Let us tell you about the best two week addiction we’ve ever had. It’s called Turf Wars and it’s a crime game that uses Google Maps to let you lay claim to real-world turf, based on where you’re physically located. Want to take over your neighborhood, or be slumlord of your college campus? Now you can, and everyone else playing the game will know it. It’s one of the first in a new genre of games some are calling “augmented reality”.
Not only is it a great game concept, but it’s got low-down crime-themed RPG gameplay. Everything is upgradable, from your turfs to the crimes you commit, and the game’s sense of progress is highly addictive. You’ll want to progress through the levels and earn more influence, increase the size of your gang, unlock new weapons and crimes to commit, and most of all, take over more of your city.
The problems start building when you run into other gangsters. Turf Wars plays like how we assume selling drugs in a real city works. You get too big and the real Mafia’s gonna put you on ice and take your turf, capiche?
Take our experience, for example. When we started playing Turf Wars in November, we had the entire Upper West Side of Manhattan to ourselves. It was like the Gold Rush. We were playing 10 times a day in order to take over the entire neighborhood.
But little did we know that Gasface, the most powerful Turf Wars gangster in the world, was about 20 blocks away, slowly gobbling up every piece of turf he could find. In the cutthroat world of Turf Wars, that’s kind of a game over, since the higher the level, the more money they make, the more people they have in their gang, and the more AK-47s they can buy.
Something really needs to be done about balancing the Player vs. Player fights for turf. The battles are decided by a number of things, but really, when it comes down to it, the higher levels are going to win. And when they win, they’ll take your turf that you spent so much time creating, developing, and naming, and won’t even leave you a cannoli. What we found was that it’s just not that fun losing stuff that you’ve put so much time into creating, and there’s no motivation to try to get to the higher levels when you know that’s probably going to happen.
Turf Wars can be an awesome game, but your experience might be relative to where you live. You might be in a place that only has a few other players that you could eventually beat and become Capo of your city, which would be great. Or you may be located in a place with 20 Al Capones on your block, like we were. So put on your best Italian suit, grab your 9mm, and give it a try. Maybe you can take down Gasface.