Don’t let the name deceive you. Avengers Initiative really only has one Avenger. The Hulk. But that’s okay, because for a touch game, it’s not bad.
Released: Sept. 6, 2012
Platforms: iOS and Android
Hulk games aren’t difficult to get right. One part smashing, one part supervillains, one more part smashing, and a pinch of throw backs to the classic comics. Developer Wideload has their recipe down. As the Gamma Goliath, you’re put in the role of supervillain head-hunter. Familiar faces like Kronans, Skrulls, Zzzax, and Wendigo are on your hit-list.
The combat takes many of its cues from Infinity Blade, swiping your finger across the screen to throw a punch, and evade left or right. Combat technique is extremely limited, however. Most fights rely on merely discovering your opponent’s specific punch pattern and timing your evade properly. The more dull fights feature slow moving enemies that telegraph their shots for days before swinging, to the point where you’re just waiting for them to cock their arm all the way back so you can perform a proper dodge, and the better battles are fast paced and unpredictable. Chaining together a combo toward a special finishing move is extremely satisfying, but chains can be easily broken by your device’s screen misreading the direction of your finger swipe.
Winning fights earns you cash and experience points to upgrade your fists, and other stats, but it’s not a very deep system. More of an after thought, really. Collectable gems add more specific traits to your Hulk, but these upgrades are barely noticeable.
Visually, the game is stunning, as far as iOS games go. There are a lot of rich textures, and Hulk’s facial animations are great. And it’s at its best on the new iPad’s retina display. The game doesn’t allow much exploration, which is disappointing given how great the visuals are. Players poke specific markers on the screen to travel to that particular point of interest. The impressive graphics are compounded by great audio and the Avengers animated series cast reprising their roles.
Hulk purists will enjoy the different skins available. Gray Hulk, Maestro Hulk, and other favorites are included.
I had a few nitpicks throughout the game like a few oddly placed cutscenes, and the screen misreading my finger, but these issues were few and far between. Overall, Avengers Initiative is a great mobile title. Simple, entertaining, and beautiful. Not a bad way to spend $6.99.
For more of The Comics Console, click here!