It is hard to say, as I am torn on this one. I would give it a 6 out of 10. If it is on sale, Pick it up, it is fun. But sadly, it gets old fast. There is barely too much for replayability - in fact, after the first few levels, you start noticing there is barely too much for advancement.
First of all, I loved Mob Rules from back in the early/mid 90s. I'm also a fan of stories about the prohibition era. I don't think society would cope with prohibition now, and much less in the 20s when this took place. That is why stories are so fascinating to me. But every game about the mob during prohibition is the same, more or less, and they run dry after long.
I'll sum it up with a list of pros and cons:
- Good story line. It isn't strong, and in fact, far from original. But it is still a good story line. It is a little unique, but nothing special. Start small, build a reputation, and become big. It even spans the full prohibition era, for the most part.
- Pretty decent city management sim. Again, nothing special here, but it is fun for a bit. There are quite a few options.
- Plenty of maps. Each one increases in options and difficulty - but again, nothing too spectacular.
- A lot of weapons and skills. Henchmen have plenty of skills to choose from, and each one can bring unique things to the table. You also have plenty of henchment to chose from based on play styles, so if you want a team of masterminds, or maybe thugs - there is room for this.
- Every level, you start fresh. You bring a little bit from previous missions, and you get more increasing difficulties.
- Every map starts becoming the same thing - over and over again. Start small, build up without becoming too noticed by the cops. Bribe them, and keep a low profile. They become terribly easy and uncreative after long, especially when you start learning what to do.
- The learning curve isn't great enough to keep a steady interest. It is easy to learn, and easy to master. Again, once you find a good solid stratagy, every map is the same. There may be one curve ball here and there - but nothing to special.
- The game only becomes more "difficult" because people rat you out (to be expected) and because the prohibition is coming to an end, cutting into your profits (again, to be expected). No real sense of accomplishment, more a sense of "Well, I survived and made a profit early on..."
- The story can be exceptionally predictable. No real surprises, and very few curveballs to keep you on your toes. Easy to go on autopilot.
- After finding a winning stratagy, the game turns into "Send henchmen somewhere, afk for a few minutes, come back and check on profits and missions completed."
- Rival AI is.... lacking. Seriously, there is no challenge from them. They litterally let you walk all over them and don't try to stop you. You can raid their places too easily, but nothing from them to retaliate. It's like they don't care at all they are losing to you.
- Severe lack of a hard mode at all... At least, I didn't notice any difference on the difficulty settings.
Again - It is a good game, don't get me wrong. but not really a $30-40 game.... Maybe a cool $8 game on holiday/summer sale, when you want to see what the prohibition is like.