Okay, so I know that Gameloft’s new runner Spider-Man Unlimited (Free) didn’t go over well with some of our readers, mostly due to its use of a energy meter in what is perhaps the worst possible genre to put a stamina meter into, but I still think the game is a heck of a lot of fun, and it’s been eating into my productivity since it came out. It’s quite content-rich for a running game, and there are a lot of angles you could come at the game from and come away very satisfied, all without spending a cent. The energy meter is the biggest elephant in the room, and you can only mitigate it at best, but apart from that, this game is surprisingly generous to the frugal gamer. Rather than do my usual guide with a collection of tips in a list, I’m going to first present some general advice, then different sections based on what your personal goals are for the game. The way to progress in this game is pretty different depending on whether you’re more interesting in chasing scores, completing the story portions, or just collecting characters.
Go to the leaderboards and add a bunch of people as friends. This is the only real way of dealing with the energy meter. Each day, you can request energy from five different friends, and send energy to five. It’s not much, but it’s something, and there’s no point in not doing it.
Combos are good, surviving is better. It’s hard to resist using those near-misses to rack up combos, and who doesn’t like collecting more vials and swatting more bad guys? The thing is, no matter what your goal is, it’s better in the long run to survive, and sometimes that means playing it safe and avoiding certain dangling carrots.
The vials will generally show you a safe path. Lots of obstacles like to jump in at the last second in this game, but if there are vials on the ground, it at least means that stretch of the path is safe, or at the very least, won’t require you to do anything trickier than sliding. By keeping an eye on where the vials are on the road ahead, you can get a bit of a hint of where surprise obstacles might pop up.
Web gloves are awesome. If you’re going to sink vials into any power-up, this is the one. While you have web gloves on, you are invulnerable. Nothing can kill you, and you can even thrash normally indestructible obstacles, adding to your combo count. Even if you fall, Spidey will just scramble right up the building, and he won’t even lose the web gloves.
If the enemy has his feet on the ground, slide. Yes, it’s cool that you can punch or slide to knock out enemies, but while sliding takes out every ground-based enemy, punching doesn’t work on the shielded ones. When you have to make a fast decision, it’s better to be in the habit of sliding. Another good reason to slide is that it’s easier to jump out of a slide than a punch, which is handy when there’s a ledge right behind a bad guy.
You don’t need to max a card’s level to rank it up. As long as you have the necessary material cards, you can rank it up anytime. This is important, because your inventory space is limited. Don’t make the mistake I did of coming in with habits from other games and trying to max everyone’s level before using up cards.
Exhaust all of the possible sources for ISO-8. Do the daily challenges, place bronze or higher in unlimited mode, punch the one gold enemy per day, and try to get whichever targets seem reasonable to you in the event challenges. You can also get a fair bit by completing story missions. No matter what you’re playing for, you’re going to need a fair bit of the stuff.
Okay, so those are the general tips that are good to keep in mind no matter what. From here, I’m going to break the guide into three different types of players: Story players, score attackers, and collectors. Just use the magic of scrolling to find the one that applies to you.
So far, Spider-Man Unlimited has two issues, and with the way the level gates work on the story missions, you’ll need a Spidey ranked at a minimum of four stars so that he can reach level 41 in experience. That means you don’t need a rare Spidey, strictly speaking, but it might be a good idea to get one if you can anyway, for future-proofing purposes. A four-star Spidey will take you to level 50, but it’s highly likely the next issue will exceed that. Of course, you can put off that five-star rare for a later day, if you like. Don’t waste any more time or experience on a three-star Spidey than you need to.
You can pull uncommon Spider-Men from the regular portal if you’re lucky, and that’s probably your most reliable means of getting a Spidey ranked up enough to pass the Vulture issue. You don’t need too many character slots to do this, since you won’t be keeping extra Spider-Men around if they’re not what you’re looking for, but you might want to buy a few extra slots just to give yourself a little wiggle room. To get a ranked up Spidey, unless you’re very lucky, you’ll need to pull from the portal quite a bit, so the name of the game is earning as many vials as you can with each run. As a secondary concern, you need to make sure your chosen Spidey is gaining experience so that he can pass the level gates for each stage. Finishing side missions in the story mode is great for that, as they give awesome experience points, but remember, if you fail, you get nothing.
The best way to earn vials is to play the events. Typically, they’re loaded up with enemies and obstacles and tend to offer a better payout than doing an unlimited run. They also offer better experience gains. You’ll also want to make sure you’re taking care of your daily goals, since that’s a pretty easy 2,000 vials right there on most days. If you have the Spider-Men to spare, feel free to send them out on Spidey Ops, but be careful not to tie up anyone important for too long, since the vial gains for Spidey Ops aren’t all that great. Keep grinding out those vials until you have enough for a pull, use the portal, and cross your fingers for a four-star Spidey. If you want, hang on to two three-star Spideys for ranking your eventual four-star, but other than that, three-stars should be getting fed to your main Spidey.
