Anyone who has played Rage of Bahamut will recognize every feature of Marvel War of Heroes– but our guess is that most people who pick up MWoH will be looking at the name, not the developer’s history. So let us fill you in.
MWoH is a game based on card collection, trading, and battles, and it has two major modes: single-player mission and player-vs.-player battles. They take a freemium model by charging for cards, but you can also accrue cards from missions, consecutive log-in rewards, and leveling up.
The cards portray the heroes and villains of the Marvel Universe, and the variety is suitable for that well-populated universe. Similar cards can be “fused” to create a single, stronger card, with modified abilities and art. Divergent cards can serve as boosts to a card of choice to make it more hardy. What’s more, each card and its evolved forms show off the art that this developer does so well (as also seen in Rage of Bahamut).
In the mission mode, you are working as an agent for S.H.I.E.L.D. with Nick Fury giving you sets of missions that center around a particular villain and come with a particular superhero. You start out working with Spider-Woman taking on Doc Oc, and move to less well-known heroes like Tigra, fighting against Kraven. The hero-villain match-ups primarily follow existing rivalries, and the background is provided by little quips your hero says before launching into a mission or a boss fight.
Excuse me, sir? You dropped some silver.
Battles are carried out against other players, so there’s a decent amount of strategy in managing your deck. Alliances are formed among players to give something to build up and brag about when the game introduces events to challenge these alliances. The community is very active too, and alliances and battle opponents are a dime a dozen.
Sadly, most of the good qualities stop there. The missions consist of tapping on the screen to get the endless minions out of the way, with the only downside being depletion of your energy, which takes time (or money) to replenish– there isn’t much challenge or risk involved in these fights. Battles are done automatically and one battle usually wipes out your energy for more, leaving you to play the time-or-money game again.
The game also struggles with a poorly polished execution. While the cards look good, grammar and spelling errors abound, fonts vary widely, and the interface looks like it’s made for a browser, not an iPhone or iPod. Basically, it has all the things we liked and disliked in Rage of Bahamut, but the latter felt more substantive, even without the Marvel trademark. It’s worth a look for Bahamut or comic book fans, but other should use caution.