The Maroon Witch. Thor with an 'N' at the end. Miss Marvellous. Rabid Raccoon and... Grout. I don't know whether to laugh or cry at AMZGame's Tiny Mighty Heroes Unite, so I do a little of both.
The creator of the sort of games you see advertised in those tiny Facebook ad boxes (League of Angels, anyone?), AMZGame is, as far as I can tell, a Chinese developer of online browser-based fare that obviously likes to play it fast and loose with intellectual property rights.
Tiny Might Heroes Unite is a game I kept seeing in those little Facebook ads, but I didn't take the plunge until earlier today, when a reader named Danilo pointed me towards several YouTube vids about the free-to-play browser title with the subject line "Copyright infringements everywhere."
China doesn't seem to care much about copyrights, or at least not enough to modify the obvious Marvel (and one DC) characters more than the tiniest bit. All the men are chubby. All the women are winsome. The names have been mostly changed to protect the lazy.
Winter Soldier becomes Winter Warrior.
Blade, vampire hunter is now the entire Sword, hilt and all.
Sentry is Sentri, which is entirely different who says it's not.
And Sabertooth becomes...
Well I guess he's just Sabertooth.
By far my favourite renaming however, goes to that tricksy Norse god of mischief...
La Cross. It's perfect. I can just hear Thorn shouting his name angrily at the heavens as the trickster runs away, his brother's sporting balls held fast in the horns of his helmet. By far my favourite character from the Avengers movies.
Tiny Mighty Heroes Unite is one of those team-building role-playing sort of games where you assemble a group of heroes and send them off to fight mostly automatically through repetitive stages, collecting the loot needed to upgrade them along the way. It's pretty standard pay-to-win nonsense.
I played it for about 15 minutes. Skip to the 11 minute mark to listen to me choke as I read through the hero list for the first time.
How can a game like Tiny Mighty Heroes Unite exist in a world where Marvel Comics, a company famously protective about its brand, is owned by Disney, a company that will kill you?
It's the miracle of shady Chinese game development. For ages there was a browser-based game featuring characters that were obviously tiny versions of Naruto and friends. Pockie Wars? That was it. It's technically still going in Russia, and it apparently has a sequel even. So it's not just China. Large countries in Asia just do not give a damn.