Marvel Super Hero Squad Online is a child friendly Freemium MMORPG from Gazillion Entertainment. You play as cute cartoon versions of your favourite Marvel heroes, from the Avengers, to the X Men along with Deadpool, Spiderman, Blade, Ghost Rider – they’re all here in child friendly form.
The game runs on the cross platform Unity engine and I must confess at this point that my experience with the game has been marred somewhat by a Firefox plug in container failure that would kick in and cause the game to crash after about 15 minutes, despite me ensuring that everything was up to date. A quick Google search tells me I’m not the only one. Despite running in a browser, there is an option to install some files, but this didn’t seem to have any effect on preventing the game from crashing. I also suffered a number of connection issues, which in itself is pretty unusual for me.
So to the game. Sign up, pick from either Miss Marvel or Cyclops and then you can start exploring the first hub world, themed around Spider-man and complete with Daily Bugle building and free apple pie when you swing by Aunt May’s. Click where you want to move to or alternatively, you can just use the keyboard. The hub town uses fixed view so you unfortunately can’t turn the camera as you run round town clicking on UFO’s to destroy them. Destroying said UFO’s will net you tickets.
There are mini games to be played, which again earn you tickets. Tickets can be spent on the prize wheel which will earn you gold or silver tokens to spend in shops to buy new characters for your party. You can also spend coins on new paint jobs for your HQ, card decks for the card game, or to earn gold or silver so that you can buy that elusive Doctor Strange or the armoured Hulk you’ve always wanted. You’ll also find tokens with your characters face and these are collected to level up your character.
There’s quite a bit to do as long as clicking on your mouse repeatedly is your thing. There are other hub worlds to explore and you’ll visit the Fantastic 4’s Baxter Plaza and Thor’s Asgard amongst others. Your HQ is a set of purchasable rooms that you can decorate with different paint jobs you’ll pick up from the prize wheel or shops.
There are daily missions to play, which you can choose to play solo, or take a party in from the numerous other players wondering around the hubs. These take the form of a couple of levels of clicking to move and clicking to fight, or clicking on a fuel tank to pick it up and then click on an enemy to throw it. Then you’ll face off against a random villain, after which you’ll earn some more tickets, coins and XP.
Included in Marvel Super Hero Squad Online is a collectible card game that takes the form of a side on style turn based event which will be pleasing to any fans of Final Fantasy. During the mini-game you draw cards from your deck to battle opponents which gives you another avenue to earn coins and tickets through the various card game “quests”.
Of course you’ll never have enough gold or silver to buy everything you want and that’s where the micro transactions come in. The pay model for these sorts of games is pretty similar – you can play the game for free, acquiring tickets and coins at a fairly low rate, but can be enhanced by in game micro transactions to pay for gold and subscription membership known as Junior SHIELD Agent. This gives you some rare characters, 500 gold a month and the chance to win some more gold every day.
This is the crux of it really. As someone who has had to fork out for numerous Moshi Monster subscriptions for my daughter, you’re only really going to pony up your money if you enjoy what you’re playing. You can chat to other players in game, but to be honest I felt a little uncomfortable saying hello to what are probably random children playing the game! That said, if I was 30+ years younger, I would be all over this. I did get my daughter to play it for a bit but she unfortunately lost interest pretty quickly and went back to Call of Duty (I jest).
The game is a pretty basic and casual affair. I realise this game isn’t aimed at me, however if you have Avengers obsessed kids, then they’re going to really enjoy it and it’s certainly worth a months subscription to get your teeth into it. Technical issues aside, Marvel Super Hero Squad Online is a competent time sink with plenty to do.
MLG Rating: 6/10 Platform: PC Release Date: 29/04/2011
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided with 60 days JR SHIELD Membership for review purposes by the promoter. The title was reviewed over the course of 30 days on a PC. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.