Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty is a side-scrolling, telephone app/video game tie in for the Captain America movie. It is brought to us by Sarbakan Inc and Marvel Entertainment. As a fairly hardcore gamer, I tend to view movie tie-ins and telephone games with a certain level of skepticism. Games based on movies tend to try way to hard making the game play and story as epic as the corresponding movie…yet usually fail in some way. On the other hand, phone-based games tend to either be overly simplistic or overly complicated in their game play qualities or they are incredible time wasters trying to convince gamers to pay for extra doo-dads for their farm, groomer, or zombie clan. This game, however, doesn’t seem to suffer from any of its genre specific problems. As I played through the first story arc, I had the feeling that I was reading a one-shot comic book. The story takes place during Captain America’s attacks on Hydra locations, adding an extra twist to a small story. Cap’s ability set is small to keep the game well balanced within the context of a touch screen control, showcasing an autorun feature and attacks and combos based on swipes of the finger. The shield automatically defends when you stop running and is thrown when you tap the only button (obviously a shield). It’s all very easily executed. The game encompasses 24 levels broken down into three chapters that each last a minute or more depending on how much you want to grab the unlockables and achievements, making this a decent game to play while sitting in your local DMV waiting to get your eyes checked or taking your driving test. The unlockables include new costumes for Cap or several covers from the Captain America comics from over the years.
Cons – There are a few flaws that become readily apparent during play. First, changing direction is a bit of a pain. It is much easier to bring Cap to a complete stop then (double tapping the screen) then swiping several times in the opposite direction. This is probably on purpose, though, since stopping puts Cap in a defensive stance automatically. Second is the unlockable comic book cover art. Playing the game on my iPhone, the covers were very small and no amount of manipulation of the touch screen would increase their size. Third is replay-ability. App games seem to have very little in the way of replay-ability, or the never have an ending. This game falls into the first category, once you beat it, unlock the achievements and all the unlockables, then what? Honestly though, for this medium replay-ability may not be a huge issue and shouldn’t be a major factor for purchasing this app.
Overall – In the end, the game was enjoyable. As of this writing, the game has a free version you can download to get a feeling for it which I would completely recommend as free is always good. You only get the first three levels, but that should give you enough to know if you’re going to enjoy it or not. I paid .99 cents but I have seen the game cost $4.99. It is more of a casual game, as most phone apps are but free is definitely worth trying it out. It’s not an excessively violent or gory game, making it good for younger gamers and parents who may be worried about mature elements that their children are exposed too. All in all it’s a fairly good game with just a few minor flaws that shouldn’t take away from the game. Since it has developed a free version, I am giving it 4 out of 5 star spangled shields.