Squeezing a bustling city onto a mobile device is hard enough, but incorporating a complex online crime network into that city is a very difficult thing to get right.
Funzio believes that its latest Android title, Crime City, pulls off that combo perfectly, though, with its online element being essential in holding it all together.
Jamil Moledina, VP of business development at Funzio, spoke to us about how the Android game works alongside the iOS version, how it has been primed for portable play, and the challenges the studio faced during its development.
Not a copycat criminal
Many might think Crime City is nothing more than a facsimile of crime game successes from the past, but Moledina explains it's much more innovative than it first appears.
"Crime City was the first social action mobster game, and based on its unique blend of high-quality visuals and layered game design, it's been a hit on every platform it's appeared on," Moledina notes.
"With the launch on Android, Crime City adds another first, by becoming the first social action game to feature co-operative and competitive play across iOS and Android."
There's no doubt that the online element is the game's most noteworthy feature, but Moledina says it's more than just a bullet point to be added to the game's list of features.
"The online element allows us to reach more people when they have the time to play," he says. "The social element of the game creates a more compelling gameplay experience. For example, you have to be strategic and defensive in how to grow out your Hood and acquire items."
I fought the law
Crime City may also have a more patient and considered style compared to the bombast of home console crime-fests such as Grand Theft Auto III and Saints Row, but Moledina is keen to emphasise that the thrill you get from Funzio's title is very much the same.
"Crime City fits into the same play space as those console games - it gives you a similar look and feel, a similar narrative, a similar vicarious thrill," Moledina claims.
"The difference is that you can take on the gangster life in parallel with your own, at the pace of your own life."
The game has been carefully designed to suit handheld play, too: there's no evidence of squishing a home console experience into where it doesn't belong here.
"The console experiences may offer the cutting edge of 3D polygon-pushing horsepower, but you can't take it with you," Moledina states.
Developing the perfect plan
The game first appeared on iOS last year, but the Android version isn't just a straightforward copy.
"Crime City Android is designed natively in Java, making it very compatible with Android OS - it's not a port," Moledina says. "We utilised all of the advantages and behaviours of the Android mobile platform when designing this game."
Moledina also admits that bringing the game to Android was a challenge - but making sure it was the best it could be on the platform was essential.
"Designing the app to fit the varying screen sizes and hardware was definitely challenging," Moledina concedes. "Testing, tweaking, and a little creative coding helped in overcoming the challenge of bringing the game to Android."
The usual suspects
As for the future of Crime City, plenty of updates are planned. This demonstrates the devotion Funzio has to the title.
"We are definitely planning more Android-specific features, which we'll be announcing shortly," Moledina reveals. "Right now, we're focused on making Crime City rock on Android."
Crime City is available on Google Play now, and is free to download [Google Play Store link].
Check out the video for Crime City below: