By Todd Allen
Avengers Alliance is now live on Facebook. This is basically Mafia Wars with superheroes. You’re a SHIELD agent. You recruit superheroes (initially Iron Man, Hawkeye and the Black Widow) to go on missions with you. The story arc involves chasing around Hydra and meteorite fragments as you beat up henchmen and fight bosses like Whiplash and Viper.
This is a turn-based game, so you go into game segments in a sequence and fight the bad guys. As you level up, you can purchase new attacks and weapons. As you get “command points” you can recruit new superheroes to your team.
Entering into combat uses up energy. Either you wait a while for the energy to re-fill or you spend some money and buy some more. I got hung up on the third mission where you’re required to either buy some pilots for your second jet or insert your friends into those roles (a common tactic for social media games) — the game’s only been live a sort time and my friends haven’t joined yet, so I’ll likely try again tomorrow when it should be a bit more normalized.
All in all, this feels like the boss combat mode in Mafia Wars with a narrative inserted as dialogue in screens between the fights. And with Iron Man instead of gangsters. I’m enjoying well enough and if you like Mafia Wars and Marvel, you’re probably going to be amused by this.
The interesting wrinkle is that the superheroes are all in the current comic book incarnations, but Nick Fury is the Samuel L. Jackson movie version (or Ultimate Nick Fury, if you go that way). Movie tie-in or is something going to be changing with Nick Fury in the mainstream Marvel universe?
Either way, the price (free unless you want to buy power-ups) is right and the feel is right, so have at it.
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.