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Ever want to become the Don of your own mafia gang? For anyone who’s a fan of gangster movies, that is the dream… Minus the mutiny and the dying. But Mafia Planet allows you to live out your gangster days in an LBS turn-based style game. I had the chance to play the game a little bit before launch and continue to reign supreme in my “Hood.” Mind you, although I was using this app on my iPad (blown up), it’s really meant for an iPhone or iPod Touch. Let’s take a look.
It’s very quite simple, you want to become the Don; The Head; The Big Head; The Leader. However, in order for that to happen, you need to rise above others. When you’re walking or driving around in real life, your character in the game follows you. It’s using Google Maps. You’ll see real public parks appear in the game, even hospitals and other notable landmarks. If you tap on these locations, you can finish a task like Haraass Law Enforcement or Hide Stolen Goods. You’ll also see other mafioso members walking around. Sure you can fight them but remember if they’re stronger than you in XP, you’ll lose. Each time you fight, if you win, you gain more money (always good) and more XP. Once you get enough money, you can buy yourself more weapons like brass knuckles, guns or bats. You can even buy protection like a trash can, hard hat or a sweater. Yes… A sweater. But before you go on a shopping spree, remember the money you earn, make or steal can go towards building your empire. You can buy property like bars, cafes, defense towers and night clubs. The larger your hood is, the more buildings you’ll want to make more money. You must keep that money flowing at all times. Another way to make money is fighting other players.
While it’s not real time, fighting other players is similar to fighting the bots that roam your Hood. If you’re experienced, you’ll probably win and take some of their money. Or if you so choose, you can add them as a friend and possibly your posse. When you click on Fight, you’ll be taken to a map of the world where you’ll see other players. If they’ve linked Facebook, you’ll see their photo and their mafia name. Remember, this is Mafia Planet, the world is yours. You can build a Hood anywhere if you wanted.
The game reminds me of Empires & Allies. It does this only because of the amount of time spent managing and maintaining my Hood. In E&A, I was constantly checking on who’s invading me or if my crops were ready to be reaped. In Mafia Planet, I’m making sure no one is robbing me and rent is payed out on time so I can make more dough. Also, the onscreen controls are similar. On the top, you see your Money, Extra Gold, Energy, Stamina, Health and XP. The more you fight the more XP and money you earn, but your health and energy will drain. If this happens, you just have to wait until you’ve rested enough. On the right side, you see your Family Armory, Shop, Menu, Hood, Fight and Jobs. Tapping on Hood will always bring you back home, no matter where you are.
This is a fun game. It takes a lot of time once you really get into it but like any turn based game, you get out what you put into it. The use of Google Maps and LBS really brings the out realism of Mafia Planet; you really feel like you’re there. The animation is funny and brings sense of humor to the game. And finally, the price tag is unbeatable. The game is free in the iTunes App Store. Yes, there’s in-game purchasing available but it’s not required. If you’re into social games, you’ve got to try this one out.