Long-term readers will have inevitably picked up on the fact that I’m a bit of a geek, which kinda goes hand in hand with writing about mobiles all the live long day. Just last week, I attended a midnight showing of Iron Man 3, which I believe was, like, one of the first showings in the UK. I’m pretty cool. Ahem.
Fast-forward one week, and I have the pleasure of reviewing Iron Man 3: The Official Game. Well, I say pleasure…
Much like those two, Iron Man 3: The Official Game has pretty much nothing to do with the movie it’s supposedly affiliated with.
Rather than focus on – or even mention – Tony Stark’s insomnia following the “incident” in Manhattan (see: Avengers Assemble), or his struggle to juggle being a superhero with his feelings for Pepper Potts, or the shady manoeuvrings of Aldrich Killian, we have – I kid you not – an endless runner.
Iron Man 3: The Official Game simply tasks you with surviving for as long as possible, avoiding various hazards as you go.
Our hero flies automatically, and moves from ground to air arbitrarily, with the aforementioned hazards changing accordingly. Up high, you’ll find – among other things – jets and missiles, while down below there are trucks and tanks and stuff.
It’s all a bit ridiculous, but not in a knowing, tongue-in-cheek way; it feels like things are there simply for the sake of being there. “Hey, what can we put up high?” “Missiles?” “Yeah, that’ll do.” Missiles? Missiles?
There are other familiar endless runner elements, such as missions (shoot X baddies in one run, run Y metres in total and so on), and the ability to continue for a price.
Incidentally, being free, it won’t surprise you to learn that Iron Man 3: The Official Game has a heavy reliance on freemium junk. It’s all incredibly convoluted, with no less than three currencies, namely Stark points, ISO-8 and XP. You can unlock suits with the latter two, but you’ll still need to fork out the former in order to build them. Sigh.
Freemium stuff is fair enough, as that’s just the way smartphone gaming is at the moment. It’s horrible, but there’s nothing we can do about it.
What I can’t stand is when games like Iron Man 3: The Official Game impose waiting times here, there and everywhere. For example, you have to wait for your suit to be repaired after every run. Ditto when you apply upgrades.
Of course, you can spend currency in order to speed things along, and - in turn - spend real money in order to boost your virtual wallet, yadda yadda yadda.
On the whole, freemium stuff aside, Iron Man 3: The Official Game is… fine. It looks a bit crummy, but it does fly along at a decent rate, and there’s lots of background stuff zipping by, like houses and hangars and that.
But it suffers from the same old endless runner thing, where you start to wonder what the point is. You’ll quickly find yourself in an endless routine of investing in suits in order to run further and get more money with which you invest in suits in order to run further and get more money with which you invest in suits…
Do I care about the suits? Not really, and it takes ages to save up for them. Do I care about my high score? Nope.
I dare say I’m being a little harsh, but that’s my prerogative as a superhero-loving blogger type chap.
- Runs well enough
- Lots of suits and stuff
- Semi-decent voice acting
- Nothing to do with the movie
- The freemium element (especially the waiting times)
- Looks a bit crummy
Summary: Iron Man 3: The Official Game is another endless runner, in a world full of endless runners. It’s… fine.
Price: free @ App Store
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation), iPad 2 Wi-Fi, iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G, iPad (3rd generation), iPad Wi-Fi + 4G, iPad (4th generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (4th generation), iPad mini and iPad mini Wi-Fi + Cellular. Requires iOS 5.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.