A good game is a lot like a delicious pizza. In a pizza, you have two important parts: the topping and the dough. With bad toppings it’s tasteless, and without a good dough you could end up with a heap of cheese and sausage in your lap. Original Gangstaz is like cheese in your lap. To say it another way, this freemium game shows us why too much content with a poor presentation could have you leaving the table hungry.
Original Gangstaz is, clearly, a street-gang inspired game, full of drive-by shootings, shady business, and cheap grills. It’s also a freemium game, trying to move in on the territory of such amazing games like Tiny Tower or We Rule. In this game, you run a gang of nameless thugs, with the freemium objective of gaining the most money and having the strongest army.
At the start of the game, you are given several options. You must give the street on which your gang lives a name. You must also choose a gang color (red or blue), and a gang side (east, west, north, or south). We can only assume these options determine which other players you interact with, because it is never explained. Following the initial setup, you are sent off to the main menu.
OGs in tha house.
The game’s main menu gives you several options. You can manage the gang’s money by completing jobs. You can trick out the gang’s weaponry by spending money on new butterfly knives and shotguns. You can even invite other players into your gang to grow. While all of this sounds fun, the game doesn’t introduce you to any of these multifaceted elements. Instead, you’re abandoned in the endless maze of the main menu, with only the text-heavy help menu to guide you.
At this point in the game, you have two options. You can ‘simply try to figure it out,’ working your way through each menu and learning as you go, or you can spend the better part of an hour sorting through the help menu. Even after we began to understand the mechanics of Original Gangstaz, we still feel like we haven’t fully grasped the appeal of this game. There are several goals to chase here, but there seems to be little reward. The game’s boring menu system lacks excitement, so when you do win a couple grand on a lotto ticket, the tidy sum is just filed away and you’re left underwhelmed.
Original Gangstaz will appeal to a certain crowd with its hip-hop mafia style, but there are better freemium games available for your dollars, if you choose to spend them. Unless you prefer flat, text-based menus and extensive reading, look elsewhere.