Iron Man 3 was a fantastically entertaining movie that was kind of full of plot holes when you thought about it, but it didn’t matter because of Robert Downey Jr. Alas, with every great movie, there must also be a quickly made movie tie-in game to cash in on its success and leave a bad taste in your mouth. It’s written in the stars, or something. Instead of a 3-D action adventure game like one would usually expect, we got this endless runner instead, and it’s not too shabby.
There is a real sense of speed as you zoom through the world as Iron Man, shooting down drones and enemies, dodging missiles and obstacles, and even fighting off bigtime baddies from the comics who never got the Marvel Cinematic Universe treatment. You simply swipe along the bottom of the screen to steer, tapping and sliding your finger around the upper portion of the screen to fire. The controls are a little wonky at times, but they’re alright.
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As you fly, you’ll collect these red coin things, and also power-ups. Like with any runner these days, you’re given missions to complete for quick rewards. The red coins you collect are used to upgrade and purchase new armors, dating all the way back to the Mark II from the first movie, to the latest Mark 42, and all those fun armors created specifically to sell toys that were created in between! Every time you upgrade something, or your armor needs repairing, it’ll take a bit of time. You can bypass the wait by spending Iso-8. You’re given 150 Iso-8 to start with, and as long as you don’t spend it too quickly, the game won’t become tedious right away.
All this timer nonsense smells of Gameloft’s other recent freemium outings, like Dungeon Hunter 4, which took things to a new level of ridiculous. It isn’t as bad here, but you’re still being prompted and tempted into those in-app purchases like they were a Jericho Missile barrage. My one big complaint is that missiles can be absurdly hard to dodge, and do loads of damage. Also, I don’t know if it’s just my tablet or what, but the game would bug out a lot, leaving me with black screens while I could hear the action going on without me.
The visuals are actually kind of terrible. I don’t expect them to be amazing for a movie-tie in runner, but there are straight up ugly textures and lots of pop-in. Tony Stark would not be pleased. Speaking of Tony Stark, as expected, the voice actor stand-ins for the Hollywood superstars do an OK job. What I don’t understand is why the character portraits look nothing like their counterparts. Long story short, this is a solid but buggy runner that’s good to kill an hour or two, but not much else. Thankfully, it’s totally free.
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