This Ain't No Train Game
City of Gangsters is a management tycoon game that is very similar in nature to the Railroad Tycoon games of old. Many of us played Railroad Tycoon for hours on end. I know I did anyway, and I had loads of fun building up my little railway until it was the envy of all others. The same goes for City of Gangsters as far as the potential fun factor is concerned. In Railroad Tycoon we watched our little trains go from station to station loading and unloading cargo and our goal was to make money so we could stay in business. City of Gangsters is very similar in design and game play. The game, developed by SomaSim and published by Kasedo Games, takes place not in a sandbox environment of a nation filled with tracks as was the case of Railroad Tycoon, but in a city with the player having the choice of Chicago, Detroit or Pittsburgh as their location for a criminal booze selling enterprise.
Don't Get Taken for A Ride
The game starts out allowing gamers to the create their avatar in the player character creator. However, before we get into that we should talk about the tutorial. City of Gangsters is an extremely detailed game and it would behoove you to play the tutorial through to the end. The detailed nature of the game requires players to have more than just a simple understanding of key controls and basic game principles. The tutorial is quite comprehensive, and it will let gamers know what they need to know when first starting out. The learning curve can be considered to be rather steep because, as there is a lot to learn beyond basic game play. Other than some drop down menus that show financial information and resource locations from previously visited establishments everything is pretty much trial and error after the tutorial. In my first playthrough, I figured I would just jump in and either sink or swim. Needless to say, I was shortly swimming with the fishes, as there is a whole lot involved when attempting to run a criminal organization during prohibition in 1920’s America. There are some parts of the game that the tutorial doesn't cover but there is an included atlas which might help a bit.
The boss can get bumped off by A neighbor!
Character creation is easy. You can use the initial ready-made character or randomize a new one. When customizing, players have the choice of being either male or female and there are different mug shot pictures to choose from. Players then select a nationality, and this will determine how your character will get along with other city dwellers involved in both legitimate and criminal endeavors. As in real life there are various city neighborhoods that consist of bosses and people with nationalities, such as Italian, Irish, German, Polish or American among others and they pretty much only deal with people from their own country of origin. You can deal with other nationalities, but it will be more difficult. The last part of character creation is to pick the person’s name. You can type in a custom name or use the computer generated one which is nice because it corresponds with the persons nationality. Pick the two personality traits, which really aren't explained very well, and you are ready to start your life of crime!
Don't get nailed by the Fuzz
The gist of City of Gangsters is to start from the bottom and work your way up to being the boss of a criminal organization that rules the city. You have about twelve game years to accomplish your task with each turn taking 7 days. The boss needs to be a person that can deal with others, if they can't do that, then their career in this world of crime will be very short lived. Good relations with people gets the job done, while bad relations can get the boss killed or thrown in jail (where the game either ends) or all belongings in the vehicle is lost. You can try to be a friend or a thug that will resort to leg breaking but be careful because that's what the boss's reputation is built on. Reputation based on how you deal with people is very important. Having people that hate you will cause them to try to damage your territory. Even dealing with the police is important because having the local beat cop and his captain in your back pocket can serve to keep some of the heat off. Pay the cops their hush money and you might be let off the hook if caught doing something Illegal! All booze running criminal gangs need people to fill the various jobs in the organization and knowing a lot of people that know other people is the only way to expand your criminal network.
The Coppers Are Coming
Folks, City of Gangsters is a very well thought out and developed game. It's very detailed and quite comprehensive and to the point that most everything you could think of when thinking about booze running crooks is there. The developers definitely did the work and research necessary to show what prohibition was like back in the 1920s. Throw in a good measure of fun along with your bottle of moon shine and you will have hours of fun, just like I did some twenty-odd years ago with the Railroad Tycoon games that I loved so much. Don't drink too much of that white lightning because the cops could be pounding on your door next. Just make sure they are on the take like the cops in City of Gangsters are and you should be OK!
Bonus Points...Some terms of the Prohibition era used in this article
Taken for A Ride – Driven off to eliminate someone
Bumped Off – Eliminated or killed
Nailed - Arrested by the cops
Fuzz - Cops or police
Coppers - Police
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Very well developed and realistic 1920s prohibition simulation. An excellent depiction of what it might have been like to be a criminal during the period.
After the tutorial is over, game detail can make things be a bit difficult to find out. I guess that's what trial and error and restarting is for.