586999_largerYou smash down into the outside of an airport. There are a swarm of yellow baddies attacking the place. J.A.R.V.I.S. tells you to get going while you can. You touch a button on your suit. You’re flying through the air.

This is how Iron Man 3 [Free] begins, the iOS game based on the $1B grossing film of its namesake. Gameloft’s latest casts you as the famous Tony Stark, on a quest to save the world from the evil ne'er-do-wells. While fun, the game sadly is in stark contrast to its business model, which partly goes against the protagonist.

The first thing you’ll notice are Iron Man 3’s graphics; they are outstanding. Gameloft has definitely gone to great lengths to make the game look good. Iron Man’s suit is reflective, which slightly shows off the world surrounding him. The environment is lush and detailed, making you feel like you’re actually in a living, breathing world, not laying in bed with your iOS device on your lap. However, the environments are also very limited, and you’ll quickly wish for some variety.

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Because of these graphics (or in spite of?), the game seems very laggy. On my iPad Retina, even when there wasn't a lot of action on screen, it would lag a little. It’s not enough to distract from the gameplay, but it’s enough to notice.

After the opening sequence, in which we’re introduced to A.I.M., and seeing an airport come under attack, Iron Man zips through a tunnel, and emerges on a highway. At this point, we’re playing what is basically an endless runner. The tutorial guides you through the basics, how to control Iron Man and dodge obstacles while collecting Stark Credits and defeating enemies.

mzl.rdmxujjnThe controls are pretty simple; slide left and right to move to whatever lane you desire and to avoid oncoming obstacles. (If you desire tilt-based movement, your wish can be fulfilled through the options menu.) You’ll also take further up into the air, where the game introduces you to your first enemy and how to kill them, by swiping left to right (or vice versa) over them. Swiping can lead to chain combos, which will improve your score at the end, but most enemies can also be defeated by simply tapping on them (some requiring multiple taps).

With that being said, the control scheme, regardless of the method you choose, feels very sensitive, even on a low sensitivity setting. The slightest touch or tilt will send Tony to the other side of the screen, and considering how fast and frantic some of the action is, this can result in an untimely death. There were a few times where I noticed a lull in the action. I’d be flying for a good ten seconds with no obstacles, no credits to collect, and no enemies to fight. I'm unsure if this is a result of the game loading something upcoming in the background, is intended to provide a break of sorts, or is an unintended action.

As you progress, you’ll start getting missions. These are all pretty common fare, and do nothing to further the genre. Defeat ten enemies in a single run, narrowly avoid ten jets in a single run, or run a total distance of 100,000, to name a few. You’ll also get daily missions that award ISO-8, such as flying a set distance and then defeating a special boss from the Iron Man universe, such as Crimson Dynamo.

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These encounters are unique in that they change the game dynamics as well as serve to advance the storyline; instead of the basic runner, you’re thrown up close and personal. Iron Man 3 also gives you the option to use some powerups, which cost premium currency. You can get a head start at the beginning, or double the amount of Stark Credits you pick up.

At the end of your run, there’s no option to immediately restart; instead, you’re presented with a Stark Industries button, which takes you to the suit upgrade screen. As well as this, depending on how much damage you sustained during your run before you finish, you may have to wait while your suit gets “fixed”. Spending some premium currency, ISO-8, will make this process instant.

mzl.oykxiqvi-1The further you travel, the more XP and Stark Credits you’ll earn, which are used to upgrade your suit. The three basic fields to upgrade are Special, Weapon and HP. When purchasing an upgrade, there is an “installation” period, which can be bypassed by spending ISO-8.

Like any good running game, you’re rated in various categories; these are distance traveled, combo score, enemies defeated and avoidance score. Naturally, the higher your score, the more credits and experience you’ll earn. With earning experience comes a level system. Each time you increase in level, you earn one ISO-8. As you gain further levels, you’ll unlock different suit trees. There are three main suits available. The default suit, Striker Missile (or Mark III), is the Iron Man everyone knows, and it comes with a score multiplier of 1.0. The first suit available to purchase, Unibeam Blast (or Mark V), increases the multiplier, and has different stats. The third suit, Frost Charge (or Mark II), continues.

Each suit has a tree attached to it. To unlock a suit, the previous one must be purchased first. You purchase suits with experience points (or ISO-8), and then use Stark Credits to build the suit. Clearly, the game has been designed to make you grind out everything, unless you spend real money. There is Facebook and Game Center integration here, so not only can you challenge friends, but you can also collect trophies which earn ISO-8.

Iron Man 3 relies on two currency types; Stark Credits, which are earned while playing, and ISO-8, the premium currency. A small pack of ISO-8 will set you back $1.99, while the largest pack, at 15,000, will cost $99.99. You can also purchase Stark Credits, but buying those requires spending ISO-8; there's no option to buy, say, 100 Credits for $0.99.

For fans of Tony Stark and his universe, Iron Man 3 is definitely a fun adventure. For those who care nothing whatsoever for comics or the Iron Man universe, it’s still fun as an endless runner. It doesn't feel as finished as other Gameloft games, but time may change that. But be prepared to either spend lots of your time, or your money, to get the most out of Iron Man 3.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • drloony

    I don't think anybody cares about this game anymore

    • ZarieoZ

      Lol I kept skipping parts of the review & ended up skipping the last two paragraphs all together stating that "I don't really care" only to jump in the comments & see your comment... Insta-like ;-)

      What I don't understand is how gameloft was able to turn a loyal customer, a customer that really liked them to one who don't bother with them anymore, I just don't care if they release something, crash & burn or even go bankrupt. To me it doesn't exist anymore & neither EA. Sad when people start to lose faith & trust in developers like they did 2 decades ago resulting in the famous game crash. Those companies need to get their s**t together.

