Scarface for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch review

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Category: Games
Seller: Fuse Powered, Inc.
Requirements: iOS 4.1 or later
Compatibility: iPhone 3GS/4/4S, iPod touch 3rd/4th gen, and iPad
File Size: 36.3MB
Version Reviewed: 1.1
Price: Free (with in-app purchases)
Age Rating: 17

What’s your favorite scene from Scarface? Up-and-coming criminal Tony Montana confronting the boss who betrayed him? The car bombing sequence where Tony realizes there’s a line even he won’t cross? The iconic shot at the end of a man surrounded by all the trappings of power, who’s lost everything?

Or how about all the scenes of Tony “Scarface” Montana standing in the street, gesturing to people and buildings as he shakes them down for $62? Oh, you don’t remember that part, repeated over and over? Too bad, because the developers at Fuse have taken one of the most over-the-top gangster movies of our era and made an entire point and click game out of doing that.


You know those hilarious games that show up about every six months, where someone takes a movie like The Room or Manos: The Hands of Fate and turns them into a ridiculously retro video game? Scarface is like that, like a parody of a film game, except that it’s neither funny nor fun to play.

A tiny Tony Montana moves around Miami, earning money, experience, and “product” (yes, the most coke-fueled movie ever made (except, of course, for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band) refers to the white blocks that Tony collects as “kilo of product.”) So that he can expand his “empire” buy constructing businesses that will pay out a regular profit and improve his mansion for security against the cock-a-roaches that would try to rob him.


The entire game is a top-down three quarter view of various Miami locations. Once you take a job, a green arrow indicates which building or person you have to interact with. Tap it once to select, once to interact. Then Tiny Tony instantly shows up, stands next to it, and either punches, shoots, or makes gestures. A helpful status bar informs you what, the hell, it is he’s doing (“talking,” “bribing,” “shooting”).

These interactions take “Power,” one of Tony’s three “health” bars that refresh slowly. If you run out of money (to buy guns or thugs for a job), product (to hurry construction), or power (to do just about anything), you have to wait. Unless, of course, you want to buy more from the game company, or get some for free by watching commercials for other games and products.

Your ultimate goal, one assumes, is to build your empire of businesses so you don’t have to earn bucks by talking to random people on the beach. You do this by purchasing buildings to construct (and eventually expanding the amount of land on which you can build). At this point, Scarface becomes Farmville, where you have to wait for the buildings to be finished (unless you hurry their production, which drains resources), then they pay out at regular intervals.

I don’t specifically remember a scene in Scarface where Tony talked about upgrading the sandwich shop as part of making The World his own, but maybe it was in the director’s cut.

Fuse Powered has taken one of the most gloriously violent crime films ever made and gutted it. The game attempts to follow the story of the film, but does so by having thumbnail photos of the characters fly in to tell you what you need to do next.


Early in the film, one of Tony’s close friends is murdered in front of him with a chainsaw. Here’s how it plays out in the game:

  • Tiny Tony stands outside a car. A dialogue box featuring Pacino’s head says he’s going into the building to do the deal.
  • Click on the building. Tony walks towards it.
  • Pacino’s head announces: The deal went bad! They killed Angel with a chainsaw!
  • You get a new job to kill the man who did it.
  • The man appears, on the street, walking right in front of you.
  • You click on him to select him. He stops walking. You click on him to shoot him. You shoot him. He dies.

This game is to Scarface what Superfriends is to The Dark Knight Returns, but at least Superfriends was trying to be goofy. The only thing funny about this cash-in is that you’re expected to spend money in it. And that’s hilarious.

Appletell Rating:
Scarface review

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