While there is very little interaction with driving per se, Crime City is still one of my favorite browser games because it is very similar to Grand Theft Auto, but in an isometric view and with campy, cartoonish graphics.
The controls are very easy, there are tons of social options of course, and the game has a depth and complexity that is quickly becoming the standard for casual games.
We played crime city as a free(mium) Chrome app, but there are versions for iPhone, Android and Facebook.
As I have mentioned before, I have a laptop that is a bit underpowered (at the time of this posting) and that can cause me a certain amount of grief as a dedicated gamer. Many games, even older ones, just won’t play on my system, usually due to the lack of a dedicated graphics card.
However, aside from all those issues, Chrome extension apps almost always work just fine on it, so I have been looking into these kinds of ‘casual games’ a lot more recently. One of the best that I have come across so far is Crime City.
Crime City can be described, although it is perhaps an oversimplification, as a GTA clone with 2D flash graphics. That gives one the sense that there is much violence and crime in the game (what do you expect with a title like that?) and while that is true, there is a surprising amount of complexity to the game as well. On the surface, you’ve got a character that has the goal of taking over an entire city by any means necessary. Beneath that, however, is more in the way of strategy, resource building, and even social interaction with your friends if you can get them to play the game as well.
The first thing you’ll do in Crime City is to create your avatar, which is the cartoon representation of you as the player within the game world. There’s a surprising number of options to customize your avatar, including things like different hair styles, accessories like sunglasses and hats, as well as various different clothing choices. All of these options combined give you the chance to make a fairly uncommon, if not unique, appearance for your avatar, or ‘toon’ in the game world. Once you have completed that, you’ll be taken straight into the streets of Crime City, where your loyal mafia advisors will begin teaching you the basics of the game, with the overall aim of eventually controlling the entire city.
As you go through the first steps of learning to control your avatar and how to accomplish different goals in the game, you will have the chance to invite friends to play along with you, and even join your ‘mafia’ or circle of friends that play. If they do, they can give your avatar bonuses to combat and other actions. The combat itself in Crime City is pretty simple, and doesn’t offer much in the way of snazzy special effects, but what it does show is satisfying and makes sense visually. For example, if your current action is to vandalize a particular bar, your avatar will be shown with a baseball bat in his hands smashing at the building. Every interaction between your avatar and a building or another character in town will have a progress bar above it that will fill up according to how well your character can do the action requested. That means, of course, that the better your character is at something, the faster the bar fills and successful rewards are given, like weapons or money dropped from a car you robbed or a purse you snatched.
The character experience system is pretty basic, but it does allow you some leeway as far as how to develop your avatar. Each successful goal or action will give you a certain amount of points toward the next level and each level allows a certain amount of points to improve your character’s stats and abilities. This is pretty standard for any game with even mild RPG elements, so it will be familiar to most that play the game, and it is simplified enough that even folks who aren’t gamers can get into it easily. Additionally, each success you get can be shared with your friends that are playing the game as well, even if they are not playing at the same time as you.
The only downsides to the game that I found are the premium content, which is never a requirement but can give you a heck of an advantage. I know a lot of people turn their noses up at this kind of feature in a game and they may even argue that it isn’t a free game if there is premium content on offer. I disagree completely and I actually wholeheartedly approve of it because it allows people who want to support development of the game, or even just reward the developers of the game, with their hard earned money as a choice, not a requirement. This really isn’t any different from donation based freeware, to my way of thinking. The only other complaint I had about the game was that it didn’t have enough blood involved in the action, but I suppose since they are trying to appeal to a wider audience, that makes sense and I can accept it.
Overall, I enjoyed Crime City and I will most likely play it during my lunch breaks for at least a few weeks to come. Considering that the game costs nothing at all to play (although you do need a net connection for it) I would say that makes it worth every dime of my time. So go give Crime City a chance, and if you want to join my mafia, let me know and I will add you on the day of my daughter’s wedding. Until next time, my friends!