Well over a year after its debut, BitLife has made Candywriter quite a household name in the app world. Recommended for players aged 17 and up, BitLife is a life simulator where you can make the best (or worst) possible decisions for your Bitizens, or virtual humans, guiding their lives from the cradle to the grave, and if you’re a paid player, guiding the lives of their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and so on, for as long as you wish. It’s also common knowledge that this game gets updated on the regular, with tons of new features added in almost every one of them.
Candywriter has just released the second update for BitLife in this calendar year, and this time the company has focused on one particular menu that hasn’t gotten much love as of late — and no, it’s not the Love menu, even if we’re nearing Valentine’s Day as of this writing. BitLife version 1.30 is all about the Mind & Body menu, and with this new patch, several new features have been added, including one that could help your Bitizens become better fighters, and another that could increase their intelligence faster than ever before.
The game, as a whole, has also gotten a significant graphical revamp, while the diseases mechanic has gotten improved as well. Without further ado, let’s go look at BitLife version 1.30, and see what’s new and how you can take advantage of these added features!
The Mind & Body Update – A General Overview
As specified by Candywriter in the official changelog, the new update promises a fundamental change to the BitLife user experience. The game has gotten a thorough redesign, though all the basic mechanics you know and love are still there, along with the new ones. To put it simply, the “redesigned game elements” described in the changelog are the new-look interfaces that are now more colorful and graphically striking, as opposed to the more bare-bones designs favored in previous versions. But what does “all-new people” mean, really? Does that mean that you’re going to be encountering new NPCs aside from the ones you may be familiar with, such as classmates, workmates, and relatives?
That, actually, would not be the case. Instead, “all-new people” refers to redesigned Bitizen faces, instead of the limited, more minimalist options that were included in previous versions. Now, it’s easier to see each Bitizen’s facial features, and they now come with a wider range of hairdos and hair colors — instead of the usual black, red, brown, and blond, with gray and white hair for older Bitizens, it is now possible for your characters to have unusual hair colors like green or purple, though it’s not clear how this may happen, because neither color occurs naturally in a person’s hair.
But since the new Bitizen avatars did come with mixed reactions, it appears that Candywriter, per a recent tweet, will soon be adding customization options — could this mean adding the option to dye your hair in order to stand out from the rest of the virtual crowd? We certainly hope so.
Take Your Bitizens On An Unpredictable Path With ‘Surprise Me’
At the end of the day, BitLife is best played if you’re actually in control of your characters’ destinies. You want to be as hands-on as possible, making sure they focus on doing good, smart things if you’re trying to give them the best possible life, or turning them toward the dark side if you’re trying to make them as awful as humanly possible. But sometimes, that could get boring, especially for longtime players. What if it was possible to have randomness dictate your every decision in the game? Thanks to version 1.30, that is indeed possible, through the “Surprise Me” option found in most dialog boxes.
This new option works just as it sounds — instead of choosing from the available options in the dialog box, all you need to do is tap on the text that says “Surprise me!”, next to the dice and underneath the bottom-most option. Once you tap on this, a hand icon will appear and point on the random choice that was generated. Keep in mind that once you hit “Surprise Me!”, you cannot go back on your choice and override it. All choices are permanent, so be sure that you’re completely going for randomness if you opt to take advantage of this new feature.
The Revamped Disease System – See What’s Ailing Your Bitizens
Back in previous versions of BitLife, getting sick was very cut-and-dry, yet also quite alarming, especially for diseases and illnesses that hit your Bitizens without any precedent, such as having unprotected sex for STDs or working at extremely high (red) stress levels for high blood pressure. But with version 1.30, the game now gives you a heads-up in the event you’ve just fallen ill. So how does this work?
First off, you will be taken to a dialog box that sometimes (but not always) specifies the actual disease on top, followed by a quick description of the symptoms you’re experiencing. Your concern will then be shown below that, in the form of a bar where green suggests low concern, orange medium, and red high — this could play a role in determining how much the illness stresses you out and affects your Happiness bar. You will then be given four choices, which usually, but not always include the following options — Pray, Search the Web, Go to the Doctor, and It Doesn’t Bother Me.
Of course, your best option if you want your health issues sorted out immediately is to go to the doctor, upon which the process will continue as usual, meaning you should assess the available doctors’ reputations, choose the better one of the two (or the one you can afford) and have them cure you.
As for the other three options, praying that the disease goes away could work sometimes, but not all of the time, while searching the web for symptoms would allow you to view the disease you might be suffering from, based on your internet research. If the online diagnosis points to something worse than what your symptoms suggest, that could ramp up your concern, but if the opposite happens, that could cause things to settle down a bit. You can also choose to ignore the symptoms altogether and choose the last of the four options mentioned above.