Speaking of, if you’re lucky enough to have the luxury of choosing, I would recommend either uncommon Spider-Man or Spider-Man Noir. Spider-Man seems to come out of the portal more often than other four-stars, and his +15% to experience gains is pretty useful for helping you pass those level gates. Spider-Man Noir gives you a vial bonus for defeating enemies and will help you earn them a little bit more quickly. The other four-star Spider-Men have skills that are more useful for earning a high score, but scores aren’t all that important if you’re just looking to beat the story.
As for the stages themselves, remember your goal. You’re not here to rack up scores or combos. It might be fun to play like a Daredevil, but this isn’t a court of law, so keep safe and stick to whatever you’re supposed to be doing. If you’re close to reaching your target and you need to continue, feel free to use a little ISO-8 for up to two continues. You’ll earn almost as much or more back for beating the stage, and your ISO-8 needs aren’t going to be anywhere near as high as other types of players. The bosses tend to follow similar patterns depending on the area you encounter them, so you can learn their tricks after a few tries.
What you should spend your ISO-8 on: A few extra character slots, continues, and the premium portal, in that order.
Woe be to the Spidey fan who walks this path, for it is a treacherous and frustrating road at times. At least in the beginning, you’re going to need most of the same things as the story players, but more. You’re going to need a more extra character slots so that you don’t have to ditch valuable ingredients, you’re going to need more vials to sink into power-up upgrades, and you’re going to need a lot more ISO-8. You need at least a five-star Spidey, but a six-star one is better, and actually, you’re probably going to want three of them for reasons I’ll get into shortly.
Your first order of business is to beat both issues of the story mode. Why? Because each issue you beat will open up an extra Spidey slot, which lets you bring along another character on each run. Your total multiplier comes from adding all the multipliers of the Spideys you bring with you, effectively tripling your scoring potential. You can also unlock these extra slots using a fair bit of ISO-8, but believe me when I say you’re going to need that for other things. Using continues is fine, but only if your return in ISO-8 will be greater than the expenditure. Don’t spend four pieces to earn one, basically.
Unlike the story players, you probably won’t want to bother with the four-star Spideys much. They’re just a waste of time in the long run since they cap off at level 50. You’ll still want to play the regular portal to get some four-stars for ranking up your five-stars, but you shouldn’t be using them or trying to level them up except for very specific situations. Instead, your best buddy is going to be the premium or event portals, which guarantee you a five-star Spidey or higher. Usually, it costs 25 ISO-8 to draw from these portals, but once per day, you will usually be offered a 12 ISO-8 premium pull if you go into your recruit screen. Make sure you always have 12 ISO-8 when you open that screen. It will go to your inbox, so you don’t have to have an open slot at the moment you take the offer, at least.
If you don’t have the rare ingredients for the five-star you’re working on, don’t bother investing in the regular portal with your vials. Instead, sink those vials into improving your power-ups. Web gloves can help you boost your combo by letting you smash things that you normally can’t and should take priority in upgrading. The next order of business is the x2 multiplier, which not only doubles the value of vials while in effect, but also increases how many points you earn during the duration. After that, the force field can be useful to an extent, allowing you to play chicken a bit more with obstacles. The magnet is not all that useful, in my opinion, since it actually makes it harder to follow the vial bread crumb path.
As terrible as it is, you are highly at the mercy of the premium portal luck of the draw. You need another of whichever Spidey you’re leveling along with two four-star or higher Spideys for each rank up. It’s probably not worth using your ISO-8 to rank up, since it costs you the equal of about four premium pulls if you’re getting them for 12 ISO-8. You’re going to want four five- or six-star Spideys in the long run anyway so that you can max out your multiplier, so you might as well go for the luck of the draw. Three-star Spider-Men are absolutely useless and should be fed to your main Spidey immediately.
As for which Spidey is best, there are a few good choices. Battle-Damaged Spider-Man and Bulletproof Spider-Armor give a +1 to your combo for every near-miss, and that can add up nicely in any situation. If you rank them up to five stars, you also get a +1 to your combo with each enemy attack, making them the combo kings and probably the best overall choices. Spider-Armor’s bonus to your score while running adds up nicely over time, but his second bonus, giving you more vials from enemies, is of little use in score attacking. Cosmic Spider-Man is an offensive dynamo, giving you a bonus to your combo counter from defeating enemies, with his second ability giving you a score bonus from beating bosses. The worst choice is regular Spider-Man, since his abilities only help you farm experience and vials more quickly. He’s fine in one of the extra slots, though, and he does have his uses, so it’s not the end of the world if you end up with him.