    • jadezakozyl

      мy ғrιeɴd'ѕ ѕтep-мoтнer мαĸeѕ $68/нoυr oɴ тнe lαpтop. ѕнe нαѕ вeeɴ ғιred ғor 6 мoɴтнѕ вυт lαѕт мoɴтн нer pαy cнecĸ wαѕ $1З997 jυѕт worĸιɴɢ oɴ тнe lαpтop ғor α ғew нoυrѕ. reαd мore нere Zap2­2­.c­o&shym&shy

      • iValerio90

        im f*****g ur friend stepmother.

    • william Boby

      Iron Man 3 official game for Android Devices is here http://appsdrone.com/app.php?id=364

  • CapnAmerica

    Verticus is a gajillion times better than this!

    • MidianGTX

      And even that isn't very good. Bad sign for Iron Man.

  • Adams Immersive

    SPOILER WARNING

    I want to battle Trevor. Nothing else will do.

    • wingz

      That wasnt much of a spoiler..... :(

  • Eseres

    Im a superhero fan, love the Marvel universe and I had this game for a while on my iPad. Usually, I hate these "endless" games and tend to stay away from them. But this was Iron Man, and I just had to try it out. It was kind of okay at first, but... It's an endless game with no other point than robbing you for all your money to buy stupid upgrades and stuff in the game. Well, the game itself is for free so it won't cost anything to try it out, but still... In my mind, it would be better to pay for a game that has some substance to it. Give me a story, good gameplay and acceptable graphics and I pay the money that the game costs if it's worth it to me.
    But as far as the Iron Man 3 game goes, I simply just don't recommend it at all.
    If I am to spend money on a game "in game store", the game better not be a endless runner AND it better last longer than a day or two.

  • mrTofu

    It's lucky to get even 3 stars imo :)

  • fryebag

    I'm just wondering why I still have this downloaded. It's like temple run but boring.

  • dekon

    3 stars? You guys are too generous !

    • Karzay

      A Doodle Jump Iron Man would have gotten 2 stars. This is 1 star better than that.

  • http://www.hopy1.com/ hopy

    Hopefully then things could be better.

  • http://www.y8u.org/ Y8

    all of te strengh which we can see in the text with the instrulate

  • Plynx

    Endless... endless runners... do people still play these?

    • iValerio90

      yes..people play with anything that have a "OmG nIcE gRaPhIc 5 sTarSs !! " they would play with a piece of s***t with a "COOL GRAPHIC!!1!!111"

  • iValerio90

    this game is a s***t only graphic..like other freemium title..

  • curtneedsaride

    First off, I'm sad that they decided to do an endless runner instead of a open world and missions like Dark Knight and Spider-Man. Second, I'm disappointed that they put such long timers for suit repairs. My Mark VII takes 15 minutes to repair. Thankfully, I have a few other suits.

    On the other hand, though, I haven't spent a dime, enjoy being somewhat addicted to getting the next suit, and love that I get to play a beautiful Iron Man game! But those positives really don't justify the above negatives. I feel somewhat cheated that my favorite superhero got a sorta game instead of a proper one.

    Hopefully, if Marvel uses Gameloft again, they'll go back to making proper open world 3D mission based action games... OR maybe try their hand at a superhero 3D tactics game. I would love to not mash a button or avoid objects, and instead plan a superhero attack with strategy. Like real life.

  • http://twitter.com/putermcgee daniel schroeder

    "...depending on how much damage you sustained during your run before you finish, you may have to wait while your suit gets “fixed”. "

    I don't think that's accurate. I'm pretty sure you're suit always takes the same amount of time to repair at the end of a run, but different suits take different times. However, since I haven't paid ISO8 to keep going after I get shot down, I'm not sure if that would add to the repair time... though, I can't imagine it would.

    Other than that, not a bad review. It's a grindy game, and I don't enjoy the way it really pushes you to get IAP (and crazy IAP at that), but it's fun to play. I suspect people who are poo-pooing it didn't play more than a couple of rounds.

  • http://www.minecraftgames.info/ minecraft

    Like any good running game, you’re rated in various categories; these
    are distance traveled, combo score, enemies defeated and avoidance
    score. Naturally, the higher your score, the more credits and experience
    you’ll earn. With earning experience comes a level system. Each time
    you increase in level, you earn one ISO-8. As you gain further levels,
    you’ll unlock different suit trees. There are three main suits
    available. The default suit, Striker Missile (or Mark III), is the Iron
    Man everyone knows, and it comes with a score multiplier of 1.0. The
    first suit available to purchase, Unibeam Blast (or Mark V), increases
    the multiplier, and has different stats. The third suit, Frost Charge
    (or Mark II), continues. all of te strengh which we can see in the text with the instrulate

  • http://www.mercubuana.ac.id/ ryditya909

    this movie very excellent

Iron Man 3 - The Official Game Reviewed by James Paterson on . Rating: 3