Warner Bros. Entertainment's official website.

User Reviews

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Teen, 16 years old Written byScotty529 September 2, 2018

What's it about?

WESTWORLD is a strategy/simulation game based on HBO's popular TV series (which itself was based on a novel by Michael Crichton). Using the show as a framework, the game casts users as employees of the Delos Corporation: the owners and creators of the next-gen Western theme park Westworld. Users take on the job of managing the park, which includes a range of duties: manufacturing and maintaining robot hosts, matching them with guests according to temperament and activity, and making sure park guests have the best time possible. To do this, players must build and upgrade areas of the park, as well as the underground Delos offices. While balancing work duties, you must also discover the source of a series of strange messages that suggests the presence of something dark behind the theme park's upbeat facade.

Is it any good?

This great little app takes a PG approach to the hit TV show, removing most of the adult-themed stuff while accurately representing the show's plot and mechanics. HBO's Westworld series is about a theme park in which people fulfill their wildest -- and usually darkest -- fantasies; as a result, it's full of extreme violence, profanity, and sexual content. While there's still some nudity in the app (naked robots without genitalia lie on exam tables) and some violence (robots can be killed by dissatisfied guests), it's presented much more cartoonishly/gently. The saloon is a place for card games, harmless barroom brawls, and "romance" rather than prostitution, and the guests' sadistic behavior is removed.

Because of this, you can feel OK about manipulating the game's faux Western world and enjoy unraveling the mystery behind it. The generous free-play structure means you can play a good hour or two without spending money, letting you get swept up in the cute artwork and fun mechanics. Still, you'll think about the grittiness of the show and wonder, "Why does the app have kid-friendly graphics?" Or, "Won't the app make kids curious about a show that's strictly adults-only?" It's questionable marketing for sure, but in spite of that disconnect, the Westworld app offers some fun strategy gameplay and interesting storytelling. Better still (if you can see beyond the cute presentation), it doesn't shy away from raising the complex moral questions of the show/movie -- questions that could be good conversation starters for you and your kids.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about game/TV show tie-ins. Does Westworld help promote the TV show?

  • The violence here isn't as bloody or gory as the TV show; how does that affect the impact of the game's violence?

  • Do you think it's a good idea to create robots that think and act like we do? Why or why not?

  • Should humanoid robots have the same rights as people? How should laws govern robots as they become more common in everyday life?

App details

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For kids who love strategy

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