Definitely no stranger to dual-stick shooters, Chillingo is back with their latest one called Mafia Rush [Free], a (duh) gangster-themed addition to the action-oriented genre. While Mafia Rush doesn’t offer much in terms of innovative or unique gameplay, it still gets the job done and is free to check out.

As a dual-stick shooter, Mafia Rush’s gameplay is relatively simplistic. Missions are divided into four different scenarios: Robbery (grab sacks of money and take them to a getaway vehicle), Defend (protect said vehicle full of cash from baddies), Attack (find packs of C4 and bomb an armored cash car) and Survival (survive waves of enemies gunning for you). Missions only last several minutes each, with each completed mission earning you an 'Ace.' Collect enough aces and you unlock additional locales.

Players also earn money and experience with each level completion. The money can be used to buy new guns, ammo, and supplemental defenses like automated turrets and grenades. Weapons range from shotguns to flame throwers and actually add a bit of fun to the gameplay. Experience, meanwhile, is accumulated towards a leveling system which lets you increase attributes such as agility (shoot your gun faster) to Speed (move faster). Again, the attribute system is pretty simplistic, but at least offers some depth to the gameplay.

The 'simplistic' theme continues with the visuals, which are colorful blocky graphics that resemble Minigore [$0.99 / HD] or Cowboy Guns [$0.99 / HD], another more recent Chilingo dual stick shooter. I had no problem with the visuals, and I particularly liked the smooth frame rate. The same goes for the controls, which are standard DSS controls that just work without trying to be too inventive. One complaint I had involved random crashes I experienced while playing the game. It wasn’t prevalent, but crashes are never a good thing to deal with.

I also appreciated the fact that despite its status as a free game, Mafia Rush doesn’t throw IAP in your face. Yes, you can purchase cash as IAP, but it is not necessary in order to succeed. You earn plenty of cash during missions (which you can replay as much as you want), and all levels can be completed with the stock weapons if you have enough skill. It’s a refreshing change of pace to see a free game that isn’t trying to paywall the player in some fashion.

Despite the different missions mentioned above, Mafia Rush just doesn’t have much in terms of gameplay variety. Enemies are all classified into four different archetypes, with palette swaps differentiating between stronger enemies in later levels. There’s also very little in terms of progression: later levels simply throw more enemies and more of the same objectives at the player without anything new added to the mix.

In this sense, I can’t help but think that they missed out on possibly weaving an interesting narrative around the mafia/gangster motif. There’re not a lot of good, original iOS games that delve into such themes, and it would have been interesting to have any kind of story mode. At the very least it would have expanded on the replayability (which is pretty short).

If Mafia Rush sounds a little basic, that’s because it is. However, it’s still a solid dual stick shooter that’s currently being offered for free. At that price, it’s certainly an offer you shouldn’t refuse, at least for fans of dual stick shooters.

TouchArcade Rating

  • iphone

    really nice game i play this soo many times ..

  • karma32

    And it's really short.  Really short.  Free, but overall it's average, mediocre compared to the rest of the games of this genre that is available.  One word I would use to describe it is "dull"  or maybe "forgettable"  - 3 stars is a little generous imo

  • 亂gad - randgad

    Karma32, this is at least less dull than gun bros, right?

Mafia Rush™ Reviewed by Eric Ford on . Rating: 3