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Marvel: Avengers Alliance

Marvel’s entry into the online/Facebook gaming app world is an interesting choice.  I say interesting not in the sense that it does not make much sense.  In fact, with the Avengers movie coming to theaters soon, it makes perfect sense.  When I say interesting, I mean that some of the decisions about how the game is played and structured are… interesting.

The game itself is pretty standard for a Facebook app game.  The game centers around story lines where you build your Avengers team.  You actually do not play a super hero, but a member of SHIELD, working with the Avengers on their various missions.  The missions are the standard app combat missions pitting three heroes against a series of villains.  There are also player versus player battles, where you face your group against another.  Again, this is pretty typical of a lot of these types of games.  Through these missions, you acquire SHIELD points, Command points, silver, and various items for use in missions.

The first thing that you notice is that the SHIELD points are extremely rare, which is unfortunate since you need them to level up your Avengers through training (you do not have this limitation), as well as for training and purchasing items.  You can purchase these points by paying for them, or you can have friends send you points.  At the moment, I’m running into a glitch in the game that is actually preventing me from receiving gifts from friends, which basically means I am up the creek in the game.

You also notice that the Command points, needed to add characters to your roster, are almost as rare as the SHIELD points.  Unfortunately, you cannot gift them (even when the gifts are working, which they were up until today).

The missions are, as I said, pretty straight forward.  It is a turn based system, with each character getting a chance to attack.  Like most of these games, there are multiple character types, each does better against another type.  This turn system can get a bit confusing when you are in PvP battles, since it is quite likely you will be bringing the same team to the mission as your adversary.

At the moment, there really is not much that sets this game apart from others like it, other than it is an official Marvel game.  It is interesting to check it out. But, I have found other games more exciting, especially the ones where you actually play a super hero instead of another nameless agent of SHIELD.  The rarity of the two primary means of advancing in the game (the SHIELD and Command points) is a bit of a turn off, especially when faced with a bug that does not register friend gifts.  It is also, like so many games on Facebook, heavily weighed towards the social side, with the game play working better the more friends you have playing the game as well.

If you are curious, or if you are a diehard Marvel fan, then you should check this game out.  But, if you are the casual gamer looking to just kill a little time, then there are better online games to play than this one.

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