Don’t be fooled by the name, Gangster Rocco is a great game for kids! Gangster Rocco, created by iPhonky, is a game app that works on both iPhone and iPod Touch. The lead character Gangster Rocco is a hungry mouse who’s got his heart and stomach set on eating as much cheese as possible. There’s only one problem. The cheese happens to be on enemy turf! Enemy cats and mousetraps would like nothing more than to stop Rocco in his tracks. It’s your job to avoid them while collecting as much yellow and red cheese as possible!
So what’s the game-play like? Well, Gangster Rocco is somewhat similar to Frogger in that you’re in a street and the object of the game is to avoid running into things. In this case, instead of cars it’s cats and mousetraps. Gangster Rocco roams the streets armed with his gun, determined to gather up his cheese. There to ensure that he doesn’t are well placed, point devouring mouse traps, and well armed angry cats with their sights set on stopping Rocco. It’s your job to safely navigate Rocco around the Cats and mousetraps while collecting cheese.
There are 5 levels in the game. Each time you advance to a new level the difficulty increases. Cat’s come at you faster and in greater number and frequency. Cheese is placed in harder to reach locations, often lined up in the same path as a cat. The game moves fast, but points come few and far between. To be successful at this game it requires patience.
While playing Gangster Rocco we definitely found ourselves sufficiently challenged. We made it as far as level 4 once, but for the most part we got as far as level 2 before our feline enemies got the best of us! Overall we felt that this app is best suited for children rather than adults. Aside from the obvious fact that the game is very cartoon-like. The overall game concept and game-play favors kids. Although the name and images of characters holding guns make you initially think of violence, the game isn’t violent at all. Yes, every character in the game carries a gun, but none actually shoot them. In this game you lose lives by repeatedly running into cats and mousetraps. To avoid damage you must move Gangster Rocco from side-to-side by tilting your iPhone or iPod Touch left or right. It’s a simple enough motion that even a young child can figure it out and enjoy it. Don’t get me wrong, Gangster Rocco is a formidable challenge for any adult, however there are a few aspects of the game that we think many adults may consider too simplistic.
So, what do we think would make Gangster Rocco better? We’ll, for starters we’d update the special effects and game-play. At it stands today when you gather cheese, a brief coin-like image appears that shows you how many points you earned (yellow cheese is worth 20 pts, red cheese is worth 50 pts), but it doesn’t trigger any sound effects, which as a result, make it seem rather insignificant. Gathering cheese in this game is tough, especially when you hit levels 3 and above, so why not congratulate the user with a rewarding sound?
Along those same lines, when you run into a mousetrap or a cat an image resembling an impact is displayed, but there is no representative sound. The game just kind of ho-humbly keeps puttering along. You lose a life when you run into a cat, so at a minimum there should be an impact sound and/or lose a turn sound when it happens. Additionally, expanding on the overall sound effects would really make a big difference. Currently none of the characters make any unique sounds. If Rocco and his enemies occasionally said something, laughed, made a gesture, anything along those lines it’d be a big plus. Also, if when you advance to another level a congratulatory sound chimed or a new song played it’d help a lot. Currently just a message box is displayed. Little updates like these would definitely enhance Gangster Rocco’s game-play experience.
All that being said, Gangster Rocco definitely has its own appeal. It’s both easy to understand and challenging to play, which is a welcome combination. We didn’t experience a single bug during testing; another big plus! Kids will undoubtedly enjoy it’s cartoon-like look, feel, and game-play, while adults will find themselves struggling to advance deep in the game. Making it past level 3 in this game is no joke! Successfully completing all 5 levels would be a SERIOUS accomplishment! My hat would go off to anyone that does it! In summary, if you’ve been looking for a new game for your kids, or are the type that’s looking for a big-time challenge and prefer a more simplistic style of game-play, then at only $0.99, you might want to try out Gangster Rocco!
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