A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
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?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Pricing structure: Free (Contains optional in-app purchases.)
- Release date: June 21, 2018
- Category: Strategy Games
- Topics: Adventures, Robots
- Size: 232.50 MB
- Publisher: Warner Bros. Entertainment
- Version: 1.8
- Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 9.0 or later; Android 4.4 and up
- Last updated: July 14, 2020
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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.