The Avengers. Seems that this group of superheroes can do no wrong for Marvel, at least in theaters. In comics, things are still swayed quite a bit to the mutants of the X-Men. Games over the years have not been all that kind to the Avengers though. During the 8-Bit and 16-Bit era only Batman seemed to fare all that well while everyone else sort of floundered. The Avengers fared really badly in this era with only one game really released- Captain America and the Avengers. The arcade game was better than the home ports, but not by much. There was also Galactic Storm starring the Avengers team but well, read more over on Retro Gaming Magazine about that. The 16-Bit era, and later, was tossed back and forth between DC’s Batman and Marvels’ X-Men franchises. Now, finally, on mobile, the Avengers have something the X-Men don’t have- a time management school building game. You have to wonder though, how far away is an X-Men version of Avengers Academy?
Tinyco, the developer behind Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff, also on Android and iTunes, developed Avengers Academy. Anyone that has played the Family Guy game, or any of the many other similar titles, will be right at home with the Avengers game. There are plenty of “damnit, I didn’t mean to pick that action!” that lead to “damnit! I have to spend this rare currency to get that character free again to do this shorter, better, option I just noticed.” Players of this type of game understand the frustration. This frustration is where I think the companies make their real money on these games, not on the extras that pop up from time to time.
These extras run the gamut from new characters that are incredibly powerful (Incredible Hulk), helpful in current quests but impossible to get through normal means in time (cast for me right now) and of course just cool (Quake and Spider-Woman). There are also the usual trappings of keeping you in a bind to upgrade characters and buildings. Payouts for the limited actions are low while upgrades cost a lot in relation.
Everything else about Avengers Academy is the usual for this type of game. Characters have a list of actions available, based on their levels and available buildings and current place in the story. The big difference here is that not all actions earn you experience or money. This was something that caught me off guard, I am an old hat at the Family Guy game (stopped when my account reached level 65+ and the load times got outrageous after updates). The only actions that earn experience and money in Avengers Academy are those that are available via the message board in the quad. Almost everything outside of those listings are useless, other than just tying up a character to kill time.
There are some quests that are not on the board that earn money and such, these are assigned via the scroll window to the left. Actions here are used to push the overall storyline forward and will often deal with whatever current event is happening (as of this writing).
With the new license comes a new engine for the game. Avengers Academy uses a 3D engine that allows angled viewing (right down to “ground level”) and rotating the camera just for shits and giggles. Other than getting up close and personal with characters or buildings, this new engine doesn’t offer much usefulness. It probably is easier on animators though as they can now use 3D models to perform all of the various scenes.
GDP XD Specifics: Considering the default camera angle the GDP XD is a great device to play Avengers Academy on. Opening the clamshell partway allows the device to rest comfortably on a flat surface and you can do other things while playing. The GDP XD runs Avengers Academy quite well with no concerns.
Avangers Academy by Tinyco
Platform: Android (version reviewed) and iTunes
Device Used: Zte zmax 2
Genre: Time management, money grab
In App Purchases: Yes, lots
Rated: Teen on Google Play and 9+ on iTunes
Available now on Google Play and the iTunes App Store
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