Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet

An early cut-scene in this Lego Star Wars-inspired romp sees Thor playing with a rubber duck in the bath before complaining that one of his fellow superheroes has spilled his lavender scented fluid of cleansing. This doesn’t do much for Thor’s manly image, but it does set the tone of the game rather nicely.

The absurdness doesn’t end there – Hulk’s level sees the emerald giant and She Hulk chasing after a giant cake in dream world while Iron Man is forced to partake on a gameshow to win a piece of the titular gauntlet. A later boss battle also involves picking up the enemy with a crane and flushing him down a giant toilet. You certainly can’t knock the variation between levels or the developer’s warped imagination.

The amount of characters available is somewhat impressive too, being a mixture of familiar faces (Spiderman, Wolverine, Ethan Hawkeman and the aforementioned heroes) and less familiar (Nova, The Scarlet Witch and Reptil). In story mode you can’t choose who to control but the two pre-selected heroes can be swapped between and each have a unique skill, which are more often than not used to solve the basic but enjoyable puzzles. When in free play though any unlocked character can be chosen, and it’s only in free play that some secret areas can be accessed.

Oddly, Spiderman isn’t available until towards the end of the game despite being one of the more interesting characters. His level has a rather amusing parody of the original Donkey Kong, complete with 8-bit style music. It’s the touches like these, coupled with the humorous cut-scenes, that make this a fun, if undemanding (read: child friendly) game. The graphics don’t demand much from the Xbox 360 either – you can tell instantly that this was a straight conversion of the Wii version with no visual improvements whatsoever. Even 2008’s Spiderman: Friend or Foe (which plays very similarly to this) looked better and that was panned for being on the ugly side. At least it it’s nice and colorful though, and thanks to the low-polygon character models and sterile environments the levels load in a click of the finger.

The price point does though give some explanation for the graphical shortcomings (it shouldn’t cost much more than £15) and they fortunately don’t distract from the fact that this is surprisingly charming and one of the better kid’s titles around.

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