Life sim games are nothing new to this world. That said, they also aren’t quite what we imagine them to be anymore. Gone are the simple days of The Sims and Second Life, and here to stay are new and novel creations that leverage technology and artistry in interesting ways. One app that has escaped widespread attention is BitLife. Of course, its full name, Bit Life – Life Simulator, tells us way more about it than most game titles but it doesn’t quite describe the unique proposition on offer here.
How to Download BitLife – Life Simulator
To download the game for your Android device, click on the Download button located below this review.
The Game Review
If you think you’re getting something like The Sims or Second Life, think again, as BitLife is its own thing entirely.
That’s not to say it isn’t without its own inspirations. One of those happens to be the old-fashioned choose-your-own-adventure style books of the past. Being a novel use of a pretty well-established technology (the book), these adventure tales gave readers the option to choose the next crook in the narrative path.
And, as in a video game, these choices had consequences often leading to an abrupt end to the story or a continuation down a unique path. Tons of fun without requiring too much thought and input from the reader, these kinds of stories have an immersion element that draws the participant in and an interactive element that makes the final product a kind of melange of the author’s intent and the reader’s own investment in the story.
What does any of this have to do with BitLife, you might be asking? BitLife is a text-based app game that lets users play as a character from the beginning of their life until the end of their life via an interface that is very similar to the system used in the books of the same format. Your choices have consequences and impact the direction of the narrative, further expanding or limiting your future choices based upon that branching structure.
The game is quite addictive and will instantly drain hours of your real life away with its virtual nuance. There is no real challenge as BitLife wants you to focus on the experience and the choices you make above everything else. Best of all is that each playthrough is guaranteed to be a somewhat unique experience. Gamers who want something fun and that won’t require a huge time commitment should look no further than BitLife as it has a lot to offer without asking for much in return.
Beyond that, however, BitLife is a unique proposition from a game design standpoint that also merits consideration from hardcore gamers. It is a robust system and the app demonstrates how powerful narrative can be as a driving force in a game. Often developers shunt the story to the bottom of the list of priorities or argue that good gameplay and a serviceable narrative are better than most. When placed front-and-center like it is in BitLife, the narrative demonstrates a humanizing and compelling force in gaming that transforms something simple and mundane into a killer app.