Here's something you might not know about me: I'm obsessed with the mobile version of Injustice: Gods Among Us [Free]. It's funny too, because, when the game first launched in April of last year, I really liked it upon first impression. However, as with many free to play games (and I'm sure I'm not the only one who does this), I did sort of a value/time assessment with the game, and although I liked the core gameplay quite a bit, I considered the time investment of grinding, timers, and other free to play-isms and ultimately decided it's just not worth it. I've got too many other games to play, you know?

However, when Injustice developer NetherRealm released their mobile follow-up Batman: Arkham Origins [Free] the following October, something funny happened. I had a similar initial impression of that game, like "Oh this is fun but welp I don't know that I have the time for these free to play shenanigans." With Batman though, it was far worse. The timer implementation in that game is just atrocious, the major factor in us giving it a poor review. But I was determined. I really enjoyed NetherRealm's stripped-down, touchscreen take on a fighting game, and I wanted that in my life. So at that point I actually went back to Injustice to give it a second chance, and after putting in a bit more time with it, I got hooked in a big way.

The funny thing is, the free to play implementation in Injustice is actually one of the best I've ever seen in the App Store. Yes, the characters have an "energy" mechanic which limits how much you can use them at any one time, but there is such a wide variety of playable characters you'd almost never notice as you can simply switch up your team of fighters and continue playing for prolonged periods of time. In fact, it's kind of awesome that it forces you to use the different characters, as many of them I might have simply ignored if I'd been given free reign. If there was no energy mechanic, I'd probably just buff out a few characters and use them exclusively. With the timers, I've gotten experience with the entire roster of DC characters.

The other major turn off in many free to play games is the "grinding" factor. Sure, it's possible to unlock every item, character, or trinket in most free to play games, but it'll usually be at the expense of playing incessantly, likely even repeating stuff you've already done, in order to amass the necessary in-game currency to do so. However, with Injustice, the grinding is actually fun. I never get sick of fighting the computer, and at the higher difficulty matches, you're  earning quite a bit with every victory. It's the perfect game to pull out when you're watching TV or something; playing it doesn't always require your full attention but it's enough that if you aren't careful what you're doing you'll get your teeth knocked out. In other words, it's a grind that never feels like a grind, because you'd probably just be playing it anyway.

So anyway, yeah I love the Injustice mobile game, and I'm not afraid to admit it. It might even be my favorite iOS game. All this lovely personal backstory about Injustice is just my longwinded way of bringing up that the newest Challenge has gone live today, and it's for a brand new and exclusive-to-mobile character, the diabolical Darkseid. The challenge even will run from today until March 24th, and if you're able to complete it you'll be rewarded with a Gold Darkseid character card.

Darkseid_Screen

I guess the moral of this story is never be too quick to judge. I know a lot of peoples' reaction to free to play games is instantly "NOPE!" and I'm guilty of that at times too. But I think of all the enjoyment I've gotten out of Injustice over the past five months or so, all without ever spending a cent, and can't help but feel fortunate that I gave the game that second chance. An unfortunate part of my delayed entry to the game is that I've missed out on some time-limited characters in the time that I wasn't playing the game, but NetherRealm has recently started recycling some of those Challenges starting with the Batgirl challenge last month. Hopefully they'll eventually recycle all the ones I've missed, since I've definitely got the "Gotta catch 'em all" fever with this game.

If you're like me and were initially interested in Injustice: Gods Among Us for mobile, but were turned off by the free to play nature of the game, consider giving it another try, especially if you love fighting games. Sure it's not a full-blown fighting game, but it's damn fun. My biggest dream is that NetherRealm creates a similar mobile offering using their Mortal Kombat cast of characters, I might actually die if that happened. If you do decide to embark on an Injustice mobile adventure, our tips guide was a huge help in getting me going in the early parts of the game, so be sure to check that out. If you're already an Injustice fan, be sure to take part in the limited time Darkseid Challenge and nab yourself that Gold card (or three).

  • hakamhakam

    I agree not all f2p are all that bad, sometime you need to stick with it out for a little bit to truly evaluate how much you're enjoying the game.

    • Stormourner

      unless the f2p haters ever listen

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  • WhiteHadal

    wow awesome!
    injustice is also one of my most played games I have on my ipod 5G :3
    ... but it kinda makes me a bit mad that darkseid never made it to the actual console game (I know there were fans who wanted to see him in it) or the ps vita version (which I have) but aside that... this game is still pretty fun to play, you should give it a try if you haven't :3

    By the way! another thing I always wondered was... if you own the ps vita version of injustice can you unlock batman beyond and prison superman by linking my mobile warner bros account to my ultimate edition? 3: I know you can if you own the xbox/ps3 version but ps vita... thought?

  • diaskeaus

    Maybe I didn't play the game long enough? I got around two or three teams of characters, more than enough for a single play session, but I just didn't find the gameplay all that fun. A lot of kicking, punching, and a repeating of the same kinds of special attacks, over and over again against different enemies. Very little story, little actual progression (you stronger, sure, but so does your enemy, and your enemy doesn't really change, so the end effect is that you can't really tell when the challenge is increased)...

    am I missing something? When Jared says this is his "favorite iOS" game, I'm a bit stumped as to why, or stumped as to how this game can be anyone's favorite when it doesn't even feel like a game as much as an infinite brawler without the gaming elements that make a brawler feel like an experience with a beginning, middle and end.

