Publisher: Walt Disney Company
Platform(s): iOS and Android
Price: Game is free; in-game gimmicks can cost money
Release Date: June 13, 2013 (mobile version)
Content Warning: This game doesn’t contain a lot of content that could be considered offensive. One important thing to note though: there are female superheroes in this game, and (as is traditional of female characters in this role) some of them are pretty scantily clad. There is no nudity, but the pixelated avatars do bare some digital skin.
Opening: Marvel: Avengers Alliance started as a Facebook game that Playdom has since brought to the iOS and Android mobile platforms. It is a great mobile game for many turn-based RPG fans. The battles play similarly to traditional games in the genre, such as the Final Fantasy games. You can download and play the game for free, but you can buy in-game currency with real money as well. As you level your superheroes, they get more powerful and gain more abilities. As your avatar levels, you unlock more gear to purchase in order to make them more efficient.
Story: You are an agent in S.H.I.E.L.D. and you team up with your favorite Marvel characters to battle the forces of evil. At the beginning of every mission you choose, a short story is given to set the scene. You are told why you have been deployed to that location via conversations that take place between Nick Fury, prominent superheroes in that mission, and sometimes even with the enemies as well. I like that Playdom puts an avatar in the game in order to make you feel like you are a part of the battle. Having a character to represent you in the battle pulls you into the story.
Gameplay: You battle in Final Fantasy-style, turn-based combat in order to level your avatar and your superheroes. The combat system resembles similar elemental systems of other games in that certain types of characters gain advantages over other types of characters. For example, when a scrapper attacks an infiltrator, they perform a follow-up attack on both that attack and the next attack. To the left is a chart of what the different character types are strong against and weak against. For the rest of the gameplay review section, I will split information into three sections in order to describe each playmode individually.
Story Mode: This playmode is always available and takes you through the story of the game. The bad thing about story mode is that the missions don’t level with your character, so it’s easy for this mode to fall behind. The XP your characters gain in this mode is far less than what they get in Spec Ops and PvP. I would suggest only playing this mode when neither of the other options are available and you just want to get the reward for beating the boss at the end of the mission.
Spec Ops: In Spec Ops, you play to complete tasks that earn you rewards and give you a limited edition character if you complete them all. The character you get by completing all of the tasks is typically better than a lot of the characters you can recruit. Every mission you play costs energy and Unstable Isos, but you can get these in loot rolls and as free gifts from friends. Tasks can vary from defeating a specified number of a particular enemy, to completing a specific mission with specific superheroes. You can also spend gold (the in-game currency) to complete these tasks automatically. This is a great play-mode for leveling your characters, but is only available for limited amounts of time.
PvP: In this mode, you put a team together to battle other players’ teams. The computer controls the opposing teams so you aren’t actually battling them in real time. This is by far the hardest mode, but it has some of the greatest rewards. For five wins a day, every character that survives to the end of the fight gets 100XP (which is a pretty significant amount). You also get a spin to win prizes after getting those five wins. Your team battles while you’re away, so you will want to build a team with a pretty good defense. Every battle will either raise or lower your player rating, and at the end of the PvP season you will be rewarded according to your standing.
Presentation: The artwork for this game is great. The characters are a good representation of their comic book, cartoon, and movie counter-parts. The animation of the game is smooth and typically represents the character well. The music in this game isn’t anything spectacular. In fact I typically just turn it off and leave the sounds on to keep the game quiet. It isn’t particularly bad though.
Overall: As a whole this game is entertaining. If you don’t have much extra room on your mobile device for gaming, I would say that this would be a good one to keep. While there isn’t any way to directly play this game with friends, sharing resources and strategies can be fun. The overall sustainability makes this game a win.
The Bottom Line