Developer: Aftershock Innovations LLC
Price: free Download on the App Store
Mafia Live - Mafia games have become all the rage nowadays. They populate social networking platforms sporting millions of active users all over the country. Aftershock Innovations has taken it upon themselves to recreate the magic for iPhone so you follow through on the application’s tag line to “build your family” and take over the world.
To define the experience you’ll see in Mafia Live, you start out as a low level associate in the Mafia world as a nobody. You have to do jobs to earn money, experience, and the means to level up your character’s attributes and capabilities. Upon leveling up, more options open up to buy property, advanced weapons and armor, and vehicles that are representative of your stature.
Besides acquiring stats and material goods in Mafia Live, you also fight other aspiring criminals like yourself to gain experience and steal their money and goods. The last component is recruiting other people to join your “family” (via numerical codes, or email invites) to consolidate power and run your operation from a position of strength. More details on this type of game can be found here.
This whole system is founded in the tradition of turn-based RPGS. The staple of that type of game is that actions are not executed in real-time, but rather, actions are determined by selecting an option with the result being based on statistical values. In Mafia Live you have the capacity to level up your character’s base statistics and attributes (e.g. health, experience, etc.), and acquiring weapons and land properties (which also have statistical values) are equally important as well. Any action is executed by the push of a button, and results are sent immediately based on the statistical number munching the application does. That being said, you don’t operate throughout the game blindly. Before attacking anyone else, you have options to research and scout targets before you make your push.
Mafia Live provides an interface that is light on the frustration and heavy on efficiency. There are four main sections — My Hood (Home screen), Jobs (Gain experience), Fight (Attack rivals), Recruit (Send invites) — to wade through. Generously sized buttons and legible fonts makes it easy to identify and select the options that are of interest. In terms of aesthetics, Mafia Live will not win any awards for its design layer. Though I understand that these types of applications function as a utility above all else, there are some obvious areas of opportunity to spruce up the visuals.
A network or Wi-Fi connection is required to play Mafia Live based on the fact you’re constantly fighting or collaborating with a whole world of virtual mobsters. It’s important to note that there is some variation in performance. On a Wi-Fi connection, Mafia Live delivers excellent results. Fighting enemies or doing jobs usually happen within a second. On an EDGE or 3G connection, the application isn’t so swift. It isn’t particularly game-breaking, but expect 2-3 seconds for results from doing any action when a Wi-Fi connection is not available.
At the end of the day, Mafia Live does exactly what is needs to do. While I wish it had a little more “umph” visually, I whole heartedly recommend Mafia Live for anyone that loves this type of perpetual crime game.