Not surprisingly, it’s still the number one game in the RPG category on the Apple App Store, and still doing quite well for itself on the Google Play Store. Candywriter may have once been known for simple trivia games, but with Bitlife, the company has released a title with terrific staying power and updates that regularly add new options and features and keep players coming back for more.
And in case you aren’t familiar with the basics of BitLife, this is a life simulation game that allows your characters – or Bitizens – to “live their best – or worst life” as they go to school, find employment, start families, and go through every year of their lives, from the cradle to the grave. You can also control Bitizens across multiple generations – as many as you want, in fact, provided you pay the one-time $4.99 “Bitizenship” fee!
The new BitLife updates are still coming in at a rapid rate, and with mere weeks having passed since the huge school-centric update, Candywriter is back with the Stepfamily Update, which, as you’ll find out, tackles several family-related features that were conspicuously missing on previous versions of the game.
Specifically, we’re talking about the ups and downs of having a new stepmom, stepdad, or stepsiblings, or the process of being a step-parent yourself, as well as a few new tweaks that make the gameplay experience more realistic, regardless of your Bitizen’s nationality. So read on, check out this new BitLife guide, and learn how to survive everything that comes with version 1.24 – the Stepfamily Update.
BitLife Stepfamily Update Overview
While the last major BitLife update finally offered a more immersive educational experience for players and their Bitizens, the new update takes another much in-demand set of features and focuses on the family dynamic. Ever wondered why Bitizen families seemed so drama and complication-free in the past, despite all the shenanigans pulled by certain members of the family? (And by certain members, we typically mean your character, if you choose to make him a verbally abusive and/or philandering type.)
That all changes with BitLife version 1.24, aka the Stepfamily Update, which introduces divorces, blended families, step-parents, and a variety of other real-world wrinkles that should make the family dynamic more realistic going forward.
Just to give you a clue of what to expect, the new update now forces you to deal with a partner’s children if the two of you decide to get married, and if your Bitizen is still at a young age, they may have to endure the torment of having a “wicked” stepmother/stepfather picking on them for the tiniest slights, may they be real or imagined. So with that all said, let’s run down the new features introduced and take a deep dive into each of them.
Blending The Family – You Can Now Date And Marry Single Parents In BitLife
Anyone who’s used a dating app in their lives has encountered such a situation from time to time – you see someone interesting who specifies in their profile (or reveals during your date) that they’ve got kids from a previous marriage or relationship. Indeed, this is something that comes with the territory in real-life dating, and that’s one of the new features you can get to take advantage of in BitLife version 1.24.
Regardless whether you’re looking for a partner via the Date option, Hookup, the Dating app, or whether you randomly meet this person at the gym or anywhere else except the club, the game will notify you if this Bitizen has children. You can then decide whether you wish to date him or her, much like in past versions of the game, though once you do start dating this person, keep in mind that there are a few caveats you may have to deal with.
First and foremost among these caveats would be how it appears to be much harder to get such partners to say “yes” to your marriage proposal. Even if your relationship bar is all filled up, they will, more often than not, be much more hesitant if you decide to pop the question – marriage, after all, means you’ll be adopting their kids and raising them as your own. That said, we’ve noticed a couple things that seem to convince single parents to say “yes” to marriage proposals, and that’s what leads us to our next caveat – generally speaking, you need to be making a decent amount of money or better at your current job.
As we mentioned above, once you marry a partner with children, those kids will then be added to your list of children in the Relationships section – arranged with your biological kids in order of age. The game warns you in the changelog that you need to treat your stepchildren well – there’s a chance you may be in for a challenge, because they may or may not be too thrilled to know that their mom or dad has married someone new! It isn’t uncommon to have the relationship bar at red or orange levels with new stepchildren, though you can always build up your relationship through compliments and/or gifts.
In general, we noticed that children tend to be less receptive toward their new step-parents if your Bitizen has a history of making trouble or doesn’t have much of a net worth to speak of. Conversely, they seem happier if their new step-parents are loaded with cash and/or have a good reputation. In other words, it’s just as it often is in real life – no kid wants to end up with a step-parent who’s been in and out of jail, couldn’t hold down a steady job, and/or is known for rude and belligerent behavior!
Now what happens if you get divorced (or you file for divorce) from your partner? Do you get to keep the kids? Unfortunately, the very simple answer here is no – whether it’s you or your partner filing for divorce, you will not, in either case, keep the kids and maintain your blended family. In all situations, your now-ex-partner will get full custody of your former stepchild/stepchildren, and that also applies if the two of you signed a prenuptial.
