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Cuban refugee Tony Montana emigrated to the United States in 1980. He soon dealt, murdered, and swindled his way to the top of Miami's booming cocaine industry. Before an infamous last stand alongside his little friend, Montana's reckless determination earned him all the pleasures of a king. It's a shame, then, that Scarface for iOS rejects the spirit of Brian De Palma's classic film, road-blocking anyone looking to dedicate time and hard work in pursuit of the virtual dream.
The home-building mechanic here is standard fare for the free-to-play realm. Your empire begins as a small, bare plot of land. As you earn cash and move “product,” you can populate your home with businesses that generate income over time. Unfortunately, some of the more profitable stores take days of real time to refill, grinding your play time to a halt. Upgrading structures to become more efficient is a slow process as well, but cocaine can be applied to speed up the construction, naturally.
For extra drugs and dough, Tony can perform various missions at several nicely rendered locations around Miami. Actions consist of tapping a target, waiting a few seconds, and collecting the bits of cash and experience that pop out. Each completed task will prompt a low-fidelity signature Tony Montana line from the film, but they’re recycled and quickly become an annoyance. The rewards for these crimes are meager, making the already inert missions even less compelling; and you’ll soon find yourself with nothing left to do but wait for two days, or otherwise head to the in-game store to score virtual cocaine in exchange for real cash. "The world is yours," it seems, but only if you pay to take shortcuts.
The bottom line. Economic balance issues aside, the barely-there gameplay cripples what might have been a fitting tribute to the classic gangster film.
iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 4.3 or later
Environments are detailed and attractive, especially on an iPad. No stability/crashing issues.
The broken currency system ensures you'll be paying more than playing. Tony's reused quotes get old fast. The "actions" consist only of a few button presses.