Rejoice all you Al Capone and Bugsy Siegal wannabes, now you too have a chance to create your very own organized crime family. Just in time for the holidays comes Mob Rule from Studio 3 Interactive -- a cross between the Godfather and SimCity with huge chunks of humor thrown in. The game starts with you having to prove yourself to the crime boss, he sends you to a little burg called Hick Town with a small stash of money and a few men. The first town serves as a tutorial to get you comfortable with the commands and actions of the game. As you get more vicious you will go to tougher towns with tougher objectives. If all that doesn’t whet your criminal appetite then you have the option of playing with a few of your friends over the Internet to see who can wipe out the competition.
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
Mob Rule was very fun to play and review because of the game's great humor, gameplay and addictiveness. Right from the start you will get into your character and want to see him rise up in the crime family. I found myself trying not to let the Godfather down, making sure all objectives were met quickly. Mob Rule is really just an empire or Sim game with a roaring twenties and thirties Gangster theme, but that is what makes it so special. Where else can you bribe the cops, build peep shows, and hide bodies in a cemetery? Mob Rule takes some thinking in regards to what factories to build, what type of people to breed, and how much money to make. Parents should note that this game does have some sexual themes as well as violence but for the most part it is done with a heavy dose of humor.
The graphics fit the story and timeline of the game like a glove. Your gangsters are dressed up in their Guido Suits and the buildings have that twenties feel to them. Most of the game takes place on the scrolling 3D-overhead/side-view map and on the bottom right you will occasionally see animated movies of things taking place around town. I really enjoyed the graphics when they cut to the Godfather telling me about my next mission; boy, does he seem uptight. I laughed my butt off when the game cut to a scene of my character getting Cement Shoes. I saw this thug pushing a wheelbarrow down a pier, when he got to the end he dumped the wheelbarrow containing me and a tub of cement over into the water. The very next scene is my character at the bottom of the sea with about 10 other tubs of cement and dead guys.
When it comes to real-time strategy games the only thing I worry about pertaining to the audio is whether or not it is distracting. I’m happy to say that not once did I turn the music off in Mob Rule. I’m also happy to say that the characters have those classic Chicago accents and even use 1920’s slang. So, all in all the audio works very well throughout the entire game.
Win 95/98, Pentium 166 MHz or higher, 16MB RAM, 2MB PC graphics card, SoundBlaster or 100% compatible sound card with DirectX support, 4X CD-ROM, 50 MB hard drive space, & a network connection.
Studio 3 should be praised for the manual because it covers everything you need to know but does it quickly. The manual also follows the tutorial mission making it very easy to get into the game.
This is a no brainer. If you love sim games or empire builders then you will most definitely enjoy Mob Rule. For those of you who have a wicked sense of humor, and a desire to be criminal, you can’t go wrong with Mob Rule. So on that note, gentle reader, I will give Mob Rule a score of 88/100. Just remember that cement shoes don’t float.