How hard do you have to try to look completely out of touch? Glu seems especially confused in their new freemium game Big Time Gangsta, which features early 1990s gangster stereotypes from around the time of Menace 2 Society. Even worse, the gameplay feels just as old.
As a freemium game, you can download Big Time Gangsta and start playing for free, but unlike the action-packed Gun Bros and Contract Killer, this game feels heavy and leaden. You control a group of thugs who take over a run-down neighborhood building by building. You do this by equipping your thugs with weapons and facing down computer-controlled rival gangs.
Thugs, weapons, and special items like health packs all cost virtual cash or “cred”, the premium currency, and you can be sure that both are in short supply unless you pay real money for them. Instead of running out of a daily supply of energy like in Contract Killer, you can make as many moves as you like, provided your gangsters don’t get shot taking over new turf.
Flashing a gat.
Combat works like this: You move your crew into a new neighborhood, and the game will switch to a street-level view with your gangsters on one side and your rivals on the other. You then have to tap quickly on the enemies to help your gangsters shoot faster. If your gang is stronger, you’ll wipe out your rivals and take over their building, which means you can return to collect protection money from it every hour or so.
The problem is that while these street battles look pretty good, the gameplay is just wack. Tapping furiously doesn’t feel like fighting, especially when you automatically miss a lot of the time. By comparison, the action in games like Gun Bros and Contract Killer is much more precise, so we quickly found ourselves bored by Big Time Gangsta’s gun battles.
The rest of the game is all about waiting, or forking over more dough for cred. If you’re not fighting, all you’re doing is either collecting payments, spending money on new gear, or sending your thugs on timed missions. These timed missions require you to stare at a countdown clock, or turn off the app and do something else.
While this makes Big Time Gangsta a decent game to check in on a few times every day, it’s not fun to play for extended periods. Plus, the game will probably crash on you if you try to play it for more than a few minutes, especially on an iPad.
The graphics are stylish, but the writing in this game is embarrassingly awful, and you probably won’t care about any of missions. Big Time Gangsta is an unintentionally goofy game where waiting and spending money are featured more than original gameplay. Unless you’re looking to waste some time, steer clear of these streets.