Marvel’s latest licensing partnership in mobile gaming had sparked interest in the days leading up to its release this past weekend. Avengers Academy key art looked fresh and compelling. It looks like a series Marvel Animation should be producing. However, no gameplay videos were available for us to see and after spending a weekend with the game it’s painfully obvious why. TinyCo’s Marvel Avengers Academy is a flat exercise in infuriating patience.
When you first download the game, Avengers Academy is begging you to interact with this reimagined Avengers world. Nick Fury is recruiting late teen versions of Marvel’s best to train in order to battle the forces of H.Y.D.R.A. Once you get past the great voice acting the game just sort of makes you sit there and watch. It’s a mechanic typical of most mobile world building games, but here the developers cause too many road blocks with it.
Sending wasp to take selfies and plan parties. Ok, I can deal with taking her off the board for 3-5 min, but when you run into objectives where your character has to be sent on an errand like studying or dancing for 2hrs that’s a bit too much. TinyCo have packed the game with micro transactions to speed along these instances but to spend anywhere from $1-20 to do so is borderline robbery. After hours of checking in and out of the game I only managed to unlock one character.
Marvel Avengers Academy has great orbiting protons and electrons but its nucleus is so flawed making it really hard for anything resembling something entertaining to emerge.
While there have been a few licensed console games in recent years; Marvel haven’t had a proper use of its characters in gaming since the days of Ultimate Alliance. Marvel Heroes is a great game (way way better than AA) but limited in exposure by only being on the PC. Sure many factors could be hindering proper development but having access to the resources of Disney Interactive means Marvel should have something to show for it by now. It looks like Marvel’s next major attempt at console gaming may not come until the mystery series in development with TellTale Games launches sometime next year, but having that studio develop another DC property before it might fatigue the audience if it isn’t revolutionary.
Ultimately the characters in Marvel Avengers Academy are awesome. If this was an animated series I’d probably have kids just so I could watch it with them. It’s a shame that they have to be tied to this frustrating mobile experience.
Come on Marvel! Make a console game already.