Category: Mac OS X Games
Works With: Mac OS X 10.7 and up
I don’t want to wax too rhapsodic about a gangster game, but Omerta: City of Gangsters has what it takes to keep me engaged for an afternoon of beer and liquor smuggling, along with mafia-style combat justice along the way. The music is delightfully consistent with the period, and the hand-painted interstitial artwork is simply gorgeous.
An omertá is a code of silence, typically associated with the Mafia, that focuses on non-cooperation with the police and non-interference with the activities of others, especially when illegal. Luckily, we don’t have to be too quiet about this enjoyable romp through 1920s America, developed by Haemimont Games and published by Kalypso Studios, the folks behind similar games like Tropico 4.
The gameplay in City of Gangsters is simple: players send thugs and minions out on jobs to gather beer, liquor, firearms, or influence. Sell these various Prohibition-era items to gain money, both dirty and clean, to expand their crime-lord empire. Along the way, players will need to fight it out with other local hoods as well as larger crime bosses in turn-based strategic combat, à la the XCOM series.
There are a couple of issues in Omerta, however, like the limited voiceover dialogue when sending minions out on jobs or when engaged in combat. The accents are a bit off, especially the Irish folks, and the few hackneyed exclamations each character makes before a job or during a fight get old real quick when heard over and over. And over. The combat, while strategic, feels as though I can get by with just a handful of strategies, especially as my crew increased in size over the first few missions.
The simulation gameplay itself, also, can get a bit repetitive. Each map has its own set of objectives, which help players maintain focus. However, it’s only a matter of time before a long session of Omerta can start to seem like a slog through similar drive-bys, firearms sales, and politician bribes.
That’s not to say Omerta isn’t a fun game; quite the contrary. Players who enjoy slower paced simulation games, like Sim City or Civilization, will enjoy Omerta’s deliberate pace. The combat does offer a nice break from clicking gangster portraits and listening to various shady characters from around the city ask for more beer or guns.
Ultimately, Omerta: City of Gangsters is an enjoyable, if gentle, romp through the early Twentieth Century, when alcohol was illegal, and local crime lords affected an air of gentility to mask their brutal business personas. The music is delightful, the combat satisfying, and the empire-building will appeal to many. It’s available on Steam for $39.99 and the Mac Game Store for 25% off, at $29.99.
We’ve even got codes for a free copy of the Mac version of the game. If you want to check Omerta: City of Gangsters out, free of charge, drop a comment below in your best gangster style. We’ll pick seven commenters at random to try the game via Steam, and notify the winner a week from today.
Product Name: : Omerta: City of Gangsters
The Good: Gameplay is easy to learn, offering enough challenge to keep period-gamers engaged for hours; music and artwork effectively evokes the prohibition period nicely.
The Bad: Limited voice-overs and repetitive tasks during non-combat missions can get tiresome.
The Verdict Overall, Omerta: City of Gangsters is a great way to spend an afternoon or two, building an empire worthy of many a mafia don. Players of turn-based strategy combat games as well as more meticulous players of Civilization-style simulation games will enjoy this title.
Buy from: Steam