Let’s get down to brass tacks, here: most Android and iPhone games are little diversions you play while commuting or waiting in line at the post office, and as such, they’re short affairs. The $6.99 Amazing Spider-Man, on the other hand, is a relatively large game for a mobile title, and it’s a pretty refreshing play because of that. But alas, that freshness doesn’t last long as the clunky controls and hideous dialogue hinder the experience.
The story: there are two groups of anarchists attempting to bring the city down through a chemical outbreak that will turn everyone into Lizard-like creatures, and it’s up to ol’ Spidey to fix the problem. This, of course, is based on the recently released Amazing Spider-Man film. That said, I stopped caring about the story after the first hour; the plot is unexceptional and the dialogue is bland. Voices are about as stiff as they come. Spider-Man in particular made me dread entering a cutscene because I knew I’d have to hear his high-pitched, dry, unenthusiastic voice again. Besides a line or two by Spidey, the jokes are corny, even by Spider-Man standards. Not the “so corny it’s funny” type, either.
The controls started to show its flaws after playing a while longer. The camera began to move as my thumb directed instead of the Webhead. This proved annoying during time attack missions, crawling missions, and when webbing around the city.
Speaking of webbing around, this game makes doing so incredibly fun. Since its open world (in a very small downtown Manhattan) you get that old PS2 Ultimate Spider-Man feel. The level of detail put into whisking between skyscrapers makes you feel like Spider-Man. The web-swinging is very fluid, and his mannerisms from previous titles exists, such as walking the sides of buildings when you’re close enough. Fun definitely ensues.
The Amazing Spider-Man’s combat system lets you level up and apply skill points to abilities as you would in a RPG, giving the Webhead advanced battle techniques and speed. You are also rewarded points for collecting Spider Emblems around the city which you can use to buy health and invisibility potions presumably made by Parker himself to help you in a pinch. The combat itself is very fluid, but also repetitive. You attack, use a web move if you want, and dodge when your Spider-Sense prompts you. Repetitive, but still fun. The control issues aren’t as prevalent during battles, but they still happen from time to time. You will find yourself moving the camera instead of Spidey when you least need it to, and sometimes because of it, your character or enemies may glitch into nearby walls.
If you’re in need to peel and dive off from a building and web off into the sunset just before you reach the ground—pick up the console version. The Amazing Spider-Man isn’t a terrible game, but it is not a must-buy at seven bucks. If the controls were a bit tighter, I’d change my tune completely. Overall, Gameloft did a good job, but not amazing, job.