Hands on with Goodfellas

You wanna pizza me?

Hands on with Goodfellas
| Goodfellas

When it comes to gangster movies, the Don is undoubtedly Goodfellas. Well, alongside the first two Godfather movies. And Scarface. And Bugsy Malone, of course – you can't argue with custard-guns.

But anyway, you get the point: Goodfellas is legendary. And now it's making its way to mobile, courtesy of publisher I-play and developer Big Blue Bubble.

The good news is they're striving to produce something more than just the same old gangster action-adventure.

"We wanted to capture the essence of the movie and present it to the player in a new way," says I-play producer Jon Kromrey. "While the goal is the same – you aspire to be a mobster and rise up through the ranks of the Mafioso to become the Boss – there's also more to being a mobster than just hijacking goods or extorting money."

The game puts you alongside characters from Goodfellas, including Paulie, Tommy and Jimmy. Kromrey describes it as "a criminal mastermind game" with a distinctly strategic bent – you have to decide which jobs will get you the most money, which henchmen are most loyal for specific tasks, who to lend money too and even which horse to bet on.

"You manage your day-to-day mob contacts and assignments from a mob-owned bar, and if you have enough money, play a weekly game of poker with Paulie, Tommy and Jimmy," says Kromrey. "As you gain respect and wealth with each job and poker game, the mobsters' respect levels increase, as does the atmosphere of the bar, the people inside, and the calibre of the heists and mob-jobs."

Gaining respect is crucial – you get promoted for it. However, as you'd expect from a gangster game, there's also the risk of getting thrown in the slammer or, at worst, chucked into a river with a pair of concrete boots.

The poker elements are an interesting addition, both within the main game and as a standalone poker mode from the main menu. What's the thinking behind that? Kromrey says that several of the more memorable scenes in the movie revolve around poker, so it seemed important to include it.

"We've also added the mobster smart-talking, jokes, hints on upcoming jobs that can make you rich, and even the possibility to cheat against your fellow mobsters," says Kromrey. "Players who cheat in poker can not only choose from the cards they want to cheat with, but also select the suit."

Kromrey says the thing he's most proud of is how the game captures the feeling of the movie. Goodfellas fans are a tough audience, so we're looking forward to seeing if I-play have succeeded.

Click 'Track It!' to be sent a horse's head when we review the game. Or just an email, whichever.

Stuart Dredge
Stuart Dredge
Stuart is a freelance journalist and blogger who's been getting paid to write stuff since 1998. In that time, he's focused on topics ranging from Sega's Dreamcast console to robots. That's what you call versatility. (Or a short attention span.)