Additionally, there are choices that may appear from time to time, such as Drink a Smoothie or Take an Aspirin. We really don’t recommend going that route, as choosing such band-aid remedies (if you can even call it that) might lead your Bitizen to an early grave for ignoring something that’s actually serious! Just as it is in real life, your best bet in every situation is to speak to a doctor instead of relying on unofficial advice or relying on dubious methods or worse, not doing anything at all.
Also, bear in mind that you STILL may be notified of an illness without any kind of warning, especially if your Bitizens start suffering from depression without you taking the time to cheer them up through a movie, a workout, etc. Childhood diseases such as mumps also don’t seem to come with any advance warning.
Furthermore, the game’s changelog also promised the introduction of new diseases, asking players to use their imagination as to what they may be. We haven’t personally encountered most of them yet, but we did find that the infamous disease that has made recent headlines — the coronavirus — is now included in the game. We guess that’s what Candywriter was referring to, and just as usual, they’re very much in touch with headlines and pop culture and letting that reflect in their most popular title. (Just so you know, it would apparently cost a pretty penny to get this disease treated in-game, with the costs easily reaching several hundreds, or even more than a thousand dollars!)
Martial Arts – Turn Your Bitizens Into Lean, Mean Fighting Machines
No, this new feature isn’t going to turn your Bitizens into the next Conor McGregor or Georges St-Pierre — we’re still waiting for an update that adds athletic careers to the available choices. But if you want to get your Bitizens’ Health and Athleticism stats up once they turn 12-years-old onward, you can have them enroll in a Martial Arts course, under the Mind & Body section. There are five different disciplines you could learn — Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, Karate, Kung Fu, and Taekwondo.
Your goal is to complete each discipline (as few as one to as many as five — it’s all up to you), though each session will cost you $1,000 each in in-game currency. Typically, you will be advancing from no belt at all to the highest possible one — usually, this is red belt — and as you go along, you will learn a total of two new fighting moves while becoming more effective in fighting situations.
Yes, that’s right — if you choose to fight a bully at school, brawl with a belligerent clubber, or take matters into your own hands against a pushy paparazzo (among other situations), you will now have the option to use your martial arts skills and utilize a Karate Chop or a Karate Kick (for red-belters in Karate, for instance) against NPCs. The higher your belt is, the more effective you will become, though that also increases the chances of accidentally killing your target and possibly landing in jail for manslaughter.
Learning Martial Arts, however, is completely optional — you can choose not to take any classes and you’ll have an array of fighting moves at your disposal, albeit basic ones like Punch, Kick, or even Pinch. Choose a fighting move in the first drop-down box, then choose the body part you wish to target, and you’re off to battle, and possibly closer to earning a Rowdy ribbon as you make these (typically) poor life decisions for your Bitizens.
Once you’ve reached the highest possible belt, you can continue taking Martial Arts classes, but you won’t learn any new moves or become a better fighter. At that point, the benefits will largely be Health and Athleticism-related, so taking a Martial Arts class even if you’ve reached the highest possible belt does still have its perks.
Also, training is absolutely free of charge if you’re below 18 — just expect to hear from your parents if you choose to learn a new discipline while trying to rise up the ranks in the discipline you last trained! They’ll probably take it that you’re giving up too early on your existing discipline and would naturally want to avoid wasting their money.
Diets – A New Way To Get Healthy…Or Not
As the old expression goes, you are what you eat. An unhealthy diet could lead to obesity and a host of other health problems, while a healthier one, of course, could help you stay away from illness while helping keep your body at a normal weight. At this point, Bitizens still do not come with heights and weights, so there’s no way of telling whether your virtual characters are skinny, fat, or right in between. But the new BitLife update has introduced something that could add more realism to your Bitizens’ day-to-day lives, and that’s the Diets feature, which can also be found under Mind & Body.
Now most of the diets included here are healthy ones that could ensure that your Health stat is close to 100 percent, if not right there. For example, this can be achieved by choosing the Mediterranean diet among the available options. We chose that option one time for a character that also had a bit of a drug problem, and his health stayed at close to 100 percent for several years…until he, rather surprisingly, overdosed. Each diet you choose has an accompanying annual cost, so you may want to keep that in mind if you’re on a budget and don’t want to spend too much on food. Also, you cannot jump from one diet to the next unless you go off the existing one you’re currently on!
Just as we had hinted above, not all of the diet options in the game are healthy ones. For example, the High Calorie Diet is heart disease or high blood pressure waiting to happen to your average Bitizen. Choosing this, as we did with one of our test characters, resulted in him losing a whopping 17 percent Health per year, and while he didn’t run into any serious health issues in his young age (he got killed in an unrelated incident), he did go from 100 percent to zero in just six years!
