Marvel joins the battle of the cards with War of Heroes

Marvel: War of Heroes is a new iOS and Android game. It’s a card-battle title that runs on the same Mobage platform that hosts the immensely popular Rage of Bahamut, and is available as a free download on both iOS and Android. The game carries additional in-app purchases of premium currency, which is used to purchase various special in-game items.

Marvel: War of Heroes is, at its core, nothing more than a reskinned Rage of Bahamut, which means it has all the same issues its predecessor still carries to this day — slow loading times, poor interface design, heavy use of data and a complete lack of sound. It does, however, carry the Marvel license, which means it will likely appeal to a new demographic who may not have tried Rage of Bahamut or other card-capturing games.

Gameplay in Marvel: War of Heroes is, as usual for the genre, split into two main components: a single-player story mode, in which the player repeatedly taps an “attack” button until they run out of energy or a progress bar fills up; and a multiplayer battle mode in which players use their earned cards to fight against other players in an interaction-free asynchronous combat sequence. The former mode is used to earn soft currency and acquire new cards, each of which carries a high-quality image of a Marvel superhero; the latter mode is for bragging rights and stealing Resource items, which must be collected in complete sets to acquire rare cards.

Collected cards may also be fused together to increase their power. Sometimes this causes cards to “evolve” into improved forms, and this is the only way to collect certain rare cards. Consequently, a lot of the game involves players trying to collect as many cards as possible and then fuse them together in order to find all the possible variations on each hero. Rarer heroes also tend to be more powerful in battle, meaning that the player will enjoy greater success in multiplayer battles if they take the time to power up their cards.

The game monetizes through the purchase of hard currency, which can be used to acquire various restorative items and rare card packs. Socialisation, meanwhile, is encouraged by players earning “Rally Points” by interacting with other players each day — when acquired in sufficient quantities, Rally Points may be exchanged for free cards. The number of “friends” a player may have is limited by their experience level, which may only be increased by playing the story missions.

In short, Marvel: War of Heroes does absolutely nothing new with the oversaturated card-battle genre, with its sole distinguishing feature being its use of licensed Marvel heroes. Its poor presentation and lack of sound make it appear like a rather amateurish production, however — with Zynga’s Ayakashi: Ghost Guild showing that it is most certainly possible to make this type of game look, sound and feel like a professional, polished experience, there is really very little excuse for the corners that have clearly been cut during production of this title.

Despite its numerous flaws, Marvel: War of Heroes is likely to enjoy some good success due to both the popularity of the card-battle genre and a high level of interest in superhero-themed entertainment at the moment. Marvel has been experimenting with a variety of different interactive entertainment products recently, including the visually-stunning Avengers Initiative on iOS and the highly playable Avengers Alliance on Facebook — next to those two quality games, however, Marvel: War of Heroes’ slapdash production values and uninteresting gameplay stands out particularly prominently.

The iOS version of Marvel War of Heroes is currently ranked at No. 40 in Top Free Apps, No. 61 in Top Grossing Apps, No. 15 in Top Free Games and No. 53 in Top Grossing Games. The Android version is not yet listed on the AppData leaderboards, but has reportedly been downloaded between 10,000 and 50,000 times to date according to Google Play. You can follow both versions’ progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.

Publish date: October 24, 2012 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT