Murder all the bankers you can find, but only on your iPhone
"Squash the $treet" promises vengeance, if only in virtual form, on the faceless fraudsters who built the economic bubble and absconded with our dreams.
Essentially, it's a version of the old carnival standby, Whack-a-Mole, only updated as a kind of "Offing Madoff." As you play, you get a bird's eye view of a city block that I guess we're supposed to take for Wall Street. The closing bell rings, and one by one, businessmen scurry out of the buildings (with names such as Guilded Hacks, Shadygroup, and Leave 'em Bros) and try to hustle into their private jets, and getaway limousines before you can squash them under your thumb like bugs.
The more bankers you smear across the sidewalk, the more cash you put back into your account. If you "flick" them across the street, you recoup even more of your losses. If too many escape with your life's savings, you lose.
Rage and gore aren't new in video games of any platform (the app's maker, Last Legion Games, also provides the iPhone version for the brutal Watchmen franchise), but these motivations are.
"Squash and flick the snarky scoundrels up and down the streets and sidewalks in the festering heart of the city where all the thievery and greed began," incites the game's sales pitch. "Recoup your losses with the monetary awards you receive from successfully squashing the white-collared criminals who stole your retirement savings."
The 99¢ game also comes with "panicked voice-acting and screams by actual bankers" taunting us with exclamations such as "The government owns your bank!" and "Where's my bonus?"
America may have recoiled when Apple's App Store recently released -- and then rescinded -- a game involving shaken babies. Heaven forbid that app might encourage someone to shake a baby to death in real life, but the nerves of America's defrauded masses are still raw enough to that we relish, even in jest, such an uprising at the local bank.
Frankly, if you can afford to own an iPhone or an iPod touch, the two devices for which the game is sold, then things probably aren't yet bad enough for you to foment another Marie Antoinette moment with the bankers of the world.
It's when people can't afford those toys -- and can't access such a silly, if slightly disturbing, outlet for our anger -- that anyone who works in the financial industry should maybe start worrying about giant fingers pointing at them.