Avengers Initiative is the first in a series of episodic Avengers games. This one stars the Hulk, and it should hit later tonight as the game sees separate releases around the globe. Eli and I shot some footage of the game in action, and that's available below if you're wondering exactly what this game is all about.

You won't need to see any moving pictures if you've played Infinity Blade, though, as this is basically that game. In your mind's eye, just substitute the swords for punches and the demons for the colorful villains of the Marvel universe, and you've got a great idea of what Avengers Initiative is all about.

If you're not in the loop, think of Avengers Initiative as a brawler. In the game, you control the Hulk across a series of one-on-one, gesture-based fights where attacks are generally 1:1. Swipe left, and Hulk throws out a left-hand punch. Swipe up, Hulk throws a vicious uppercut. When enemies dish out attacks, you can counter them with blocks or counters or even side-steps. Perfect timing of these moves dazes bad guys, allowing you to go nuts on them for a few undefended seconds.

We'd love to point out a lot of points of differentiation in the combat sub-systems, but there aren't many. Like in Infinity Blade, Hulk has a special meter that, when charged and used, dazes the opponent. But he can, however, spend block stamina to get off free shots that would normally just graze an opponent in Infinity Blade. Also, after each fight, you can build up a meter to do a devastating finishing move.

Anyway, the point of the game seems to be to subdue "big" bad guys while slugging your way through regular ones. In the second level, you've got to take care of an electric dude who kinda looks like Venom but is totally not. In the first, you fight a werewolf-man. In both, you're fighting random Krull dudes on the way to reaching these guys. The game is guided much like Infinity Blade, so you'll be tapping on specific points to advance through the game's levels.

There's also a currency: gems. With these, you can buy augments that give you health or rage or damage bonuses among other abilities. You can also buy special costumes that add modifiers to gem drop rates, give you XP bonuses, or bump up the possibility of a med or rage healing item dropping. Gems can be purchased with IAP.

It's kinda wild how closely Avengers Initiative copies Infinity Blade. Even the UI pause button that appears in the center top of that game's screen makes an appearance in this. For what it is, though, Avengers Initiative is OK. We're more interested in where the series is going. Will the Captain America game be totally different, for example?

Avengers Initiative will be available tonight. We have a full review forthcoming.

  • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

    Despite being a huge riff on Infinity Blade, I really enjoy the part of this game where you fight Spider Man's electrified second cousin who also happens to be Batman.

    • bradnicholson

      yeah. and to think, he'd go on to survive with Rick in The Walking Dead. Small world, you know.

    • GSJ1977

      It wasn't until about half way through the origin story that I realised you two were making it up. I mean most of it sounded like the kind of stuff that (I hear) is in comics all the time! :-)

    • http://coderkid.co.cc/ Matt Curtis

      Looks more like a Carnage with electrical powers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ConraDargo Tomas Engström

    -"Uuuuuuuuuh... hmm."
    I laughed so hard right there X'D

  • Firetruck94

    Looks promising, and if it's linked to the walking dead, it's an instabuy!

  • Schutzenegger

    I loved your mashing up of every major comic figure ever

  • Hehateme78

    Very disappointed, getting kinda of tired of the swipe gesture games. This could have been a great rpg in which marvel has yet to produce. Spiderman was ok but the one button combat mash is soo insipid!

  • JJE

    The Captain America game will have him just slinging his shield. It will be billed as "an homage to Angry Birds"

  • http://twitter.com/extol4000 Rick

    It's ironic how the company who pooped out this game and called it Avengers Initiative, took NO INITIATIVE WHATSOEVER in concept, design or gameplay. It's a shame too because they could've gone a new direction with this series & it would have been more successful than the final product. Shame on them for taking the easy way out.

    -Rick

  • http://twitter.com/VULTR3 Mike

    Waste of some good ol' Marvel paint if you ask me.

  • 1Fcm

    Truly disappointed in the lack of creativity. May as well have been an endless runner!

    • http://www.twitter.com/ipadgamermag Pete Morris

      Totally - the Infinity Blade formula isn't exactly deep enough to justify all these clones either. Still, that's the mobile games industry unfortunately - so many companies out there just want to take a successful idea and milk every last penny out of it. I suppose if it works, I can't really blame them, but a little more imagination would nice, wouldn't it!

      • 1Fcm

        Totally agree with you. Unfortunately people will still snatch this up in droves and give it rave reviews (just because it's Hulk). Just perpetuates the problem. But, as you said, if it sells then why not do it?

  • http://twitter.com/BrotherStein Jonathan Stein

    From the trailer, it looks like this game will get three FREE updates in the future: Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor. The other games that are part of the Marvel XP series will be something different that hasn't been announced yet (unless that card game that was on her a month or two ago is one of them).

    Also, being a comic book nerd, I always laugh really hard when you guys talk about the back story of any character. Ten points for creativity, minus nine for just being plain wrong (you still come out ahead!)

  • HelperMonkey

    Puny idea.

  • Cirnol

    Krull...
    Eh, he tried.
    *twitch*

    Cant wait for this game!

  • carlosaguilera

    Jajajajaja que parodia tan peculiar de Marvel... y uno pensaría que los millones que tienen pueden comprar creatividad caray

  • http://twitter.com/jaolen Alan Baldwin

    Wait, this game is $7? I really don't mind paying a lot for quality games, but as a blatant zyngalike ripoff of Infinity Blade, and a tie-in to a free-to-play Facebook game, I sort of assumed it would be free. A dollar more than the game it copies? Weird is all.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-D-Dunn/679068624 James D. Dunn

    Infinity Blade without swords, armor, shields... etc.
    No thanks. I loved the movie but I won't be buying this game.

  • https://me.yahoo.com/rekzkarz#a0df5 REkzkaRZ

    Wow, wish I could turn off the commentary.  I know you guys think you are funny, making these meandering comments about comic books & hero origins & so on, but it was completely unrelated to the game and annoying.

    Why can't you review a game and actually tell us about the game?  I mean, is it so hard?  Saying "this is like Infinity Blade" or "this looks cool, but it wouldn't work for Iron Man" is not a review.  I am familiar with Infinity Blade but never bought it, never played it.
    From watching this video of the game, I get the sense of a really boring game with neat looking visuals.  However you two seem to say that the game "For what it is, Avengers Initiative is OK".
    Do you mean 'Ok' like you would tell your friends who don't have a ton of money or space on their iDevice to go & get it, or 'OK' like -- it basically sucks...?

    Please give us some MEAT with the fluff.  Thanks!

    • bradnicholson

      these aren't reviews.

  • megz

    it said that this is not available in my country philippines, why is that???

    • Arch Deluxe

      The Hulk's only weakness is the Philippines.

  • MVMNT

    It's more like a Marvel mod for Infinity Blade

  • MVMNT

    Also - why is Hulk wearing spandex tights?

  • http://www.twitter.com/ipadgamermag Pete Morris

    I really like Infinity Blade, but I'm not sure the mechanic is soooo great that all these clones are justified...

  • {SQUEEK}

    Recycled garbage. IB was cool when it came but now batman then the Hulk.... Bored now

  • dudeman8622

    Not very original...