I usually stay away from reviewing free to play mobile phones, but I found myself sinking a lot of time into TinyCo’s latest, Marvel’s Avengers Academy, a game with a ridiculous premise but serves as a new take on our favourite Marvel superheroes.
Now keep in mind, Free to Play Mobile games are always updating and can either improve or destroy a game, because of this we’re basing the reviews on the state of the game as of March 3rd.
Marvel’s Avengers Academy shows the Marvel Superheroes in their Late Teens (Early Adults), receiving training from Nick Fury at the S.H.I.E.L.D. created Avengers Academy, a college designed to train Superheroes to be better heroes. Iron Man becomes the first new recruit to the academy as Hydra’s own school for villains starts to attack New York, guiding other heroes to join the academy to become stronger and take on Hydra.
There isn’t much to the basic story that would impress and is really just a vehicle to force you to do the more repetitive jobs given in the game. However, there is an overall deeper story going on that involves multiverse destruction and possible war happening in the background, as some of the areas in the academy is blocked off by a TimeField, that will only disappear after specific requirements are made. Ultimately, this mystery had kept me playing through the game despite wanting to stop several times.
That was because of the gameplay. Avengers Academy is a time management game that shares similarities with Farmville. Missions are done by sending Avengers to do often meaningless jobs like target practice, fly around the academy, or cast Asgardian magic, these task take up time ranging from 1 minute to 8 hours. After the heroes are tasked with a job, they cannot accept any other tasks and players must wait until the timer is done before moving on, or they can spend hard-earned Crystals to speed up the process.
This brings us to the currency of the game. Normally there are two types of currency in the game, Avengers Coins that are given when completing tasks or missions, which are used to purchase basic items and upgrade characters, and the Crystals which cost real money (or sacrifice a couple of minutes to watch an ad a few times a day), but can instantly buy new characters and instantly complete tasks. There are other items that come when attempting to unlock characters, these are usually dependant on an Unlock mission being available, and finally there are the Pym Particles which will allow you to clear debris from the TimeFields once they are eliminated from the field.
Of course the real selling point of Avengers Academy is the design. Personally, I love the new looks of the young Avengers, from Iron Man’s prep look, to Black Widow’s Goth phase, the characters looks like an unique personification of what we would expect from the heroes and villains that join the academy.
Then there is the voice cast. The cast is actually what made me want to play the game in the first place, because when you hear that John Cena is playing The Incredible Hulk, it’s something that has to be heard. Of course he isn’t the only big name, as Dave Franco takes the role of Iron Man, Community’s Alison Brie as Black Widow, and Arrow’s Colton Haynes as Thor. Even a large amount of famous Youtubers including Toby Turner (Ant-Man), RoosterTeeth’s Gus Sorola (Hawkeye), SeaNanners (Taskmaster), and sWooZie (Warmachine), just to mention a few.
For many people, Avengers Academy may be a game that they’ll pick up and forget about, and it’s easy to see why, the opening of the game has a lot of focus on Iron Man over the other characters when setting up tasks and missions, and there isn’t much to do outside of the character management. However the game hits that sweet spot that most Time Management games tends to hit that allows you to get hooked on whatever is happening, and allows you to occasionally get pulled back in after your heroes finish their 8 hour job.
Avengers Academy is available now on iOS and Android.