Payback Brings GTA to the iPhone

Price: $4.99    Score: 8/10     By Samuel P. BillingsworthPayback

Did you love the original GTA? Recreate those hours spent playing with Payback, one of the most complete GTA clones available in the App Store. Created by developer Apex Designs, Payback follows an average-day criminal and his adventures in the mafia. If you’re looking for a classic shoot ‘em up game, you’ve found it.

Open up Payback, and you’re already seeing the video game-like introduction. Once at the menu, you have 3 options concerning game play: Story, Challenge, or Rampage. In Story mode, you start off as a “lowly gangster” and once you complete all 6 levels, you are up to mob boss. You go through multiple challenges throughout the game; from stalking, police raids, escaping prison, and high-speed races. All the thrill you can handle.

Once you beat the game in Story Mode, it’s time to go the Challenge and Rampage sections, where you complete more missions to unlock the 2 “hidden” maps of the game, drive around for fun, or just blow stuff up. Although this is a blast, it’s not nearly as exciting as the original story is.

One of the best things about Payback is the soundtrack of the game. Apex Designs did a fantastic job with the array of music they picked out. From “Headlights” by Dispatch, to just basic rap, there’s something for everyone. It features EA style song designs, and even a control panel to select which songs you would like to hear. Payback’s music is great, but if you want to listen to your own, you might have some trouble. I have experienced multiple crashes while trying to listen to my own music track. Hopefully, Apex Designs will come out with an update fixing the bug.

The Bottom Line: Payback, although extremely exciting and fun, lacks some essential ingredients for a spectacular app:

•    Replay Value
•    Low Price
•    Bug-free

Right now, Payback is priced at $4.99. After beating the game, I use it maybe once a week. At the beginning, it requires smarts, some time, and maybe even a little physical effort with the intense police chases. Although the end of the Story Mode is almost the end of the game, Payback is a great time waster; worth it for fans of GTA-style game play.

Payback requires the iPhone OS 2.1 or later and is compatible with both the iPhone and iPod Touch.

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