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Marvel Run Jump Smash! Review: Simple, fun runner

Assemble The Avengers In Marvel Run Jump Smash!

We might think there are more than enough ‘endless runners’ in the App Store, but Marvel clearly doesn’t agree. The comic book company’s latest iPhone release, Marvel Run Jump Smash!, combines this saturated genre with a selection of Avengers characters, offering a familiar but fun gaming experience that fans of the comic and film series should enjoy.

In the app, players take control of one of two animated S.H.I.E.L.D. agents – Nick Fury or Maria Hill – and the game begins with your chosen agent chasing down Loki, the Marvel Universe super-villain. You’ll run automatically at a constant pace, and two on-screen buttons at the left and right of the screen let users either jump or fire their weapon. As you’d expect, gamers will frequently need to do both: on their way, flames, fireballs, and Loki’s many minions will do their absolute best to halt your progress, and your reflexes will need to be fast if you hope to keep on running for any length of time.

Fortunately, your S.H.I.E.L.D. agent isn’t alone in this mission – a selection of Avengers superheroes have assembled, and these can be called upon to temporarily take over the running, jumping, and smashing duties from Nick or Maria. You can activate a superhero by jumping through dedicated icons which appear en route, and the default selection of Avengers include Iron Man, Captain America, and The Hulk.

This format actually works surprisingly well, and it helps Marvel Run Jump Smash! stand apart from similar titles: because each Avenger comes with its own set of unique, superhuman abilities, players can enjoy an ever-changing gaming experience depending on which superhero they’re playing as.

Obstacles will do their best to halt your forward progress.

Obstacles will do their best to halt your forward progress.

Pay to play

The problem, however, is that some of our favorite Avengers – including Spider-Man and Thor – are locked down and can’t immediately be accessed. And herein lies the game’s biggest downside: in order to unlock every Avenger that Marvel Run Jump Smash! has to offer, gamers are encouraged to splash some cash through making a handful of in-app purchases. Of course, there is the option to spend currency earned in-game, and the application’s in-app purchases aren’t strictly essential. But saving up enough coins to unlock every Avenger on offer is going to take a long time, which is a real shame considering Marvel Run Jump Smash! itself is in fact a paid app.

This qualm aside, there’s a lot to like about Marvel’s new app: its colorful, animated graphics are appealing, the range of characters available makes for enjoyable gameplay, and taking out Loki’s swarms of henchmen – either using a weapon or jumping on them as you pass, Mario-style – is extremely satisfying. Plus, its levels of increasing difficulty mean this is a game you’ll be able to return to as your skills increase, each time inching that little bit closer to Loki as he speeds into the distance.

Certain Avengers do come at a price that you’ll have to pay to unlock.

Certain Avengers do come at a price that you’ll have to pay to unlock.

Price: $2.99/£0.69

Version: 1.0.2

Size: 58.8 MB

Platform: iPhone & iPad

Developer: Marvel Entertainment

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