Game Reviews

Spider-Man Unlimited

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Spider-Man Unlimited

The Spider-Man Unlimited canon consists of a short-lived but critically well-received set of comics, and an animated series.

It's an unusual universe to want to adapt into a video game for mobile telephones and tablet computers, but it shows a definite willingness to take risks on niche(ish) IP from Marvel.

Having already gone hands-on with the game for a video here on Pocket Gamer and AppSpy, I now get to spend a whole bunch more time with it. 7 days, in fact.

I'll be writing up my findings throughout the week, and letting you know how I get on, bringing you the definitive verdict on whether it's worth further investigation.

First impressions

There are two modes available at the moment. The endless Unlimited Mode, and the narrative-driven Story Mode.

Straight out of the gates I know that the Story Mode isn't going to be much fun. I like my auto-runners arcade-oriented, and adding some weak plot composed of stilted cutscenes isn't going to change my mind on that.

While this mode limits how far you need to run with Spidey to complete a stage, the levels are still random. Since they come with barriers to entry - such as reaching a certain level of experience - this mode feels more like a way to stall progress than a meaningful addition to the endless running genre.

Otherwise the gameplay feels much the same as any other third person auto-runner. You swipe left and right to move between three channels, swipe up and down to jump and slide respectively.

Occasionally you'll be asked to do some web swinging, which is a case of tapping and holding on the screen to rise in altitude, and letting go to drop down. Sometimes you'll get to fight a boss, but you only need to tap repeatedly on the screen to defeat them.

So far, Spider-Man Unlimited is well made, but very very safe.

Oh, and my current top score is 10,724. Can you beat that? Let me know, in the comments.

Day 3: Does whatever a spider can, sometimes

The more I play Spider-Man Unlimited, the more I'm enamoured by it.

A lot of money and / or talent has been thrown at this latest Gameloft title, and it shows. It's a very good looking game for one thing, with cel-shaded visuals helping to give the whole thing a comic book feel.

Controls feel as responsive as you need for this kind of auto-runner, the voice acting and sound effects are decent, and everything boots quickly and flows along smoothly.

There appears to be loads of community support planned too, with plenty of time-limited events that award top players with currency and cards.

It still doesn't feel like an authentic Spidey experience though, and I don't see that changing in the next few days.

Spider-Man travels mostly by web swinging in the comics and movies, but the majority of Unlimited is about running. There's also precious little character development, and again that's a big part of the appeal of the series.

Perhaps that's too much to expect from an endless runner, but I'd argue it's not too much to expect from a top-tier Spider-Man game.

Day 7: Goblin it up

At the end of one week with Spider-Man Unlimited I'm pleasantly surprised at what Gameloft has put together. It takes a little time, but seven days after I began playing I can appreciate the additions and subtleties to this increasingly tired genre.

As you play you earn various currencies which can be exchanged for Spider-Man cards. These cards can earn experience when used in play, and that experience that will eventually give them a higher score multiplayer.

The cards can also be sacrificed for a quick shot of experience, or to rank up the card to increase their level cap.

This gives you a sense of ownership over the team of Spider-Men you're collecting, and a reason to return day after day to participate in the special events and complete daily goals.

It's a pity the game includes an energy system, as it forces you to quit playing after a few attempts. But the other free to play mechanics don't seem to interfere too much with the overall experience.

If you come into Spider-Man Unlimited expecting an excellent Spider-Man game, you're going to be disappointed, as there's very little of Peter Parker in here.

However, those looking for a high quality auto-runner, or fans of the genre keen for a change of scenery, will find a lot to like.

How are you getting on with the game? You can tell us and the rest of the PG community about your experiences by leaving a comment in the box below. Click here to learn about our free-to-play review policy.

Spider-Man Unlimited

Spider-Man Unlimited is a good game that happens to feature Spider-Man, but it's somewhat lacking as a Spider-Man game
Peter Willington
Peter Willington
Die hard Suda 51 fan and professed Cherry Coke addict, freelancer Peter Willington was initially set for a career in showbiz, training for half a decade to walk the boards. Realising that there's no money in acting, he decided instead to make his fortune in writing about video games. Peter never learns from his mistakes.