FGR – 21st April 2011 – Auto Hustle, NBA Dynasty and Zombie Lane

Welcome to the Facebook Game Review! In this daily series (except perhaps on the weekends), I will be looking at, sharing my thoughts and giving verdicts on the hottest and coldest entrants to the Social Gaming ring. Each post will feature a new game, an update on existing ones, and a final score.

Introducing… Auto Hustle

Auto Hustle is the natural evolution from typical Mafia Wars style games (time and text based RPGs). You have an energy pool, you use it to take part in missions and then you get the rewards.  What sets Auto Hustle apart is that it has a WASD controlled avatar in a top-down city, complete with driving and shooting. So, instead of clicking ‘Do mission’ to do the mission, you actually control a guy and run around the city killing people and stealing cars. It is almost identical to the old school Grand Theft Auto games. This is good though, for Facebook gaming. If you’re going to steal from someone, steal from the best.


Some dude I just killed...


Auto Hustle is surprisingly violent. Not for general gaming, but for a Facebook game I was quite shocked. All the missions basically tell you to kill a bunch of dudes and the player controlled environment is the first I’ve experienced where the player actively kills people. Mafia Wars probably told you to do a bunch of killing, but there’s a huge difference between clicking ‘Kill’ and aiming with your mouse and pulling a trigger. I’m surprised that I’m shocked! I suppose this says a lot about the poor state of mature gaming on Facebook.

In the case of Auto Hustle, it seems like they’re playing for this shock value. The few missions I’ve done have had barely any narrative, you’re killing people with a bunch of different weapons. It’s completely unashamed of its crude atmosphere and I’m sure it will fill young boys with glee. Personally, I thought it was rather vulgar. I love violence (even extreme violence) when there’s a good reason for it… some context. In Auto Hustle, you’re killing people before you even know you can get in a car! It just seems a bit childish.

From my first play-through, I completed the tutorial (killing some Big Daddy fellow after escorting a snitch around town) and was then introduced to ‘scams’. When you complete missions, certain characters appear to join your quest in crime. After the tutorial, the snitch girl joins you. She is a pretty face that is essentially a button for old school Mafia Wars style text & time based missions. You click ‘Con some old dude out of all his money’, wait 5 minutes and then collect the profit. Auto Hustle is definitely trying to appeal to the wider Mafia Wars audience, while also trying to hook them with the innovative avatar control and violence. I think it might work.


Ooh la la!


From first impressions, Auto Hustle has definitely got enough to compete in the market. It’s got innovation and pushes boundaries through its technology and theme. It should be interesting to keep an eye on!

Daily Review

NBA Dynasty

Things are still looking great for NBA Dynasty. I don’t particularly enjoy these types of games (especially when it isn’t English football) but I can appreciate that this is a pretty full featured package. Apart from the general unfinished look (it looks really bad a lot of the time), it’s got lots of great little flair features that I really enjoy. The ‘Box Score’ at the end of games lets you see, comprehensively, how each player has performed. There’s a little ticker tape on the main menu which highlights your best moments (top assists, top scorers etc.). It’s a nice touch.

The only gripe I have right now, is that the game keeps track of your wins and losses even when you’re not playing. My team is at 15-31 wins-losses. I’m kinda pissed off at this, because I won every game when I was playing. My team does suck (that’s the problem with choosing the Phoenix Suns and not getting lucky enough to have Steve Nash’s card), but it feels unfair at this early stage in the game. This all goes against your record, and there’s nothing I can really do right now to stop myself looking like an uber-n00b.


Zombie Lane

I was actually planning to do a final verdict around this time. It’s been over a week since I introduced Zombie Lane and my plan was to give a final verdict after a week. I still haven’t uncovered a huge amount of this game though! At the moment I’m killing zombies and clearing rubble (90% of what this game is), trying to get the blueprints to upgrade my house. Once I’ve got my wife back, I should be able to give a better verdict!


The Easter Mission!


Tetris Battle

Same old stuff. There really isn’t much more to say about this one!




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