Once you have your main team, just focus on leveling them up so that their multipliers increase. At this point, you might want to fill out your roster with other Spider-Men, even four- or three-star ones, just in case an event pops up that gives you a multiplier for using them. I wouldn’t bother keeping around any Spider-Men that have a higher star version available, but you might want to keep five-star ones around even if you have a six-star version, since some events call for that particular version. It’s up to you, though.
What you should spend your ISO-8 on: Premium portals and a few extra character slots. At least buy out slots until they hike up to 15 ISO-8 each. You’ll probably want to expand more later, but you need those premium portal pulls a lot more until your team is set up.
Okay, so you can take things at a much more leisurely pace if your main interest is simply in collecting all the different types of Spider-Men. All resources are going to be useful to you initially, so you can play whichever modes you like and you’ll walk away with something you can use. Your main priority in the beginning is to expand your character slots. You’re going to need a lot in the long run. I have 18 slots and that works pretty well for me at the moment. You can afford to take your time on premium portals, so going with the half-price portal each day should be more than acceptable while you’re building your less rare ranks.
Feel free to focus on the standard portal for a while. If you’re just trying to get the best Spidey of each costume, the three-star Spideys you’ll want are Mangaverse Spider-Man, House of M Spider-Man, Secret War Spider-Man, and the Bombastic Bag-Man. It’s okay if you get extras, since you can use them to rank up your three- and four-stars when you need to. That said, if you start getting too many of one particular card, you might want to feed them to whoever your favorite Spidey is. Regular three-star Spider-Man is okay to hang onto as fusion fodder, but not much else.
Once you’ve got all the three-star Spideys, you’ll need to start hoping for some luck with the standard portal to get the four-star uniques, Last Stand Spider-Man and Spider-Man Noir. If you’re cool with not having the best version of a particular Spidey, no one’s going to judge you for picking up Battle-Damaged Spider-Man and Spider-Armor at the four-star level, since they won’t cost you any ISO-8. All this standard portal pulling is going to cost you plenty of vials, so focus on events and daily goals, with at least one good attempt at the unlimited mode per day to bring in some sort of prize. Don’t worry too much about upgrading your power-ups. You might want to grab the first level of each because they’re not that expensive, but beyond that, it’s not a big worry.
The premium portal is where things start getting exciting, and expensive. Personally, I think if you’re not worried about score, you don’t need to pray for the elite six-star versions of particular characters, but that’s up to you. Captain Universe Spider-Man is the only one with a five-star only card in this particular portal, though there are a few five-star versions of lower rank characters you might want. For Spider-Men that come in five- or six-star flavors, you’re looking at Ben Reilly Spider-Man, Ben Reilly Scarlet Spider, and Bulletproof Web Armor. Finally, and this is a devil of a thing, Kaine Scarlet Spider is only available in a rare, six-star version. Good luck on that one.
Still worse is the event portal. Unless you win a chance in the various events, you’ll never get a discount on this portal, but it’s the only place you can find Iron Spider and Ends of the Earth Spider-Man at this point in time. During certain events, you’ll have a higher chance of pulling one of these special Spideys. That’s the best time to take your shot, since you’re otherwise risking paying a full 25 ISO-8 for a Spidey available in the normal premium portal. You can also try your luck at winning events or fully completing an event’s goals, as that sometimes gives you a special Spider-Man, but your odds aren’t good.
Your best Spider-Man is ultimately whichever one will help you win ISO-8 and other prizes from the daily leaderboards and events. Battle-Damaged Spider-Man and Bulletproof Web Armor are always useful here, but don’t discount the value of Spider-Men that help you farm up extra vials. Ends of the Earth Spider-Man is the best choice for that particular job, but there are many Spider-Men that will boost your vials. Don’t stress too much, though. In time, you’ll be able to collect all of the Spider-Men if you’re patient. So if you want to play as Iron Spider, go nuts. Every little bit helps.
What you should spend your ISO-8 on: Character slots, and lots of them. You’ll always need more as you add to your collection, since you need a bit of working space to rank characters up with. After that, you’ll want to sink your hard-earned ISO-8 on whichever portal gives you a chance at a Spider-Man you don’t have yet. The regular premium portal is a great value if you still need something from it, since you can get a half-price pull each day, but once you’ve got everyone, head over to the event portal.
Phew, that’s quite a long guide, isn’t it? Although I don’t care much for the energy meter, I’ve spent a ton of time playing Spider-Man Unlimited, and I expect I’ll be playing a while longer thanks to the always-expanding roster of characters. If you follow the tips in this guide, you’ll be quipping and thwipping like a pro in no time, and having the most fun you can with this cool little runner. Excelsior, true believers!
Thanks to JCman7 and Exact-Psience from the TouchArcade forums for their assistance with this guide.