Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mafia Wars - an overview

I was one of the reluctant Facebook users who didn't really find very much of interest to do there - that is, until one of my Facebook friends conned me into joining his mafia.

Mafia Wars is the most popular game on Facebook and it starts you off as a small time hood who works his way up through hard work and a show of guts and strength. Inviting your friends to join your mafia increases your likelihood of surviving and winning fights. Buying the right weapons for your mafia members is also important. It's not impossible to fend off a larger mafia if your weapons and defense are superior.

You make money and work your way up by doing "jobs". Each job requires a certain amount of "energy" points and yields a certain amount of experience points. Acquiring experience points helps you achieve new levels. Some jobs are also "loot drops" where you can acquire valuable items needed for collections and weapons that you can use to do more advanced jobs. Money you earn can be kept or stored in the bank. Putting the money in the bank will cost you a laundering fee, but carrying it around leaves you vulnerable to attack and robbery. Buying properties will help you gain an hourly income but beware, the properties can also be robbed so buy insurance on them.

When you reach level 35 you can leave New York and fly to Cuba to set up a new operation there. Mafia Wars is adding new vistas for crime in Russia and Western US.

I reached level 166 before I started to tire of MW. It doesn't take a lot of time and it's exciting to build up your mafia. I still keep leveling up by playing a few times a week, but Facebook led me into another obsession. More on that later.