I really like the Iron Man series of movies and I have to admit I was not a huge fan of Iron Man comics prior to seeing the movies. Considering how much I like Mech I don’t know why I never went for it before, but that is in the past now. This is not for the movies, but a game release to promote the Iron Man 3 movie.
I don’t know what I expected out of the game. Previous poor reviews for previous Iron Man games had me hesitant, but since the game was free I figured I would try it and then like all the other games and apps I have gotten for iPhone, buy the full version. Simple enough plan I know. After playing for a while now, I continue to have mixed feelings on it. I love the complexity of the game and the game play, but it has some annoyances that cannot be ignored. One of the most annoying things is the fact that no matter how much you spend on the game, you will never ever be able to remove ads from it.
First of all, I really like the game play. If you have played Subway Surfers you will recognize the game style. In fact, you should recognize a lot of the things from it even though the names are different. I don’t know why the makers of Subway Surfers haven’t sued Gameloft, unless of course Gameloft just commissioned the game from Kiloo or bought them. There is even magnet and double point power ups.
The Iron Man 3 game is a little different though in that they have added an RPG style feel to it. As you gain experience you can upgrade your armour. Well, you need a combination of the three main “currencies” in the game: Experience, ISO-8, and Stark Credits.
Experience accumulated will increase your level. It can also be used to purchase new armour. The more powerful the armour, the more experience is required. It is not a “reach this experience level to gain armour X” though. You actually have to purchase the armour with your available experience, and after purchase the available experience is taken off your amount. You do not lose any accumulated experience or level, but if you have 2 suits you can buy that require the same amount of experience as you have, you can only buy one and have to keep playing to get the next one. I think it is an interesting twist on typical RPG based experience.
Stark Credits can be picked up when running through the game trench. Experience is gained in a similar way, but it seems to be based more on a combination of several things you can do during the trench run, including the distance you are able to make it through to before your suit HP depletes completely. Stark Credits are needed to actually assemble new armour, and upgrade the 3 main attributes of it: HP, Weapons, and Special.
ISO-8 is yet another “currency” that can be used. You can purchase additional slots for available armour which allows you to switch out armour to keep playing while one set of armour is being repaired. As well you can buy large amounts of Stark Credits, but at the same time it requires a large amount of ISO-8 to do that too. It is also used as a cheat of sorts to get past certain restrictions the game puts on things like wait times for repairing armour, bypassing the experience limits for armour, or skipping missions . It is very rare to pick up through the game and usually by accomplishing nearly impossible feats for very little return in ISO-8. You of course can purchase amounts for real money with in-game purchases which is why the game has “use ISO-8 to …” plastered visible throughout the game. Don’t be fooled though. To unlock all of the armour (regardless of how many you have gained already) will cost a minimum of $100 (CAD, I don’t know what it costs for other currencies). That will unlock the armour though, not build them, upgrade them, or give you available slots to be able to build them all. As well, no matter how much ISO-8 you buy, you will never be able to remove ads from the game.
As fun as the game is for a while I don’t think I would consider playing it forever like I find I do with Subway Surfers. The ads just are way too annoying for what you get out of the game and there is no way to remove them. I could live with the ads at the bottom of some screens, but at certain points in the game a popup add comes up and blocks the screen, usually when I was going to do something so of course it clicks the ad and forces you into the app store stopping you from continuing. Gameloft just seems too interested in milking you for as much money as they can possible get than producing a game the brings enjoyment. I pay $60 on console games, and while I probably would not pay that much for an iPhone game, I would pay for a non-ad app since I do that all the time already. I would still spend more money if it happened to enhance the game experience.
So to sum up, I do like the game, but I’m not giving it a very high score because of the ads. If you are really good at the game you might enjoy it more than me, and while I do enjoy playing it, I am not that good at the game that I can get far without spending lots of money on it which since that still would not remove the annoyance of the ads I do not see me playing it for much longer.