Avengers Alliance is the latest title to make the transition from a Facebook game to iOS. You play as the newest agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., the world’s peacekeeping task force, and one of your duties is to accompany the Avengers on their missions. After a strange meteor shower leaves possibly dangerous items scattered throughout New York City, the heroes and villains are out in full force.
Avengers Alliance plays like a standard RPG with turn-based combat. In most battles, you’ll get to team up with your favorite heroes. You’ll start with S.H.I.E.L.D.’s roster of reliable soldiers, like the Black Widow and Hawkeye. Soon after, you’ll even get to play with Tony Stark himself, Iron Man. Each character has their own set of attacks, and once you have enough available characters, you can customize your team.
The game also has the tropes of the freemium games we have come to know so well. Each battle costs a certain amount of energy, which regenerates over time. You can also send heroes out on individual missions, taking from fifteen minutes up to a full day. The heroes will return with in-game coins and bonuses, but you’ll be unable to use them in battle while they’re away. You can also send heroes out to train and learn new moves.
The backbone of the entire game is the currency system. By playing combat missions, you can earn coins, S.H.I.E.L.D. points, gold, and Command Points. Each can be used to purchase different items or characters. While you will earn some characters by completing missions, you’ll need to spend some serious gold to unlock Spider-Man or the Hulk. If you want to speed up the wait times of various actions, that will cost some gold as well.
The game tries desperately to keep carrots dangled in front of you, hoping you’ll keep playing. You’ll want to beat every villain and unlock every hero, but the combat isn’t exactly the most exciting. In a world filled with masks, capes, and superhero serums, you’ll find yourself all too often using boring old pistols and grenades.
In the end, Marvel: Avengers Alliance is a fun game for Marvel fans, but it will probably be a bore to those who only want a good RPG. The real highlight here is the intellectual property, putting a glossy finish on an otherwise stale experience. Let’s face it: it’s always fun to get a notification on your phone that Iron Man is back from his secret mission.