Big Time Gangsta iPad Review
Show your colors and represent with Big Time Gangsta, Glu's over the top strategy game that'll have you bustin' caps and squeezing your virtual hood for all its worth. Although it involves some controversial subject matter, this freemium effort will keep you hooked for weeks, thanks to brutal shootouts, a variety of missions and upgrades. Just make sure you don't become another statistic.
Here's how it works. After leaving prison (where you were likely incarcerated for gang banging activities), you return home to take over the city of Mission Hill block by block, forcing its residents to show you the money or face the consequences
You'll do this by recruiting up to seven gangsters and outfitting them with different pistols and automatic rifles. From there, you scan the area and tap buildings to collect cash and teach some punks a lesson they'll never forget.
That said, success heavily depends on the type of heat your thugs pack, their overall stats and equipped items, like health packs and varying levels of damage. From there, it's all about micromanaging your crew. Sending them on missions renders them unusable for a specific period (be it five minutes or an hour); it's best to just quit the game and come back to it later.
This is without question one of the coolest things about the App, as the gangsters do your dirty work regardless of whether you play or not. It gives the illusion of presiding over a team of killers.
Shootouts, on the other hand, require your immediate attention. Here, the game transitions to an "on the street" view, where your crew opens fire on one or more rivals. It's a turn-based system and you don't control the characters directly, so expect to see a lot of missed shots; at the very least, you can tap enemies to make your dudes shoot faster.
On that note, becoming the ultimate gangster means having the best men and equipment for the job, and that won't happen unless you have a ton of cash and credit to make purchases and upgrades. You can earn things the hard way, grinding it out over the course of several weeks, or you can fork over some real world dough. Spending $49.99 for $400,000 virtual bucks seems a bit steep, but $1.99 for $10,000 won't break the bank, especially since it costs nothing to download the App.
Whether or not you'll agree with the game's controversial themes, however, remains to be seen. Bottom line, it shamelessly glorifies gang violence to an embarrassing degree, with stereotypical dialogue and music that's bound to offend someone. On the flipside, games like Saints Row and Mafia Wars also exist, so you should be fine, so long as you don't take things too seriously.
Besides, you'll be too busy shaking down lowlifes and putting them in body bags to care. Big Time Gangsta may be a bit culturally insensitive, but it's still a surprisingly addictive App full of blood, guns and drugs. You know, exactly the type of experience the iPhone and iPad were made for.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later.
What's Hot: Taking over the neighborhood, micromanaging a team of thugs, watching fools die in a rain of gunfire, the cheesy music and dialogue, the fact that it's free and universal.
What's Not: Glorifies gang violence, takes a while to earn the best guns and equipment.