Reading Books Can Help Your Bitizens Get Smarter In A Hurry
Previous versions of BitLife had many ways in which you could make your Bitizens improve their Smarts stat. For one, there was the organic, old-fashioned way, where making smart decisions and allowing your Bitizens to mature could boost the stat. Going to the library was another good way to improve Smarts, as was taking the Intelligence Test. However, those mostly resulted in incremental improvements over time. That has been remedied in version 1.30, as the game now gives you the chance to read books and quickly increase your Smarts, thus giving you a better chance of excelling in school and getting high-paying jobs outside of the entertainment industry.
In the Mind & Body section, you’ll see the Book option as the very first one on the menu. Tap on that, and you’ll be directed to a drop-down list of choices of different books — mostly real-life titles — which you can read in order to boost your Smarts. The more pages you read, the smarter you could get, though keep in mind that page counts are all accurate for the real-life books included in the new update! That means you could easily end up reading hundreds of pages in one sitting, tapping repeatedly on the book icon to turn the page and move forward. (In case you’re wondering, the actual text in each book isn’t included!)
You can choose to abandon a book you’re reading at any time, or return to the previous dialog box and choose a new book, but that’s going to result in any Smarts gains getting nullified. That means you should abandon a long book — if you choose to do so — once you see the page count, and not in the middle of reading! You don’t want to waste all that effort you took into tapping on your phone screen, after all.
Other New Features In The Mind & Body Section
The Mind & Body section, as you can see, has been greatly expanded, with far more options than the classic three (Gym, Library, Meditate) that you definitely know from previous versions of the game. Aside from the new features we discussed, Memory Test has now been folded into Mind & Body, but we assume you already know how that works, as the feature has been part of BitLife for quite a while now. That said, there are a couple more we haven’t discussed, starting with Garden.
The Garden option will be available from a very young age, and all you need to do is to tap on the button to get yourself up to a quick 8 percent boost in Happiness, thanks to the relaxation tending to your garden (or that of your parents’) can bring. Since the game assumes that you’re living with parents or guardians until you reach the age of 18, Garden will automatically disappear upon your 18th birthday — unless you already own a house of your own at that point.
You can’t tend to a garden you don’t have because you are, in a BitLife sense, homeless, so make sure you purchase some property — even a cheap house — if you want to beat the blues and avoid falling into depression by growing and watering some plants and flowers.
Over at the bottom, the Walk option gives you another chance to get some much-needed exercise or improve your Athleticism and/or Health and give you a better chance of making your school’s sports teams. Generally, the main benefit of walking is improving your Happiness, but if you want more benefits in terms of Health and Athleticism, you’ll want to pick up the pace and extend the time you spend walking. There are four paces available — Stroll, Normal, Brisk, and Speed Walk — and you can walk for as short as five minutes or as long as two hours. Just don’t overdo this activity per year — once is enough, as long as you get some statistical improvements!
Also, be prepared for some random events that may happen while you’re walking, such as random townspeople committing crimes or wild/stray animals crossing your path. These would typically be the same scenarios that pop up from time to time after hitting the Age button, so there’s nothing new to discuss in this area, except to expect more of these events while walking.
Odds And Ends – What Else Is New In BitLife Version 1.30?
Now it’s time to share those random observations about the new features, scenarios, and observations that Candywriter deliberately leaves out in the BitLife changelogs, as well as new additions from previous updates that we may have noticed immediately.
Well, for one, recent Reddit posts suggests that the infamous “blind man” who’d see you and call the cops while you’re out committing crimes is still in the game, despite his diminished presence in recent updates. We figure Candywriter’s leaving him in there for even more comic relief — no one likes ending up in jail, especially if the person turning you in happens to be blind!
One observation we had is that we’re seeing a few more NPCs that have the same names as popular celebrities or television/movie characters. We had to double-check our list of custom people (which mostly include actors, athletes, and TV characters from various series) to make sure that Hannah Montana wasn’t among the ones we had previously added.
Just as usual, Candywriter is on top of everything pop culture-related, as we mentioned earlier, and we did encounter some scenarios related to the recent Oscars, including one that asked us what we think about Eminem’s surprise performance at the ceremonies. As usual, it’s nice to see the guys and girls behind BitLife as topical as ever with those little limited-time scenarios.
This may have something to do with the Prison update from way back, or it may have come along with the far more recent Crime update, but it now seems easier than ever to be caught by authorities, even after your first escape from the clink. Then again, we only are mentioning this now because we’ve made one of our test Citizens quite the escape artist.