It seems that every major brand has their own endless runner on iOS, and now the Marvel super heroes are joining the action. Marvel Run Jump Smash offers a familiar 2D endless runner set-up, but infused with cartoon caricatures of the well known Avengers. You begin as Nick Fury, and as you go can collect coins to call upon a super hero for a temporary boost. The game lets you run, jump, and smash with the likes of Iron Man, Captain America, The Hulk, Black Widow, and more. Each super hero has their own special ability to clear all on screen obstacles at the moment, and you can also unlock Thor, Spider Man, and Hawkeye.
No matter which character you play as, there’s still the same idea of tapping the left side of the screen to jump, and right side of the screen to attack. There are multiple environments, which essentially change the background, and tie into the super hero you can collect for that region. Beneath the new coat of paint is a game that you have played before, and in fact it’s a lot like Monster Dash with the two button set-up, flow of action, and the changing environments. The thing is that Monster Dash launched back in 2010, and Marvel Run Jump Smash just launched without really changing any endless running gameplay elements. The only way you can tell the game is a recent release is the wide assortment of in-app purchases for coins and gems to upgrade your characters, use temporary power-ups, or unlock the additional super heroes.
As you play, you’re just waiting for some nuance, or change to the formula beyond the Marvel super hero theme. It is neat to play as Iron Man, The Hulk, and Captain America, but each one is limited to about 15 seconds of run time, until it switches back to Nick Fury. Each one has their own special ability animation, but they all provide the same function on top of the same gameplay. You’re always either tapping to leap through coins, or attack enemies with subtle changes to the art, and no changes to what you do. There is a level break every so often, but those levels don’t act as checkpoints so that you could restart at a tougher phase after you lose.
Marvel Run Jump Smash ($0.99, Universal) is a by the books release offering a new themed version of a predictable genre making it one to steer clear of. Not even the Avengers could save this one.