Zynga’s notification on the release of Mafia Wars 2 arrived in my inbox yesterday. I right away thought that it meant at least a few hours of my time “productively” spent doing research for this post. Unfortunately, less than an hour into the game and I found myself quitting, even way before I spent all of my allotted energy.
The gameplay is nothing new with nothing to distinguish it from Cityville, Farmville, Sims Social, or any of the other (beginning to be) countless social games you can play on Facebook (and Google+), except that everything looks and is named differently, from items and buildings to tasks. That does not mean though that Mafia Wars 2 is any less engaging than the above mentioned games. On the contrary, I’m sure Mafia Wars fans will end up inviting lots of friends to help them finish tasks and get more energy in the next few weeks as they build up their turfs and engage in fights.
What I did like about Mafia Wars 2 is that the artwork is truly cool; in fact I think I spent more time just looking at the task/tutorial notifications appreciating the coloring and effects than playing the game itself. The boss wars and the multi-player arena also adds another dimension to the game, especially since you can ask your friends during the fight to help you beat up a stronger character.
All in all though, this game will appeal to the same crowd its predecessor drew, and won’t grab the interest of those who’d rather not have the social aspect of gaming. Of course, you can always pay Zynga to get more energy and required items without waiting or adding friends.