The Originals

Back in 2008 and 2009 when the iPhone has just come out along with App Store. One of the earliest games to exist on the platform and taking advantage of the device that will dominate the phone market in the future was Mafia Wars. Developed by a company named Zynga. Mafia Wars was inspired by a game with similar concept released on Facebook: Mob Wars. In fact, the degree of similarity between them was so substantial that the original developers decided to make a lawsuit out of it. 

Mafia Wars

Both Mafia Wars and Mob Wars revolved around the same concept. You’re a mob boss tasked with the job of building up your crew and eliminate others, wreaking havoc on the neighborhood with fights, loots, and murders along the way. Being a criminal has never been more fun. So fun, actually, that Mafia Wars was the essential game to have back in the days. Although it went out of existence a while ago, its legacy still remains.


A similar game built on the same concept called TORN has been running in Mafia Wars’ stead for the last 14 years, racking up 2 million users and daily traffic of 27,000 users. Though for now it’s a browser-based game, it will soon migrate to iOS by the end of the month, promising greater convenience and even higher exposure to the massive user-base that App Store holds.


TORN is primarily text-based with a graphical interface of a map that detailed occurrences and events in the game. When you start off the game, the scenario is rather typical: You’re just a nameless thug in a city of crime. Without even mentioning it, you can already guess where the game is going. Your job is to build the largest crime syndicate there is by your name.

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The fun thing is that instead of falling into the pitfalls of many other text-based adventures promising ‘dynamic’ storyline. TORN is a truly expansive MMORPG. Normally, text-based games with such a plot-line will try and focus entirely on the life of a criminal in general. Kidnapping, racketeering, etc. - the things you’d expect a mafioso to do. TORN branched out, though: There are activities within the game that are just … normal. You can have some honest works here and there, start a business, for example. Maybe find a date and build a classic, beautiful relationship out of it. TORN is on the verge of becoming a life simulator with a couple of illegal and bloodied twists. It gives you so many choices and different ways that you can do things to develop the fantastical life that you have within.

Possibly the Perfect Mobile Game

TORN is, in the end, a 14-year old game. Surely, you can expect that there is a sizeable community that’s backing up the title. From this article, you've probably had an idea of just how many users are still committed to the game on a daily basis. The simple gameplay that doesn’t really take a lot of your time is also perfect and balanced for mobile. It’s unlikely that you’ll spend several hours continuously on your phone with TORN. Instead, you’ll find yourself tapping into the game every few hours once to do a mission or activities that will take time. While it is surely addictive, it’s not going to mess up your daily life like so many mobile games out there.


If you want to start now, you can: It’s a browser game that anyone with a computer can play. It’s also free, so put your wallet back in. However, if you want a mobile experience, you’ll have to wait for now.

TORN Mobile will be released on App Store on January 31st, 2019.