The latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the amazing Guardians of the Galaxy. Now, don’t worry – Games developers haven’t tried to force a game out of this series for consoles…however, there is a very intriguing iOS and Android game. For £2.99, The Guardians of the Galaxy game, subtitled The Universal Weapon, Marvel have licensed a worthy game for mobile and tablet users. GotG:TUW allows each player to customise his team to include any four members he or she desires (although, I’d strongly suggest using a healer to get a true understanding of this game for the last few levels!). Thankfully, we’re not limited to just the few wonderful, crazy characters that are in the film, as we can also play as Mantis, Beta Ray Bill, Vance Astro, Quasar and many many more.
TUW is cut from the same cloth as the film, with its quirky fun stance clear from the cartoon style of the game, as well as the comic storyboard which intercuts levels. The premise is simple – use your four characters to fight off a few enemies per level – with each level being a bit tougher and requiring you to truly use your resources in the best way you can. There are 6 different settings in the mission maps…starting at Prison 42, through Hala towards Xandar, and for those who don’t know the comics, Hala is the homeworld of the Kree race, while Xandar is a base for the Nova Corps (John C. Reilly and Glenn Close portray two Nova Corps leaders in the film).
This sticks to the comics and with its release a week before the film, definitely try and sink your teeth into it now so that you’re up to full speed before you go to the cinema. I love Cosmo being such a huge part of this game, staying true to the comics, just a shame it’s in a limited capacity as a NPC instead of being able to smash your enemies to pieces with his great TK skills! Mantis is another great addition – especially to add another option to the Healers, as otherwise I would’ve just stuck with Groot…now I rotate between the two. Using the soundtrack from the film, well, “Hooked On A Feeling” at least, is a good move to make and one that excites you as it reminds you of what you’re about to be playing…I at least smiled.
The other mode on the game is the Arena Play. This is simply waves of enemies that you have to hold off for as long as possible. This is a great way to boost the level of your characters if you’re stuck on a certain level because your team can’t take hits too well or if you’re just not quite there yet. The xp screen can be a bit annoying; there’s no skip function which can be quite time consuming if you’ve started the arena at Wave 1 and got up to 40 for example…or just simply for the later levels themselves due to the high amount of xp you get. The levelling system of your team is fairly simple, and is more xp of that slot that actually that character. Weapon upgrades are available every few levels/every other level at points….upgraded by using silver collected from completing side missions (40 for completing 6 waves of arena without Star Lord for example). Each character has 4 slots; one for the weapon, one red slot (which is for items such as running shoes to increase movement speed, quite pointless in my opinion, or body armour, which is very useful for characters with low health) and 2 green slots, which are for items to increase defense and damage done and stuff like that.
My problems with the game are few…but that’s probably because this game is short and sweet rather than long enough that the little things become a big pain. The level lengths are a bit…two-face: I like how short each level is, as it makes it easy to play a quick level and progress through the game; but at the same time, a bit more length in some levels would make a big difference; especially in the levels where you face bosses. The first boss fight is over before you truly realise this is supposed to be a bigger challenge; in fact, my tactic was, ignore anyone else who shows up and try to win a dps fight before your team of vagabonds wipes.
One issue that was constant for both Thinkbad Monkey and myself was working in a small space where trying to select different members was an issue; as well as getting them to fight/heal the correct character! This progressively becomes a bigger and bigger issue as the fights get a bit more intense, especially as the outcome becomes almost dependent on the ability to move Star-Lord for example across map quickly to help out Rocket. Tablets definitely comes close to solving this problem for anyone who was using the phone, but it’s still a bit of an issue with those who at times struggle to tap the correct object on an iPad.
For £2.99, consider picking this up, especially if, like me, you’re a huge fan of the Guardians comics, or just a fan of Marvel. If at any point you see this game in a 50% sale, then definitely purchase it; £3 is a bit too much for the game, but it definitely beats it having in-app purchases.