Mobsters — A prohibition take on an old classic

Mobsters is Monopoly, but good.

Mobsters is designed as one simple thing: Monopoly, but good.

Monopoly is one of the most well-known board games ever created, but a great many gamers would describe it as being… less than brilliant. Well, the folks at Original Content London want to take the idea of Monopoly and make it into something so much more enjoyable in the form of Mobsters. I caught a glimpse of the game at UKGE 2019 this year, and whilst I didn’t get a chance to demo it, what I saw of it certainly looks interesting.

I was immediately drawn to the art style on show, using the pixel art that so many video games utilise these days. The pixel art makes up the cards that you will use in the game, whilst the tiles that make up the city look like environments you might find in 16-bit RPG games from years gone by. It’s something that stands out from the crowd and isn’t something you’ll really see from other development teams.

Original Concept London gave me a little run-down of the game. Being named Mobsters, you’re attempting to control as much of a 1920s era New York City as you can, setting up rackets to earn money from businesses. You’ll need to move your mobsters around the city to collect the money from these venues, which you can then use to purchase political advantages to help you earn even more. It seems like a simple idea with plenty of opportunity to mess with your opponents.

Mobsters game board
Money makes the world go round.

The city itself is made up of forty-nine tiles laid out in a square, meaning that each game can be set up differently based on the layout of these tiles. These tiles are each based on a different theme such as warehouses or gambling, and should you control all of a certain theme you’ll gain bonuses that will give you a significant advantage. Of course, your opponents may want to raid your locations to remove your control over them or perhaps they’ll get the police involved, forcing you to cease all illicit activities whilst they’re nearby. The influences on Mobsters are clear, but the fact there’s a certain degree of to-and-fro in terms of power that means one player taking the lead doesn’t guarantee their victory in a long drawn-out game.

What we saw was still a prototype, but it looked fairly complete. Original Content London say that they’re now looking into the best way to go about getting the game manufactured, so it likely won’t be long before Mobsters is available for purchase. I’m keen to see how the final product turns out before heading out to claim the city in the name of the B3 family!

Mobsters is currently in development, you can find out more about it on the homepage of the developers, Original Content London.

Looking to get your friends or family into board games? Check out our list of great, accessible games, perfect for just that, here.

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