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Impressions: Torn on Android

I live in a detached house somewhere in the city. My clothes consist of a pair of trainers I found in the dump, some leather clothes I bought at the local clothing store, and a crowbar and Glock 17 that I carry around for personal safety. My job as a bag boy at the local grocery store helps pay for my modest accommodations, but I mostly get my income through gambling at the casino and finding various items at the dump and selling them at the pawn shop for cash. I found two personal computers thrown out by some guy, they work so I sold one and kept the other for when I’m smart enough to use it for its intended purpose: Writing viruses and selling them on the open market.

I may have also waited for a dude to get out of the hospital, only to mug him and put him back in the hospital. With my crowbar.

Such is life in Torn, a game that by its own admission is meant to be played for the long term. Torn has been running on PC for a long time, it has thousands of people online and living their lives in the city at any given time, with tens of thousands online over any 24 hour period. It is a completely text based game and it just launched an app for Android devices that I was invited to take a look at. Over a week later, I’m hooked.

Torn is something of a life simulator, not in the sense that you’ll need to click the button to eat your morning bowl of pizza before heading off to work at exactly 7:30am or you’ll be fired and screw you if you think you’re going to have a real life and play this game, but in the meaning that you’ll be doing life things like going to the gym, betting money on League of Legends games, beating up a random stranger and sending him to the hospital, and then losing the money you stole from him playing craps at the casino.

There is always something to do in Torn, some new feature popping up as you level up, some new goal that comes your way, some new activity to take part in. Upon hitting level three, I gained the ability to visit the bookie at the casino where I found out that players who I believe are employed by the casino (in the video game sense) are able to set up betting pools on actual events. I bet $100 that Fnatic would be Flash Wolves in an actual League of Legends match and came out with the winning bet. There are also bets on real life sports games, in fact I threw down a grand on the 6/4 odds that Manchester United will beat Chelsea in an FA Cup match later this week.

Otherwise I like the fact that everything in this game is going toward an overall goal. Having a job doesn’t just provide a daily income, it boosts your various skills and grants points that over time allow you to do things like steal out of the till and get some cash. Education not only unlocks new things but grants boosts to various stats like intelligence which in turn allows you to get promoted at work faster, upping your daily income even further. Running low level crimes like searching for cash or selling bootleg DVDs gives experience that can lead you to bigger crimes, but getting caught will reduce that experience.

I’m looking forward to continuing to play Torn and will continue to document my experiences as they come about. I apologize to anyone for whom the formatting of this page is absolutely borked because of the mobile screenshots.

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