Addicted to Mafia Wars on Facebook

Mafia Wars

If you’re looking for Mafia Wars strategy tips, check out my other post here.

I hate Facebook and I swore I’d never join. But once I did join about 18 months ago, the reasons why I didn’t want to join in the first place were confirmed: status updates (which basically all say “pay attention to me!”) and being hounded by people I wasn’t friends with the first time around. I know, I know. I’m not the first one to bitch about it.

So why the hell am I still on Facebook?

Obviously, if you found this post, then you know why. Mafia Wars.

Mafia Wars is another highly addictive online RPG by Zynga, creators of tons of Facebook games like Street Racing, Scramble and too many to mention here. And, thanks to Facebook (sigh) there’s a huge player base with over 10 million people playing. The principle is simple: create a mafia dude and make him better by fighting other mafia dudes, mafias, and doing various jobs to earn cash so you can buy weapons and property.  Like any RPG, each subsequent level gets tougher and you need more experience to advance which means you need more weapons, more property, more money, more everything. It’s an endless cycle really, and in the end, highly predictable in the sense that once you’ve done 1 level, you’ve done them all.


Because Mafia Wars is really well put together. There’s no real storyline, just you doing the same jobs that everyone else is doing. As you get better, you reach higher tiers and get rewarded with special weapons and loot. You begin as a lowly Street Thug and make your way up the ranks, towards the Boss levels. The game is ever evolving, so you just have to keep playing to see where it goes.

There’s just something pleasing about the game that keeps me coming back for more. It might be the stats. I like stats. Stats make me giddy. You can watch your stats grow as you rise up the ranks in your own mafia. There’s also a global leaderboard, so you can get an idea just how long you’ll be playing this thing (level 1057 anyone?), if the addiction holds. So far I’m a Level 56 Hitman and I still can’t get enough.

A few things that I really appreciate about Mafia Wars:

1. Players are not searchable. This removes a certain level of harassment from the game, so most people can play for fun.

2. Mostly fair fighting and robbing: You can only fight other players who are reasonably close to your level of experience (under normal circumstances). That way a Level 217 can’t attack a Level 3. Unless you’re on the Hitlist.

3. Limited animation. With text and static images, the game play is faster (fine, the revolver lags at times). The images of weaponry and loot are slick and pleasing to the eye. Personally, I think overt animation would detract from the game itself, so kudos to Zynga for keeping it simple.

4. No chat feature. Need i say more?  After all, you’re whacking other players, who will no doubt get pissed when you fight them and win. Better to let the gun do the talking.

With these great features, and others, there are less ways for people to cheat, so most players can just play and enjoy. Plus, you can now play Mafia wars on the iPhone as well. The iPhone version of Mafia wars will import your mafia from the Facebook version, but your gangster will have to start from the beginning since your Facebook mafia stats are not imported.

That’s it. Time to fight some more, punk!

P.S. I still hate you, Facebook!

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