This is a freemium game review, in which we give our impressions immediately after booting a game up, again after three days, and finally after seven days. That's what the strange sub-headings are all about. Click here to jump to day three.
I really dislike it when organised crime is represented as a happy, jovial, super-fun thing to be a part of. Because here are five facts about actual organised crime:
1. It involves criminals.
2. These criminals terrorise local communities to get what they want.
3. Many of them sell drugs.
4. They lend money at uncompetitive rates of interest.
5. The Mafia is not an equal opportunities employer.
Video games have a history of ignoring this and looking at the bright side of it all: the family pride, the unity, the power, and the romantic ideal of loveable rogues in a simpler time.
Pocket Mobsters is one such game, and one that adds a pixel-art twist at the same time. I'll be playing it for the next week, and I'd like to offer you the opportunity to come along with me.
I hope you don't refuse.
Yowzers, this is a game with some performance issues.
I'm really liking the pixel-art style of the mobsters and the world around them, which is based on my physical location in the real world, but if the price for this is multiple loading screens and an engine that drops frames here and there, then I'd rather have something less ambitious.
I also quite liked the music to start with, until I realised how frequently the same song was looping during my time in the main City screen.
You'd hope the gameplay would make up for the repetitious music and lacklustre visuals, but, as far as I can tell, it doesn't.
There are turn-based battles with rival mobs, and these are very simple. You tap a gang member in your squad to bring him onto the screen and perform an attack, and the goal is to win the fight before you run out of health.
You can also shake down local business owners for money in a mini-game that asks you to tap and hold onto them until a police officer gets close, at which point you let go. Again, hardly thrilling.
I'm hoping things get a little more interesting over the next few days, because what I've seen so far hasn't grabbed me.
Things haven't got much better in Pocket Mobsters. It's still shallow and slow.
I've continued to provide beatdowns to the local thugs, shake down store owners, and recruit stronger members into my gang. But that's all I've been doing, because there's very little else to do.
Every so often the game informs me that I've executed a combo, but I've no idea how I pulled it off in the first place, which sort of undermines the possibility of tactical depth in the battling.
After slugging it out with rival hoodlums and clearing an area, I get a bonus. I'm then told I have to do it all again to continue building experience. I keep repeating this process until I run out of Strength, at which point I have to wait until I can take part in more fights or eat food.
The only truly new thing that I've experienced in the last few days is the game crashing to the home screen.How are you getting on with the game? You can tell us and the rest of the PG community about your experiences by leaving a comment in the box below.