Avengers Academy Review

Avengers AcademyMarvel is dominating the box office with blockbusters like Winter Solider, Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers 2 (which wasn’t as bad as you think it was). But their videogame efforts are lagging. Outside of the occasional Lego entry or Disney Infinity 2.0 cross-promotion there hasn’t been a well-licensed entry of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

TinyCo hopes to retcon that statement with the release of Marvel Avengers Academy, available on iOS and Android. Avengers Academy delivers AAA-mobile development with a fully voiced celebrity cast, dynamic character design, semi-witty banter, a charming aesthetic and all of the worse gameplay mechanics associated with free to play titles.

Director Fury is assembling the best and brightest teenage versions of the characters you know from the comics and movies to help train them to become the heroes of tomorrow. And because they are teenagers, the attitude is dialed up to 1,000. The first three characters you unlock during the tutorial levels are Iron Man, the Wasp and everyone’s favorite Avenger…Loki (umm…I know he has a dedicated Internet following, but did everyone forget he is a bad guy.)

All comes across as self-centered, egomaniacs that just want to have fun, rebel against authority and demand constant attention…so basically every millennial stereotype available.

At the prestigious Avengers Academy they will take aim at the blasting range, study ancient texts, wield sorcery, master flight, go on solo missions, uncover evidence, defeat Hydra and other extremely amazing heroic feats. You as the player will select the character, drag the action from a predetermined list into a box and then wait while each hero does his or her assigned mission automatically on-screen for 1 minute to 8 hours.

The setting, story and production values are all enticing for fans of the characters but the gameplay is nothing more than a series of timegated hoops.

There is a set of story quests available to unlock additional heroes like Black Widow, Falcon or all the way at level 57, Thor. However, once you reach a point where you can recruit someone new, you must first find random widgets, textbooks and pay them gold earned from missions.

Missions are available on the campus board and randomly generate tasks for your heroes. But there are lots of catches. Each building can only hold a specific number of heroes at a time and sometimes the missions will queue up the same hero who is already occupied with a long task – it becomes very easy to have a bottleneck on resources.

Never fear though, there is a premium currency to speed up any task. Unlike some games, like Clash of Clans, which offer the player a small stream of premium currency Avengers Academy is extremely stingy with its Infinity shards…or even its gold for that matter.

Avengers Academy WaspWith a limited supply of the premium currency, hopefully your favorite hero isn’t Vision, Spider-Woman or War Machine because they can only be unlocked with Infinity shards. (chances are none of those characters are your favorite). And if you do pay for them…they pretty much just do the same things as everyone else walking around campus.

Most base building games still provide a combat option, however small. There is no such component in Avengers Academy; it is just building a base through linear missions and lots of waiting. If really want to unlock Hulk, you will do it at much higher levels and be forced to play with the starting heroes regardless of your preference.

There is no customization besides the predetermined story.

Avengers Academy is a beautiful game on mobile with lots of little details and references for fans of the series…but it is barely a game and has so little interactivity that its transparent they are hoping to hook a few whales on the F2P model based off the strength of the franchise. Don’t be one of their whales.


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