UPDATED 12/7/2011: If you haven't read the tutorial I wrote below, read that first. I've added updates for the new version of Life is Crime over at my other blog, Android Game Tutorial.
While perusing the Android Market yesterday, I came across a new game called Life is Crime. It seems as though the game has been exploding all over the country, but no where online (including on the developers' website) could I find a decent tutorial that showed exactly how to play the game. Therefore, I figured I would write one up here.
If you haven't downloaded Life is Crime yet, you can do so via this QR code:
The Objective of Life is Crime
Life is Crime is a game based one one's GPS coordinates. The objective of the game is to physically travel to as many places as possible and take over buildings in that area. The more buildings you are the "kingpin" of, the more protection money you collect, and the higher your reputation grows. The more money you have, the more stuff you can buy (guns, armor), and the more powerful you'll become.
The Main Map Screen
This is the main screen of the game where all the action happens. The top portion of the screen shows your name, icon, current level, and experience required to get to the next level. It also shows your rep (how notorious you are in your area), your cash on hand, and your R2 chips. R2 chips are gained by completing missions, leveling up, or are purchased (with real money) through the game. They're hard to come by without paying for them, so use them wisely.
Just below all that is a line that shows your health, energy, stamina, and mob. Health regenerates roughly every 10 seconds or so, energy regenerates roughly one unit per minute, and stamina takes closer to five minutes. I haven't timed them, so those times are not exact. Your mob shows how many friends you have playing the game.
Below the stats is the main map. On the map, there are five icons; a crosshair, a briefcase handle, a building, a cell phone, and a person. Tapping the crosshair will center the map on your GPS position. Tapping the briefcase handle will take you to the briefcase menu where you can collect money from your drug deals. Tapping the building icon will show you a list of buildings in your area, which are also visible and accessible by clicking them directly on the map. The cell phone icon will call your drug dealer and allow you to purchase product or stolen goods, and the person icon will show you all the players in your area in order of their rep.
The Mission Screen
The mission screen shows a list of your active missions (duh). It tracks your progress for each one and shows you what the reward for completing them is.
When visiting a building, there will be a button near the top with an action attached to it, such as gamble, steal, or harass. Each of these actions also requires a specific amount of energy to complete. When you click the action button, you progress in your mission, gain XP and cash, gain points towards being kingpin at that location, and lose the associated amount of energy with that action.
When your energy inevitably runs out, you will no longer be able to complete missions until it recharges. You can then either wait for your energy to return naturally or take energy drinks (that cost R2 credits or can be 'gifted' by members of your mob) to instantly replenish it. Once it comes back, you can start playing missions again.
The Profile Screen
The profile screen shows your personal stats and allows you to visit your safehouse, achievements board, and inventory.
Your attack stats are comprised of both general attack and critical damage. The higher your general attack number, the more damage you will deal in a fight. The higher your critical damage number, the better your chances are of dealing a crushing blow to your opponent.
Your defensive stats are similar, comprised of general defense (how much damage you'll take) and dodge. If you are able to successfully dodge an attack while someone is fighting you, you will deal a significant amount of damage to them. The number of locations you are kingpin of and your kill/death ratio are also listed below your fighting stats.
Viewing your safehouse shows your rep, how many locations you are kingpin of, and allows you to collect protection money from those locations. You can also see invites from other players asking you to join their mob, and accept, decline, and re-gift items sent to you by others. At this point, the only things you can gift are energy drinks and health packs.
The achievements button shows you various achievements you've unlocked if you're into that sort of thing, and your inventory allows you to use items you collect and equip various armor and weapons purchased at the shop.
The Shop Screen
This one is also pretty self-explanatory. Here you can buy armor or weapons, exchange R2 credits for cash, and purchase power ups if you need a quick boost of health, energy, stamina, or a few extra members of your mob. In addition, you can also purchase R2 credits for real-life cash (charged to the credit card attached to your android account).
The Gamefeed Screen
The gamefeed screen shows pertinent news to your Life is Crime game. It shows all the activity pertaining directly to you, all the activity of everyone in your area, and all the activity on Twitter with the hash tag #lifeiscrime.
Using the gamefeed is the easiest way to see who has attacked you and over which turf. Clicking the building name will let you jump straight to that area and exact revenge on the person who attacked you. However, if you're not within 500 meters of the location, you can only attack people and not perform missions or searches.
Becoming Kingpin of a Location
To become the kingpin of a location, you must have the most points of anyone in the game racked up at that particular building. There are several ways to score points including dropping off packages, completing missions, or fighting the existing kingpin.
Dropping off packages first requires that you purchase drugs or stolen goods by clicking the cell phone icon on the main map screen and using energy to purchase the package. Then, you can enter any location that you are within 500 meters of and click the 'drop' button to drop off your package. Immediately after the package is dropped, you gain points towards becoming the kingpin of that location. The package then sits quietly at the location until it matures (i.e. until NPC "junkies" sell all the drugs) and you can collect the money from it. You can view the progress of your packages and collect your hard earned money by clicking the briefcase handle on the main map screen.
Alternatively, if you do not have any packages, you can use energy to complete missions at each location. As long as you are within 500 meters of a building, you can enter it, click the mission action (gamble, steal, etc) and spend the corresponding amount of energy to amass two points towards becoming that location's kingpin.
Finally, you can earn the most points towards securing a location by entering the building, regardless of how far away it is, and successfully attacking other members of that location. If you manage to kill one of those members, you will earn a few extra points than you otherwise would for a successful attack. The higher the level of the person you attack, the more points you earn toward conquering the location.
Besides drug running and playing missions to take over a location, fighting is a large part of the global turf war that is Life is Crime. To fight someone, simply click on their name and press the 'fight' button. You will then be presented with the screen to the left. It presents a comparison of your stats and allows you to fight or flee the situation. Fighting is turn based and revolves around each individual's offensive and defensive stats. There are basically four things that can happen when you select to fight someone.
You can deal a standard amount of damage based on your weapon and their armor. After this attack, you collect money and experience.
You can deal a critical hit which causes a significantly higher amount of damage. After this attack, you collect money and experience.
You can cause a small amount of damage and they can counter with a small amount of damage. After this attack, you lose money and gain experience.
They dodge your attack and cause a significant amount of damage to you. You also lose money after this attack.
The only other thing that needs to be mentioned about fighting is that the more members of your mob (in-game friends) you have, the more powerful you will be in a fight. If you are fighting someone, you can deal extra damage up to the total number of mob members you have. Inversely, they can counter-attack you with the same method.
That's about all I can think of for now. Don't forget to add TheDr1ver to your mob. Have fun taking over your city... Just stay out of Baltimore.
If that was enough to whet your taste, check out my follow-up, Life is Crime Tips and Help. And, if that's not enough for you, I've added updates for the new version of Life is Crime over at my other blog, Android Game Tutorial.