Game of the Month, August 2009: Gangstar

This was a long, hot summer month, but we had some very cool games to keep us occupied. Indie titles like Spider and Alive-4-Ever blew us away with their originality and quality. Wolfenstein RPG is one of the best games of the month, as well. They all deserve a big shout-out. If you haven’t played those games yet, we say, go buy them.

But our top prize, Game of the Month, goes to the most expansive, polished crime-spree adventure we’ve played on the iPhone: Gameloft’s Gangstar: West Coast Hustle.

In Gangstar, you take control of a Mexican gangbanger who takes a few odd jobs around Los Angeles. These consist of street racing, drive-bys, and assisting with the drug and sex trades. If you’ve played Grand Theft Auto 3, you know what to expect: A free-roaming mission structure, the ability to jack anything with wheels, and more casual, wanton violence than you can shake a gat at.

Gangstar may not be perfect– it’s very easy for experienced GTA players, and the gangbanger slang can feel a little forced, but this is among the closest we’ve come to a deep console experience on the iPhone.

Our runner-up for Game of the Month is Gomi, from Bovinedragon. You play as a rotund ball of goo that absorbs anything it runs over. An eco-catastrophe has decimated his galaxy, and you must swallow every toxic waste barrel or chainsaw-wielding logger in your path. A stellar soundtrack, loads of minigames, and highly creative bosses and environments really amazed us in this game.

Both Gangstar and Gomi are Must Have games. They both have a lot of depth, and we’re happy to grant them Slide to Play’s highest honors. Congratulations to Gameloft and Bovinedragon!

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