So here we are roughly a decade later and Grand Theft Auto III has made the jump to Android... a platform that I can hold in my hand and take with me wherever I go. And the jump is solid. If you don't know what Grand Theft Auto III is I'll do a quick summary. You play the role of a petty criminal and the story line takes you through various missions... drive here, go beat this guy up, go there, be an escort service, ... etc. And on your way it's stunning to see the world alive with people going here and there, traffic that obeys traffic signals, and even trains going by. In 2012 it's not quite as amazing given that developer RockStar games has steadily improved upon the genre on the console/PC front, but to see it on my tablet compared to the other table games I'm used to seeing is still actually quite impressive. I don't know why when I compare the specs on my tablet to ten year old hardware, but it is.
Before I get into the details of the port, let me say that this game serves as a great demo of Android Market fragmentation. I got this game, but I can't play it on my Epic 4G. It's not 'certified' for that device and I gather it's only available for a handful of devices that have the specs to be able to run the game at a good clip. Now the devs are fair in that they list all supported devices in the Market, but it is getting frustrating buying a game on one device and thinking I'll have it for my other device only to see that it's not there. I don't blame the devs for this... especially given all of the idiots that give a one star review if something doesn't work for them which in turn leads to devs threatening users not to leave one star reviews (I've seen two say "no support if you leave a one start review!") and ultimately means you can't trust app ratings in the Android Market. I'll also note that the iOS platform, in this case, isn't much different as the reason this game is fragmented has more to do with the capabilities of various devices and my Epic 4G probably doesn't have the muscle to run this game. I just like talking about fragmentation.
As you complete missions the game guides you with a nice map, but as you play the game you'll start to learn the city just like you would had you moved there. And I can't see anything that's missing from the original all the way down to the novelty of having a selection of radio stations in the cars. And fun? Yes, GTA is a lot of fun if you don't mind the theme. I'd much prefer to play the role of the police, but that's the prude in me talking again. As I see it this has to be one of the best games available on Android right now... uhm... on select Android devices. And for $5? I paid $50 when I first saw it. 5/5 stars.
P.S. So now I'm checking out the review score on the Android Market... 3.6. Just 3.6?? Reading deeper it's the usual "doesn't work for me" stuff and not too much targeting of the game... and occasional crash issues which I have not experienced on my Transformer tablet.