Android location-based game Life Is Crime launches at PAX

Moving targets

Android location-based game Life Is Crime launches at PAX
| Life Is Crime

Location-based multiplayer games are slowing cropping up on the iPhone, but the Android is still light in the category. Red Robot’s Life Is Crime is hoping to add some flavor to the growing genre. The game will support several cities, including Seattle for this weekend’s PAX expo.

The free-to-play MMORPG pits you against fellow criminals looking to get the biggest score – not as in points, but criminal activity. You can rob people and pull off minor drug deals, but running up the ranks eventually gets you bigger opportunities to rob actual banks and pull off serious contraband sales.

The big twist is that the location-based world not only maps on top of your current city, but the crimes are happing at real places in your city. If you're walking past your local bank, chances are you will see it registered in the game. Rob it if you like.

Checking in

Red Robot uses a FourSquare-inspired game engine that allows it to categorise city data. Life Is Crime supports nearly any city, but Red Robot will be curating the data for specific cities over time with special missions and data. Seattle is the big launch this weekend, but New York, Los Angeles, and other cities are expected shortly.

The turn-based combat is plentiful, with hundreds of weapons from guns to knives. Social interaction is a focus here, with Life Is Crime using leaderboards, native Twitter and Facebook messaging, and an in-game newsfeed to keep gamers competitive. It will probably expand even more when Life Is Crime launches on the iPhone early this fall.

The free-to-play Life Is Crime is available now on the Android Market.