You can't rule the streets without these Gang Lords tips
Forming a gang and getting into shootouts don't sound like smart ideas, but Glu Mobile made the concept fun with Gang Lords, an iPhone and iPad strategic battle game where you assemble your own team of killers and claim territory.
You begin with a few basic picks - an up-and-coming thug, corrupt cops, maybe even a wild card criminal with a nasty mean streak - and get right into the thick of battle, dodging bullets by taking cover and then striking back with coordinated attacks, either directly or through combined support moves.
After each encounter, you'll take over parts of the city, gaining respect and earning cash, which you can turn around to power-up your deck. As a result, your characters will last longer in battle, though you can always save up to buy new ones. Some will take a while to unlock - unless you feel like dropping a few dollars for in-game currency. It's completely optional, though.
The gameplay system works rather well, using an empowered color-coding system that lets you know who has strength over characters with clear markings on the ground. To be fair, it doesn't evolve much. If you see one gun battle, you've pretty much seen them all.
At least the game gives you a variety of missions to complete. You coast from one end of the city to the other, slowly taking it over while growing your empire of ne'er-do-wells. There's replay value to spare, which is something you don't often see in a free-to-play game.
On top of that, Glu Mobile did a solid job with the game's social interaction. You can invite friends into gun battles to see how you fare as a team, or compare stats through leaderboards to judge who really rules the streets.
Gun Lords also has a great presentation. The music has just the right amount of attitude, not going overboard with controversial lyrics, but with plenty of tough guy music. The graphics are equally great, with fun to watch gun fights and easily read character stats.
Not everyone enjoys the criminal lifestyle, but for those of us who dig the fantasy, Gang Lords is a welcome addition.