In this free mobile game you'll be able to unlock, upgrade, and square off against your favorite characters in the Marvel Universe. The gang's all here: Spider-Man, Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, Black Widow, Ant-Man, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and many many more. Controls are simple, the objective is clear, and daily challenges and unlocks will keep the game fresh every day you open the app.
Select a character from your team, go head-to-head with an AI opponent.Kang the Conqueror claims that he's assembled a team of champions that's stronger than yours, and that just won't do. The title tells it all, as you'll be waging war in a Contest of Champions against Kang, pitting your growing team against his. Win and you shall be granted untold power, the Collector tells you at the start of the game. Lose and you shall be placed in my collection permanently. The game looks like a watered-down Marvel re-skin of Mortal Kombat. Select a character from your team, go head-to-head with an AI opponent. The controls are simple and intuitive. Tap the screen and swipe forward to attack; hold and swipe away from the attacker to defend. Every character gets a special attack that'll charge over time, and you can do a held charge attack to break your opponent's block. Contest of Champions is a free game, and pleasantly devoid of ads to boot, but there's an ugly underbelly if you look for too long.
The more complex aspects of the game lie in who you choose to put on your team, how you'll strategically upgrade them, and which perks you prioritize on the Masteries page. Unlock trait boosts like increasing your base health, the effectiveness of critical hits, or the duration of buffs. The Proficiencies are a little more interesting, unlocking better gameplay functionality such as timed blocks, dodge bonuses, and much-needed XP boosts.
If you're really pushing to micromanage your Champions, you can also tap the 'i' where a character's abilities are listed. This provides the number crunch for stats like the chance to boost Critical Rating, or the chance you'll randomly activate a buff. Complete a fight and you'll be awarded units, which is the primary currency for Contest of Champions, as well as XP to raise your summoner level. Gold can be used to upgrade the Champions you've already unlocked, and ISO-8 can be infused with a character to increase their level.
Predictably, Contest of Champions is rife with micro-transactions. You're forced to throw units at loot boxes that provide characters at random, and you'll be earning units to spend very slowly. Then you'll need to get upgrade packs like Hero Crystal Shards or ISO-8 to make them worth using.
Worse still is having to manage Quest Energy. Your heroes will get tired as they battle their way through ladders and story mode, and if you want to continue playing you'll have to either wait until it regenerates over time, or spend more units for a quick refill. This is where more impatient players will be spending their money.
Marvel's heart is in the characters, and if their defining features shone through the greed of the game's micro-transactions, we might be willing to forgive. Unfortunately, the characters in the game are sadly stale and lack the unique spark that Marvel fans have come to expect. Their fighting styles look largely the same, their passives frequently overlap, and worst of all there's no voice acting, and minimal written dialogue.
Where can you run this program?
Marvel Contest of Champions plays on both iOS and Android.
Is there a better alternative?
If you're looking for a mobile fighting game, check out Injustice or Injustice 2. Both apps have better fighting gameplay. Marvel Strike Force is also a better alternative if you're looking specifically for Marvel characters. Strike Force has more creative abilities per character, a better dynamic, a more interesting narrative, and a stronger fan base to boot.
Lukewarm at best, Contest of Champions lacks the soul and creativity that you'd expect from a Marvel product. It has easy controls and great graphics, but it still feels like you're throwing time at cardboard cut-outs of Marvel characters.
Should you download it?
Yes, but only because it's free. Download it and decide for yourself whether it's worth your while. It probably won't be.