Today’s playing lately entry concerns an Android app called “Life of Crime”.    You know all those annoying facebook games with energy, stamina, and an interminable list of stupid crimes you commit by clicking “Rob” or some such ?     Well, it’s a bit like that, and yet thoroughly addicting.

You have energy used for a few tasks, and stamina to kill other players.   The key is, the game is location based – as in meatspace.  The real world.   Where your phone is dictates the actions which you can perform.    There are missions where you spend energy working towards a larger goal, as well as getting leaderboard points; you can push drugs and stolen goods; and you can take over locations by several possible means or you can simply PVP wherever you find yourself.

The game map is built on real locations, and restricted to bars, restaurants, stores, etc.    You can be standing inside the McDonald’s and taking it over in the game.

This leads to the following interesting gameplay conundrums.   I am on my way to work in the morning.   I make sure and leave 15 minutes early, and pull up and park in a shopping mall nearby.    I open up my briefcase and drop some “packages” into local business to ensure I’m kingpin on the leaderboard (IE, number one).    As I travel the freeway, I look for a good exit to pull off at, and PVP several other players at that one for five minutes, before getting back onto the freeway and reaching the office.   Once there, I work to consolidate my hold on the area nearby.

The game is not without problems.   The locations are not very updated; the app force closes a lot.   Still, it reopens right away and works fine afterwards.

It’s strange to actually *go outside*, and walk around with a phone in my hand, to play a game but there it is.    The novel experience has kept me going for the past couple of weeks.   Give it a try by clicking here.   Just remember, Doc Burbank claims Burbank.