Mafia Wars is a Facebook browser game that is very similar to its older brother, Vampire Wars, also by Zynga. It operates by the rules that VW later adopted.
The interface is simpler and less showy than in Vampire Wars. It is clean and minimalistic. The game, however, lacks a clear introduction like the one in Vampire Wars.
The game is all about doing missions, earning money and buying new items. The number of items available is vast. Moreover, most of them are buyable. Also, you master the missions much faster, than in Vampire Wars. It makes for quicker and more enjoyable leveling. Especially when you consider random bonuses every few levels and boss fights in every chapter. And the number of chapters and missions themselves.
When it comes to PvP, you can not only fight the other players, but also declare war on them and rob them. The latter is especially fun, if hard.
Alas, life isn’t only roses and sunshine. The properties management lacks a lot of the clear-cut simplicity that Vampire Wars have. On the plus side, you can upgrade your premises (repeatedly). Also there exists a possibility of collecting simultaneously from all the properties and depositing the entire money into the bank.
To conclude, it quickly becomes apparent that both Vampire Wars and Mafia Wars have their advantages and disadvantages. What a pity Zynga has not made a single game that would combine the best points of both!