Marvel put together an awesome re-imagining of Avengers heroes and villains as university students. They recruited top notch voice talent like Alison Brie, Colton Haynes and John Cena. All that design work and talent for a glorified The Simpsons: Tapped Out clone.
Look at this key art.
I would watch that cartoon. I would read that comic. Up until I got my hands on Avengers Academy, launched this week on iOS and Android, I was chomping at the bit to play the game. I was excited.
Then Marvel and TinyCo announced the voice cast, and I was even more excited. Just look at this cast!
Unikitty as Black Widow!
TV’s Arsenal as Thor!
That girl from that thing as Wasp!
Anyone at all as Tigra, and not just because she’s a cat girl (but mainly that).
JOHN CENA AS HULK. Yeah, that one deserved all caps.
With those amazing designs and this awesome cast, how could this game not be spectacular?
And then I played the game. I am no longer excited.
The launch trailer for Avengers Academy contains no gameplay. The press assets I was directed to for Avengers Academy contained no gameplay shots. This makes sense, as there’s not a lot of gameplay in Avengers Academy.
The game is a series of timed missions. Complete timed missions to earn gold and items to unlock new characters to participate in even more timed missions. In the screenshot above we see Tony Start automatically running to sit in a chair for eight hours after I pushed a button. I have other missions to complete requiring the same building, but I cannot use them until Tony is done sitting there for eight hours. Yay.
Within the first 20 minutes of playing I received a mission to unlock Vision! Yay!
Oh. They want me to buy Vision. For almost $US20 ($28) worth of in-game currency. The mission went away after a couple of days, but still screw that.
It makes me sad to see so much effort going into creating this colourful new corner of the Avengers universe, only to have all of it applied to one of the laziest of all mobile game genres. As much as I love seeing Hank Pym at Giant Man size watching young adult Tony Stark playing with test tubes, the idea of grinding non-interactive missions for days to see more cool things I can’t play doesn’t seem like fun.