Cops & Robbers, Facebook Style

badboysgameThe search continues for a role-playing game that brings something new to the table, but sometimes the dish is best when familiar and served with a few new toppings. A while back, a little cops-and-robbers style Facebook app called Bad Boys’ Game came to our attention. Finally getting a chance to take a look, it turned out it’s a bit more gruff and gritty than the children’s game you played all those years ago —  but easily just as much fun.

The game is, in many ways, like your typical Facebook RPG. In traditional Mafia Wars-style, players play through a text-based interface, completing missions, buying land, upgrading stats, and purchasing new items to make their character stronger. However, this is where things start to take a different turn. Rather than simply forming a mob, players join up with one of two factions: The Police or The Criminals.

Each group has its own set of goals and ladders to climb with your typical mob-style set up (Teams) for friends, but what is interesting is that the two sides can actually defend or attack key areas such as the LA airport. While this does feel a little like random fights in other RPGs, holding these areas tend to be bonus hotspots. They can provide various benefits such as travel and even part-time jobs for some extra cash flow beyond missions. Furthermore, different locations within a city can be traveled to, which actually takes a period of time. The best part is, the designers were intuitive enough to have purchasable items, like cars, affect how fast you can go.

badboyscharacterRather than just buy items that give stats, this game actually gives you an avatar that is physically upgraded, visually, with every purchase. Granted, this is in other RPGs as well, and the avatar is a little overly gritty with a desperate need to shave, but it is a nice addition, nonetheless.

All in all, this RPG feels cleaner, crisper, and significantly deeper than most others that we’ve seen as of late, even though it has a small 10,000 monthly active users. Once a new player gets a handle on all the new elements, it is easily just as entertaining as Mafia Wars or any other RPG for that matter. The separation of two competing factions alone adds enough to the game to make it worth playing. Sure, there are some flaws – leveling is a little slow at first if you want to nitpkc – but overall it really feels like the developers thought this game through quite thoroughly, and have successfully created something that feels both familiar and fresh at the same time.