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Gangsters: Organized Crime

aka: Gangsters: Le Crime Organis├ę, Gangsters: Organisiertes Verbrechen

Description official descriptions

Gangsters: Organized Crime is set in a fictional city in Prohibition-era America, featuring over 5000 citizens including 400 individual gangsters. The player's goal is to take all the riches, through bribery, theft and aggression.

Gameplay is a combination of Sim City-style building and turn-based planning, where you have lieutenants who do the dirty work for you. The more blocks in the city you take over, the more people you have loving your work, making it easier to control each area. But be careful, there are three other gangs out there, so blood can get spilled easily.

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Credits (Windows version)

140 People (54 developers, 86 thanks) · View all

Original Concept
Game Design
Sound Effects
Music composed
In game Speech
  • Philip Morris Music and Voice production
Cinematic Sequences
  • Maverick Media
The Gang would like to thank
[ full credits ]



Average score: 74% (based on 21 ratings)


Average score: 2.9 out of 5 (based on 23 ratings with 4 reviews)

Hopefully worth the effort

The Good
I've only been playing it a few days so this is a preliminary view. So far so good but I hope I won't be disappointed. It does evoke the gangster period fairly well. There are a lot of options which enhance the sense of realism. As the other reviews say, it is definitely a Sim as much as a game. There is a lot of challenge, and a fairly good sense of period.

The Bad
It is difficult to learn - any extra resources would be helpful. As suggested in another review I looked at the Primagames "Fast Track" guide. There is also a strategy guide at the developers' site. This also has a list of buildings which is missing from the manual. They really should circulate a strategy guide with the game. I am still trying to figure out why, in week 8, 27 of my 50 guys were mowed down by the cops. I think one of them was Wanted, and the police shot him, other hoods shot back, and it started a chain reaction. But I don't know! The management can get tedious, particularly as your turf grows - and at the moment I don't trust my Lieutenants to manage their own patches of turf.

The Bottom Line
A challenging resource-management game set in the world of 1920's gangsters. It simulates the experience of being a crime lord's accountant as much as it does the experience of being a crime lord.

Windows · by Spike Robinson (2) · 2002

A great, but a difficult game

The Good
Who hasn't had a dream to play a big boss. Now its your change. In gangsters you are a criminal who want to become the mayor. First you must make a gang of criminals and then give them orders to terrorice the city. A the great thing of this game is, you can almost do anything, from little assaults to big explosions.

The Bad
In the beginning it is very difficult to start a game. But when you got the hang of it, its great to play. And when your got more hoods(criminals that works for you) its very complex to see their jobs doing in city.

The Bottom Line
This game isn't just for a few minutes to play, you must give it some time. Play a lot with it and then you see the beauty of it.

Windows · by Buuks (197) · 2001

Gangsters is a deep, interesting, satisfying sim for those with the courage to climb its learning curve.

The Good
First off, Gangsters is not for the faint of heart. If you like your games simple, and/or don't have more than an hour a day to devote to them, then pass Gangsters by. It will disappoint and madden you; you will end up like all the mainstream reviewers out there who gave it a low score out of sheer frustration. But if you like a challenge--for instance, if you're the kind of grognard who begins to salivate at the sight of two hundred page rulebooks--and if you have the time to devote to exploring its secrets, Gangsters is about as deep and satisfying a computer game as you've ever likely to come across.

First, what it is: Gangsters is a sim. It is not, strictly speaking, just a game. Gangsters puts you in the shoes of a mob boss vying for control of a randomly generated, Chicago-style city. As such, you must do what mob bosses presumably do in real-life: you must hire muscle, manage and expand your empire, turn a profit, and, whether you like it or not, interact to some degree with the respectable world around you. All of this seems straightforward enough, but the devil is in the details because there are, in actuality, one hell of a lot of actions you can perform. Just to deal with the fun stuff (which by no means exhausts the list), you can kill, assault, intimidate, torch, raid, bribe, extort, kidnap, smash up, bomb, and ambush your enemies or your enemies' turf. In addition, there are commands for buying, setting up, and running both legal and illegal businesses, commands for patrolling and defending your turf, commands for hiring and organizing your gangs, etc. In short, if it's related to organized crime and you can do it in real life, it's very likely you can do it in Gangsters as well.

Of course, with this level of complexity comes a corresponding complexity in the interface. Many have taken the game to task for its supposedly convoluted and over-busy interface, but having spent a good deal of time with it, I beg to differ with those assessments. It does take some getting used to, and those who look with disdain upon manuals and help files will likely never figure it out. But it is not impossible, and once you begin to see how the thing is put together, it begins to make more and more sense. This is not to say that some other arrangement might not ultimately have been more successful, but the existing one is, in the end, just fine once you get the hang of it. I, in fact, kind of like it. There, I said it.