Divorce And Remarriage – Dealing With Step-Parents And Step-Siblings
Past versions of BitLife allowed players to file for divorce from their partners at any given time, with NPC husbands and wives free to do the same, especially if your character’s been more than a little overboard with the extramarital activities. Strangely, parents weren’t able to do the same, thereby allowing every young Bitizen to enter adulthood without having to deal with mommy and daddy deciding that they don’t want to live together anymore. That, in a way, simplified things, but in almost every part of the world, divorce is a reality of day-to-day life.
With that said, it is now possible for your characters’ parents to decide that they no longer want to stay together for the kids. The new update now allows you to get notified if your (in-game) parents file for divorce, and that interestingly applies as well to Filipino Bitizens – the country’s laws make it the only nation aside from Vatican City to prohibit divorce, but in the game, you can still get a divorce (or deal with your parents’ divorce) if your Bitizen is from the Philippines. Divorce will, as expected, take its toll on a young Bitizen’s Happiness stats, though if you’ve already reached adulthood, Happiness won’t be affected that much if you’re notified that your parents are calling it quits as a couple.
Much like a character’s parents can now file for divorce, they can also choose to get remarried, thus introducing you to a new stepfather or stepmother and, in many cases, new step-siblings as well. One interesting mechanic Candywriter has introduced is the option to choose how you wish to call your new step-parent – are you going to call them by their first name (as most Westerners do), take the more formal route by calling them “Mom” or “Dad,” go overboard on the respect by referring to them as “Mr.” or “Mrs.,” and their last name, or totally show your disdain by sarcastically calling them something like “Dude” or “Bro”?
In most cases, the best way to go would be to call them by their first name or as Mom or Dad – these are, after all, perfectly acceptable and respectful ways to refer to a step-parent. But if you choose to call them something like “Man,” “Woman,” or “Mr./Mrs. _____,” you may be in for a rough relationship with your new stepmom or stepdad. Either you’ll start off with a red, orange, or even nonexistent relationship bar, or a new dialog box may pop up if your step-parent decides to give you a tongue-lashing for what they perceive as sarcasm or disrespect.
There may also be times when your stepmom or stepdad may verbally threaten you – for example, they may say that they want to leave you at home for a family vacation. Or they may decide to show their dislike for you by pranking or trolling you – say, by telling you that they left a box of donuts on the table, only for you to discover that it contains carrots. (Try pulling that on the average vegetable-hating kid!)
For the above scenarios, you can then choose to insult them, physically fight them, tell their spouse, or choose to ignore it. For the first two options, the outcomes will be similar to your typical Insult/Scuffle scenarios in BitLife. Reporting a new step-parent’s behavior to the parent you call Mom or Dad would bring up a window that notifies you of their level of concern, with a lack of concern decreasing your Happiness and a high level of concern improving the stat. Choosing the “It doesn’t bother me” option, on the other hand, does not affect Happiness in any way – in fact, it doesn’t change anything with regard to your relationship with the disdainful (or sometimes, outright verbally abusive) step-parent – but at least it’s a relatively safe choice in terms of maintaining one’s stats.
Dealing with step-siblings doesn’t seem to be that different from dealing with regular siblings, though you may likely start out with a red or orange relationship bar when it comes to a newly introduced step-sibling (as opposed to one born after one of your parents remarries, in which case it starts out with a full green bar). You may also get into more random arguments, mostly on account of your poor relationship status – at least early on, and if you don’t try to build some goodwill through compliments, conversations, and other relationship-building options.
Free Healthcare Where Available, Even If You’re An Adult
Prior to this new BitLife update, taking your Bitizens to the doctor came free of charge from the time of birth up to their 18th birthday – upon which you’d have to pay out of your virtual pockets in the event of illness or disease. That applied to all countries available in the game, though as you may be aware of, there are several countries that, in real life, offer universal, or free healthcare. But with the new update, you no longer need to pay out of pocket in the event your characters come down with the flu, a common cold, a sexually-transmitted disease, or any other illness – as long as you’re currently in a country that offers free healthcare as a benefit.
The most obvious and well-known country where you can enjoy free healthcare in BitLife is Canada, though there are several others in Europe as well where this privilege is available, including Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Finland, and also in Asia, with countries such as India and Singapore offering this benefit. Elsewhere around the world, Chile, Peru, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand are just five of the nations where your Bitizens can go to the doctor and emerge with a clean bill of health – and a wallet that isn’t any lighter than it used to be.
Take note, however, that rehab is not covered in free healthcare! If your Bitizen’s got a drug or booze problem, you’ll have to pay for their rehab as usual, or have them attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings (which have always been for free) if they’re only dealing with a booze addiction and nothing else.
