Revisiting 2 “Marvel”ous Games

(Editor’s Note: I know that I promised a video for Fallout 1 and 2 and haven’t delivered. Marvel Puzzle Quest is running a video contest, though, so I am planning a video for that game soon.)

We are recording episode 5 this weekend. The show is about Heroclix and Lego video games. We are going to concentrate on Marvel Super Heroes and Batman. I mentioned both Marvel Heroes and Marvel Puzzle Quest on last month’s show. They are both games that I play daily. I’ve planned to write about them several times, but haven’t featured them on the page yet. I thought this would be a perfect time to finally focus on comic book themed games on the website. All of these forces have conspired to come together as this article.

Let’s start with Marvel Puzzle Quest. In case you don’t know, the Puzzle Quest games are of the match three variety like Bejeweled or Candy Crush. Unlike either of those games, Puzzle Quest has a storyline that accompanies the sometimes tedious gameplay. Sure, Candy Crush has a story, but it is mostly an afterthought. The stories of Puzzle Quest are actually good and worth playing through the games to advance. I would say complete, but the Marvel version constantly adds new chapters.

The first Puzzle Quest story involved a typical fantasy setting with all of the usual cast of characters and plotlines. I’m a sucker for most fantasy, even the cheesy kind, so it was enough junk food for the brain to keep me entertained for about a year of playing a half an hour per day. It helped that the game is kid friendly at a time when we had two young children in the house. Liam enjoyed watching the game as I played and even asked me to make him a Steam account to play Marvel Puzzle Quest after he saw me playing it. He has done pretty well in the game. Aiden has an account, too, and we have made a clan in the game with a friend. It is an excellent family game.

In addition, as one of the match three games, it has been ported to mobile devices. I have only tried it a few times on mobile because I don’t know of a way to move my account data and I don’t want to start over again. I already lost my account once and it sucked to go back to the beginning. Luckily, they were able to retrieve my data, but I haven’t been able to find a way to transfer from PC to mobile. Just be warned if you decide to get started that you need to choose one or the other.

I’ve talked about Marvel Heroes on the podcast before and I have mentioned it on the web site, too. In case you missed it, Marvel Heroes is an ARPG like the Diablo or Torchlight games. The game stumbled out of the gate and people hated it with good reason. You could only choose from two free characters and there was no end game. The story was decent, but not enough to encourage replay. I stopped playing after defeating Dr. Doom (the end boss at the time) and I suspect that many others did, too, if they even made it that far.

Luckily, the designers of the game listened to player feedback and worked to improve the game. As I mentioned in my previous article on Diablo III, it was voted as most improved MMO in 2014 or 2015. They have added many new heroes, opened all heroes as free to play to level 10, implemented several end game options, buffed loot drops via weekly events, and many other improvements. The game is much more fun to play now. I play it on a daily basis and have even spent money on the game even though it is free to play. I want to encourage them to continue to develop and improve the game.

Liam and Aiden both started an account for this game, too. Liam and I even got a few chances to play the game together. The game isn’t quite as kid friendly and they’ve been more interested in Pokemon recently, so they haven’t played much of either this or Marvel Puzzle Quest. It is nice to know that we will have two more games to enjoy as a family that aren’t just Dance or Mario. Sure, those games are fun, but variety is the spice of life and such.

Both games are free to play, as mentioned. Marvel Heroes is constantly being improved. Marvel Puzzle Quest also updates regularly, but it is often unclear whether those changes are for the better. Most recently, they altered one of my favorite powers and made it decidedly weaker. I’m not going to be one of those guys that threatens to quit the game over such a minor adjustment. Still, I don’t quite understand what they’re trying to accomplish and it is frustrating to have to deal with something like that. (Side Note: I looked at the patch notes and I now understand, but it still makes little sense from a player point of view. Oh well, might be time to find another combo to abuse.)

If my children are any indication, then the games are relatively kid friendly. There is some questionable material in Marvel Heroes (mostly from Deadpool, of course) but it is easily avoidable. You should be aware. Puzzle Quest is simply a match 3 game, so it is much tamer and better for kids if you don’t want to take the chance. You could do worse than trying out both games. If you played Marvel Heroes and didn’t enjoy it, then give it another chance. It is a much better game and you won’t be disappointed. If you do try either game, let me know. I would be glad to play a round or two or let you get started in our clan on Marvel Puzzle Quest. At the risk of being sued, Excelsior!

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