    • kjmathew

      Ditto

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      To be honest, I don't think you are missing anything. This game is arguably very shallow and repetitive. For me, though, there's something very satisfying about the combat itself. While it's basically just button mashing, there's a nice rhythm to it, and some light strategy in blocking and using your super powers. That all makes the carrot on a stick of unlocking and upgrading characters really fun.

      Would I keep playing this if I unlocked and maxed out every character? I'm not sure. At least every once in a while, but not every day like how I play it now. They're doing a good job with having new characters come out regularly, so as long as they keep that up I'll keep playing for sure.

      • operaguy2112

        I have to say that This was a love it - hate it - love it again games for me. Early on it is a lot of fun, but kind of a grind, still it kept me engaged while building my roster, but I hit a point in the game when I had hit a major wall and couldn't beat the last few ladders without a ton of grinding and I set it aside. When they made the three tier challenges I got hooked again and now have almost every character to Elite V status. Once you have a deep roster of EV golds, the game becomes very different because you can play around with different combinations of characters and passive abilities. Plus learning how to correctly land level 1 and 2 specials makes the fighting much more strategic than just waiting for a full bar and hitting the super button. The character additions have been great. Darkseid is a beast and turns you bronze cards into Elite II-III golds which is awesome. Martian Manhunter is my favorite though because his random effects cripple the opponent. When paired with Batman and Green Lantern Regime he is unstoppable.

    • NinjaKitteh

      LMAO You just described every fighting game ever made from Street Fighter up til now.

    • Kevin Bradley

      But as you play, you find little nuances that make it interesting for the long run. Example: You find that certain enemies are too fast to allow your character's swiping attacks, which limits you to using basic tap attacks and specials. Other enemies can block the bulk of your character's specials except for the super move. Those kinds of things are things you learn over a period of time and they alter the repetitive nature of the game by forcing you to alter your play style based on which character you are playing and which is your enemy.

  • Jazzpha

    I played it for a long time a few months back, but for me the problem was that it started getting stale when they didn't add any more stages to play through, and the character challenge stages were very easy if you had a strong line-up.

    At a certain point it just felt like grinding the new characters up to elite v just for the sake of completion and nothing else, and that was taking way too much time to do-- especially playing the last bonus battle as nauseum in order to pull it off.

    But hey, it was fun while it lasted!

  • shereenelkadem

    It's timers done right, love this game too, haven't spent a penny and it's a different game every time.

  • Himanshu Modi

    this is one of the guilty pleasure games for me. It requires close to 0 strategy. But you sort of keep playing to collect characters and level them up because you have to. I am surprised at how much I play this game.

    The console game is pretty amazing for me :)

  • Geertyy

    I had the same experience with Mega Jump 2. Deleted it at first glance, but when I came back to it after a friend challenged me, I got sucked in. It's super grindy, no matter if youre spending real money or not. I keep playing until I beat all the missions though and I'm sloooowly unlocking all the monsters. But I really enjoy playing that game. Anyway I might have to check out Injustice too. F2P doesn't have to be that bad. Btw guys, if you havent already played it, check out Disco Zoo! It's F2P, but its very easy to progress in and it's alot of fun :)

  • Chaotic Box

    I too was obsessed with Injustice. Finished all the fights, then every challenge as they arrived. Had a near complete card set. OBSESSED. But after 2 days trying and failing to beat Martian Manhunter on Nightmare skill I rage quit and deleted the game. Foolishly, I left the save game in my iCloud storage...

    Damn you Jared for writing this! Now my finger is hovering over the little cloud icon in the App Store :p

  • iValerio1990

    how can you say that ? you need only to " tap " there is no strategy no more moves no dodge just...tap...its the most boring freemium fighting game that i've ever seen.

    • M M

      My issue as well. There was nothing to the game. Fightback had more depth.

  • CaptYadierPR

    This game could have been so much more. There are a few fighting games in the appstore that really shine what can be done on ios.

  • titan908

    Agree I can't get enough of injustice god's among us and the f2p set up in the game is one of the best

  • Kevin Bradley

    I have been almost ashamed that I am enjoying this game more than the console version! I finished story mode in the console game and bough most of the DLC, including the STAR Labs missions, and have played through some of them, but the mobile game can travel with me and amuse me when I'm waiting for appointments or bored eating lunch. I've gotten all the challenge characters and have made it through the expert level challenges that have been offered in most cases, but not all. After playing for almost a year, I FINALLY got a Superman (besides the Prison Superman that I unlocked by finishing the console story) just LAST NIGHT. So there is still something after a year of playing to interest me.

  • Plexus

    I play this game everyday, but I have to say, the Darkseid challenge excited me, until I elite V'ed him and his I am many things move is only 24K damage. That's pretty lame.

  • http://www.wineandwatch.com/ Wine and Watch

    My issue is promoting character to Elite status takes FOREVER. I mean to get an Elite V Batman you need to buy 5 Batman Cards at 182,000 credits each. It gets exhausting!

    • Kevin Bradley

      I don't bother buying specific cards. I just save 75,000 credits and get a discounted gold pack. I've gotten a fairly good distribution of gold cards that way. Along with the gold card challenges, of course.

  • Christopher Lynn Hensel

    I agree with your assessment Jared I think game is great I've been playing

  • Héctor Omar Steiner B

    looking for a console friend to help me out with getting the mobile unlocks for my iPhone mobile.
    I have almost finished the game in mobile

    user: hollywoodpy@hotmail.com
    pass: a123456

    thx!