A more exhaustive list of countries with universal healthcare can be found on this Wikipedia page, though as you will clearly see, not all of the listed nations are available in BitLife. Still, it’s a good reference for anyone thinking of starting a new life and wanting to take advantage of free healthcare now that version 1.24 is now available.
Arranged Marriages Are Now A Thing In Bitlife
Say what you want about arranged marriages, but they are still very much prevalent in certain parts of the world. That’s why Candywriter has included them in the latest BitLife update, as it is now possible for parents to arrange a marriage if your Bitizen is a native of Afghanistan, India, Iran, or Japan. That too applies if you are a first-generation immigrant to a country that doesn’t have arranged marriages – if your parents are natives of one of the four countries we mentioned, it is possible that they may set you up with a complete stranger whom they nonetheless believe is better suited for you! And it won’t matter if you’re already dating – or even engaged to – someone, or if you identify as gay.
In the above situations, parents will always choose someone of the opposite sex when arranging your marriage and will disregard whoever you’re dating or engaged to. You can, however, get around this by simply getting married to your boyfriend, girlfriend, or fiancé/fiancée at the time – once you do so, your parents will stop bugging you about the marriage they want to arrange.
So what happens next after a parent from Afghanistan, India, Iran, or Japan, asks your character to enter an arranged marriage? A number of things can take place – first, they may leave you alone if you refuse, albeit with your relationship bars greatly compromised and sometimes even emptied out completely.
Second, they may keep pressing you to get married to the guy or girl they want for you – in one playthrough, our poor Bitizen was asked THRICE to marry the man her parents wanted. If you go this route, the outcome will almost certainly be a completely empty relationship bar for both mother and father. (Also expect more antagonistic behavior from your parents going forward if you repeatedly refuse an arranged marriage!)
Now if you choose to agree to the arranged marriage, you may get a dialog box that references a dowry, but as we’ve seen, that doesn’t get added to your bank account – presumably, it would only benefit your parents. Most of the time, your relationship bar with your new husband or wife would be orange or red, which is perfectly understandable – prior to the arranged marriage, you didn’t know each other at all! That means you may want to work on building up the relationship with compliments – if you opt for a conversation, your new spouse may not want to talk to you, and if you opt to make love to them, they may give you the usual laundry list of excuses.
If all else fails, you can at least take solace in the fact that if you divorce your arranged spouse (or if they do the same), your bank account won’t be affected as you won’t have to pay them any money. Also, we haven’t experienced any situation where parents from the four aforementioned countries ask their Bitizen kids a second time to enter into an arranged marriage after the first one ends in divorce.
Odds And Ends – What Else Is New?
Previously, there was a wide variety of ways in which your Bitizen could be born – it may have been a planned pregnancy or an unplanned one for a married husband and wife, a result of a random Tinder or Bumble hookup, and in some cases, it may have been a complete mystery, with either your mother or your father unknown. But with version 1.24, you can now be adopted at birth or born as a first-generation immigrant.
We’ve run several playthroughs to see if being born adopted could result in some fairly realistic scenarios or options, e.g. will you know right from the get-go whether you’re adopted/will this be revealed at a later time in your life, or will you have the option to search for your birth parents? So far, we’ve seen nothing of this kind, but you know the folks at Candywriter – always hard at work on new updates, always willing to take fan feedback into consideration when adding new features to the game.
The same applies to first-generation immigrants – there doesn’t seem to be any visible change in the mechanics, except, of course, for the possibility that you may be forced into an arranged marriage, as mentioned above.
As further discussed in the changelog, BitLife now allows players to choose their babies’ last names at birth – no longer will the game default to the father’s surname like it did in the past. It’s just a tiny change, but one that is nonetheless much-appreciated to reflect the reality of the world, where parents may favor their surname or that of their partner’s for one reason or another.
It’s also mentioned in the changelog that Candywriter has overhauled the game’s dating app, and as far as we can see, that means the algorithm tends to look at a Bitizen’s Smarts and Looks when choosing potential partners. No longer will your beauty-and-brains Bitizen get paired with an unattractive, unintelligent potential partner – you can be more confident in using the dating app feature and finding a partner that could give you the best chances of producing promising offspring. This all would come with an in-game fee, of course, as you’ll need to pay $100 each time you use the dating app and run a search for a potential mate.
And just as usual, you’ll see all the pertinent information you need to know – the person’s name, age, occupation, and Looks, Smarts, Money, and Craziness stats, thus allowing you to make the most informed decision when using this virtual equivalent of Tinder (or any other dating app).