APP OF THE DAY - Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty (iPad / iPhone)
Marvel's really pushing the boat out this year with its comic book character-based movies; there's not one, but two of the blighters. Kenneth Branagh's Thor came out in April, and Captain America: The First Avenger is due to hit UK cinemas on 29 July, both of which almost serving as prequel movies for the forthcoming The Avengers flick coming next year.
But it would be unreasonable to consider either inferior because of the fact. Indeed, Thor took massive takings at the box office (rumoured to be over $430 million worldwide), and Pocket-lint has seen Captain America's latest big screen outing and likes it very much indeed. So much so that we're still on a buzz about it enough to seek out...
Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty
- iPad / iPhone
- £0.69 until the movie's release, £2.99 after
The first thing that strikes you about the (very few) reviews under the iTunes entry for Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty is that a couple of them complain that its gameplay is reminiscent of Mirror's Edge. For us, that's a massive bonus, surely.
It's been a fair while since the EA title came out, and it's refreshing to see Marvel Entertainment adopt a different control system to the generic on-screen thumb pad which we've never really gotten on with. Instead, this slice of original story adventure uses a series of swipes and taps to progress through the levels, both in platforming and combat terms.
The main similarity to Mirror's Edge comes with the fact that once Cap is swept into a direction, he keeps running - speed increasing - until he meets an immovable object or enemy. Then a series of other swipes can be utilised to get past or rid yourself of such obstacles.
A shield graphic in the bottom left-hand corner can be tapped to provoke the Captain into throwing his shield, but apart from that it's pretty much swipes all the way.
When encountering an enemy (from the many movie foes rather than the comic books') you can perform combo moves by swiping in different directions in time with Cap's actions. It's not essential to defeat most bad guys, but racks up the score (assessed at the end of a level). Defeating Hydra soldiers, et al, also fills the shield graphic which, when full, can be used to unleash a couple of massively destructive abilities.
There's also a decent amount of old fashioned platform hopping to be done, especially if you want to collect all of the secret Hydra files on each level (which, when added up, present you with unlocked bonus content in the form of milestone covers from the real comic books). You can also unlock new costumes for Cap.
If there's one minor criticism, it's that the gameplay can get repetitive at times, but consider that you're playing this on an iPhone or iPad (the app is universal) rather than an Xbox 360 and you'll probably only manage small bursts at a time. For that scenario, it's ideal, as it's fast, furious and fun - much like the movie itself.
As proper comic book geeks, we also like the inclusion (as in the film) of the Howling Commandos Dum Dum Dugan and Montgomery Falsworth, and Captain America's old sidekick Bucky, as part of the plot. But then, we're a bit sad like that.
Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty is available on iTunes now, and look out for an Android version in the near future.