Urban Crime Review

By , on January 19, 2012

Urban Crime
  • Publisher: Gameloft
  • Genre: Action
  • Released: 12 Jan, 2012
  • Size: 469.5 MB
  • Price: FREE!
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5


  • Attempts to recreate the satire of GTA's radio stations.
  • Accessing missions via the minimap instead of having to travel to your destination is a nice touch.


  • You'll be fighting the controls the whole game, especially while driving.
  • The whole street thug storyline (or lack of one) is pretty abhorrent.
  • The freemium approach to this game leaves a lot to be desired.


A freemium approach to a GTA style open world crime game. Bad controls and pay wall barriers harm the experience.

  • Full Review
  • App Store Info

Man what happened to you Gameloft? Over a year ago you were known for making polished quality titles. Sure the inspirations for these titles were lifted from other games, but they were developed with a high level of quality and were always enjoyable to play. Ever since you've switched to this freemium model, your releases have taken a drastic hit when it comes to all around polish, and Urban Crime is the latest offender.

You start the game as a street thug with aspirations to climb to the top of the ladder. To do this, you perform missions for people, level up, unlock weapons, take over areas of the city and expand your empire. It's your classic GTA formula... just minus the interesting characters. Missions are your standard fare. Kill this guy, escort that guy, steal this car, win this race; you'll know the drill pretty quickly. About the only really nice thing about the missions is the ability to immediately start any available mission from tapping its icon on the mini-map. No more driving back to the start upon failure. After a couple missions however, the freemium model kicks in and you either need to wait for your energy to recharge, or purchase more from the store.

And the store is an interesting beast to be sure. As you'd expect, completing missions earns you money, but it also earns you diamonds. Diamonds are used to unlock items such as weapons and cars (yes, to jack certain vehicles, you have to unlock them in the store). Both cash and diamonds can be acquired through in-app purchases. As you complete missions you gain experience, and leveling up unlocks these items, so technically you don't have to spend any money if you have the time and patience, but that's a lot of time and patience. It does make things kind of interesting that technically if you spend some money, you could max out your character at level one, but we wouldn't recommend such an investment.

And things would be OK if the game played well, but that really isn't the case. The on foot controls for moving and shooting are bad but passable. It's the driving that really exemplifies how broken things are. Either using the iPhone tilt controls or a slider bar to turn, and two buttons to accelerate and decelerate, driving is just a shambles. Most of the time you overshoot your turn, and then trying to regain control is a nightmare of skidding and crashing. Having a fully realized 3D sandbox doesn't mean anything if your players aren't given the right tools to enjoy their experience while in it sadly.

The fact that this game is free will probably ensure a healthy amount of downloads, but it really isn't worthy of your time. There are much better open world sandbox crime games on the iPhone, and even though those are a higher price point than most iPhone apps, we guarantee you'll have a lot more fun with them.


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