If you don't pay money in Marvel Avengers Academy, you're gonna have a bad time.

In fact, it goes so far as to actively discourage you from playing if you're not willing to put your hand in your pocket.

This is everyone's worst nightmare of free to play mobile gaming. There are long wait timers for every action, a high gem cost to speed anything up, and there's even a quest that asks you to spend real cash within just fifteen minutes of playing.

So what's the game actually about?

Okay, the story goes that you're the manager of the Marvel Avengers Academy, a school that trains up younger versions of your favourite superhero characters.

It's under threat from a nasty bunch of teenage super villains called Hydra who want to destroy it, basically, so it's your job to get these heroes up to speed as quickly as you can in an effort to stop them.

In gameplay terms, that involves completing quests for an obnoxious young Tony Stark (and a ton of other teen Marvel characters), inviting new heroes to train at the academy, and purchasing new buildings to open up new training possibilities.

So this is one of those typical free to play management games then?

Well, yes, if you've played games like Minions Paradise or Country Friends you know exactly what to expect here. Well, except for the fact that, unlike the other two examples, here you're actually discouraged from playing if you don't want to spend money.

Yes, there are wait timers in most free to play games, and you can speed them up with gems. That's typical of the genre. However, in most of these games there's always something else to do while you wait.

In Minions Paradise you can do mini-quests or set your minions on a ton of different activities, while in Country Friends you can plant crops, complete orders, or cook something.

In Marvel Avengers Academy, most actions take a ridiculous length of time and cost an extortionate amount of gems to speed up. That results in a game that takes about 30 seconds of your time every few hours to set your heroes on a task and then turn it off because there's nothing else to do.

I take it you wouldn't recommend it then?

If you seriously love Marvel, have a high tolerance for free to play, and have the patience of a saint you may just get a kick out of Marvel Avengers Academy.

It's gorgeous, features a ton of recognisable characters (even if they are incredibly annoying), and has plenty of content if you can wait around long enough to unlock it.

But everyone else should stay clear of it. There's just not enough game here to justify the unsophisticated free to play elements and irritating dialogue.

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