Animation, Characters, Story, Vibe
With X-Men: Apocalypse dominating film news toward the end of spring, I found myself looking for a nice easy X-Men game to download, and landed on this app. Uncanny X-Men: Days Of Future Past is one of several apps by Gigataur, but probably the most high-profile of the bunch, and definitely the most noteworthy X-Men game available on iOS.
First and foremost, I loved the old-school feeling to this game. Essentially a side-scroller/platformer, it feels a little bit like an older, character-based adventure you’d have played on an arcade machine, only it operates more smoothly. The controls, too, are surprisingly intuitive even on a phone, with simple direction arrows on the left and jump and attack buttons on the right.
I was also drawn in by the number of X-Men included in the game. While there used to be great X-Men arcade games and there’s always the Marvel vs. Capcom series, most modern X-Men games have focused solely on Wolverine or on smaller collections of characters. A 50-line slot reel featured among Betfair’s jackpot games may actually be the only other “modern” X-Men game to include this many characters. There, the likes of Wolverine (in Hugh Jackman’s likeness), Storm, Magneto, Mystique, and several others are used to populate a slot reel and also appear in video clips from the 20th Century Fox films. It’s a nice shoutout to popular characters, but unlike the slot game, Uncanny X-Men: Days Of Future Past lets you control most of your favorite X-Men.
Specifically, that means Wolverine, Kitty Pride, Storm, Colossus, Cyclops, Scarlet Witch, and Polaris, all of whom are available as playable characters (though you have to unlock everyone else after starting with Wolverine). You’ll also encounter the likes of Magneto, Nimrod, sentinels, and other villains. The character system is very well done in this app. You’re able to unlock characters at a reasonable pace, and you can upgrade them individually. This means that if you want to, you can focus on making your favorite character your deadliest as well. Each character also has a few special moves you can unlock, and while they don’t speak, comic book-like captions reveal personalities and agendas for each of them.
Best of all is how the popular “Days of Future Past” storyline is brought into play. The game was written with the help of Josh Fine, who produced a few of the X-Men films. It was also based on the original comic story, meaning the idea of a future ravaged by sentinels hunting down mutants will be familiar to X-Men fans. And it all plays out very nicely, almost like a playable comic. In this regard, perhaps more than any other it stands out against some of the official apps by Marvel, which tend to be high on gameplay but low on plot.
The game looks great too, which is to say it’s almost wholly satisfying. The only real criticism is that both the soundtrack and the actual fighting can get a little repetitive. Combat can border on “button-mashing,” though you’ll learn a few different ways of being clever about it, and the more characters and special moves you unlock, the more variety there is.
I’m still delving into this game, so there may be some more tricks up its sleeve. However, after exploring it long enough to unlock a few major characters, I’d say it’s probably my favorite mobile superhero game.