Game Reviews

Marvel Run Jump Smash!

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Marvel Run Jump Smash!

It’s pretty fitting that Nick Fury should be the representative character in Marvel Run Jump Smash!.

For while he’s got a funky government-issue outfit and billions of dollars worth of high-tech weaponry at his disposal, and gets to hang out with a team of godlike superheroes, he’s actually just an ordinary middle-aged feller with a serious depth perception problem.

Avengers, assemble! Again!

Yes, if you weren’t fed up of men and women in gaudy tight-fitting outfits just yet, here’s another Marvel tie-in to help keep you sated.

We’re surprised no-one’s tried this before, actually - combining Marvel’s current hottest property with one of the most popular mobile game genres around. Marvel Run Jump Smash! is an endless-runner in the most traditional sense possible.

Think of it as Jetpack Joyride, but where you can shoot back, and with the bonus vehicles swapped out for superhero partners.

Starting out as the aforementioned Nick Fury (or the Maria Hill), a sluggish grunt with a pop gun and a wimpy single jump, you must evade obstacles, collect coins, and shoot villains in order to stay alive.

Valuable team mates

Along the way you’ll get the chance to swap your SHIELD agent out for an Avenger, with an initial roster of Captain America, Hulk, Iron Man, and Black Widow.

Each has their special skills. Cap and Black Widow are jumpers, meaning they’re capable of double-jumps, as well as lobbing a shield or firing a double-tap respectively.

Hulk is a smasher, who can launch a ground pound, as well as making short work of tougher baddies. Iron Man, meanwhile, is a flyer, who can freely soar through the sky in a manner similar to Jetpack Joyride (again).

There are more heroes to unlock, including Spider-Man and Thor - but you have to pay real cash (or grind a ridiculous amount) to do so. The real trouble with these heroes, though, is that they don’t feel particularly empowering.

Hulk scrape knee

For example, every time you switch to a new hero, it doesn’t make your progress feel any easier or more aggressive beyond giving you an extra life, to all intents and purposes. In fact, the whole level simply changes to suit the character’s attributes.

So, taking over Iron Man will give you a bunch of aerial coins to collect, while Cap gives you double-jump-baiting coin formations. If the stages had provided all of these elements at once and given you the choice of character and approach, then it might have given the whole hero-swapping concept greater meaning.

These heroes are further lessened by a somewhat random and confusing power-up system. You can purchase small collections of power-ups that grant you boosts during the game, such as having Wasp fly you over the first few sections or Cap’s shield protecting you from harm.

But these abilities seem to have been crow-barred in with only a cursory tip of the hat to the source fiction. Sure, I’ve just taken control of a (curiously stoppable) unstoppable green monster, but what really counts is that the coin-attract ability now lasts a little longer! Yes!

Marvel Run Jump Smash! might have a flashy costume and a heroic swagger, then, but underneath its just a mediocre endless-runner.

Marvel Run Jump Smash!

A run-of-the-mill endless-runner with a flimsy Avengers skin layered on top, whatever Marvel Run Jump Smash’s super power is, it’s not ambition