The game is divided into two halves. The first half is the planning half, in which you get an unlimited amount of time to plan the coming week's activities for all your mobsters. This is where you plot your expansion, plan the demise of your enemies, purchase new businesses, new land, new men, and new equipment, organize and reorganize your assets, set your diplomatic posture, assign your accountants and lawyers their tasks, and so on. Then, once you are satisfied with all the orders you've given, you move into the second half of the turn, which occurs in real time. This is the "work week," in which you follow all your gangsters' progress from either an overhead or isometric view. You get to watch with pure godlike delight as each gangster carries out his individual orders and interacts with the civilians and enemy gangsters around him. You are not bound, however, simply to watch. There are actions you can take even at this stage of the proceedings to deal with whatever situations may arise at the moment. If an enemy gangster starts shooting at you, for instance, you can take control of the victim and shoot back, run, or whatever. (This is true of the patched game. Your choices are more limited in the unpatched version, which is only one of many reasons why you should use the patched version--I recommend version 1.2, which doesn't suffer from the CD check problem of later versions.) If not much is happening, you can speed up the game clock to zip right through to the next turn, but if you're like me, you'll be having so much fun following your hoodlums and their shenanigans about town, you won't want to. In any case, after a few turns there will be so much going on that it's not really feasible anyway, but the option is there all the same.

The goal in Gangsters, of course, is to gain control of the city--or at least that's what you'd think. In actuality, the game can be won in one of three different ways: either you gain control of the city by wiping out all the opposing gangs, or you gain control by being elected Mayor, or you can say goodbye to your life of crime entirely and (shudder) go straight. All three ways of winning are difficult, and all three require a unique strategy. But then, that's what's ultimately so great about Gangsters and what makes it such an enjoyable game: like all good sims, it simply provides you with a set of tools. How you use them to get from A to B is entirely up to you.

The Bad
There are a few omissions in the work week portion of the game that are so obvious that they border on the unforgiveable. For instance, while incoming messages slow the clock to its slowest speed (i.e. the default speed, which isn't all that slow), they do not pause the game entirely, nor is there any option to make them do so. Instead, you have to sit with one hand poised over the pause key ready to pounce whenever there's an incoming message. Why? Because some of these messages are really important, and you will want a chance to scroll to the appropriate area of the screen to take care of whatever needs to be taken care of, such as your guys getting shot at. But that leads to complaint number two: many of these messages aren't very important at all, which means you'll be pausing and unpausing a lot for no good reason. Since most of the unimportant messages revolve around duplicate sightings of enemy mobsters, the obvious solution would have been an option to screen out sighting messages for individual mobsters. As it stands now, though, you either have to screen out sighting messages for all mobsters on a team, or none at all, which basically makes the work week section of the game much more of a chore to play than it needs to be.

I also don't like the fact that the randomly generated mobsters you start with can have a huge impact on your success. Basically, this is because you need mobsters with a high Intelligence rating to successfully recruit new mobsters, which is your first priority in the game. Consequently, if none of your starting goons has a decent brain in his head, you can literally fail to get your enterprise off the ground. Now, your first lieutenant always has a four-star IQ, but he's not enough by himself. You need at least one more genius. Thus, if you start a game and none of your base level hoods has a four- or five-star IQ, I'd recommend starting over (essentially "rerolling") until one does.

Also, as thorough as the manual is, it just isn't thorough enough. Read it, of course, and read it well, but in addition I'd recommend reading anything else Gangsters-related you can get your hands on. In particular, the Readme file for the Platinum version of the game (I don't know about others), and the Prima strategy guide (available in abbreviated form online at Prima's website) were invaluable to me.

The Bottom Line
Gangsters is a game for those who like difficult games. Contrary to popular myth, it is not broken, nor is it too complicated. It's just a complex game with a correspondingly complex interface. It is marred somewhat, in my judgment, by an overly tedious reliance on the pause button in the work week screen, but other than that, I have few complaints. Gangsters deserves to be considered right alongside the best of them in the top tier of strategy games. Besides that, it's a heck of a lot of fun!

Windows · by Jim Newland (56) · 2002

[ View all 4 player reviews ]



Eidos made plans to hire an actual gangster, convicted in the 1960s, to appear at a trade show in Europe to promote the game. When the press came down on them hard for this stunt, Eidos PR was quick to downplay it.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Kartanym.

Additional contributors: Ye Olde Infocomme Shoppe, Rebound Boy, Patrick Bregger, Alsy.

Game added January 21st, 2001. Last modified August 25th, 2023.