Have you ever thought, “there is always a superhero for every occasion, but where do they come from?” I know I have, and consequently, it got me thinking. Is there a massive organisation that controls these heroes while profiting from others’ misfortunes? Amazing Superhero Squad plays with this idea as you manage an eclectic blend of mystical beings.
Developed by Siberian Koala and published by Sometimes You, this is a tongue-in-cheek business management sim. It is set in a fantasy world with made-up and bizarre protagonists. What’s more, its plot is dated, but its artistry and concept are anything but. Therefore, it’ll interest strategy and simulation fans as well as lovers of comics.
Amazing Superhero Squad relies on data dumps.
If you are not a fan of data dumps, you are in for a bumpy ride. Oddly, Amazing Superhero Squad relies heavily on text and visuals. Therefore, it appears to play out like a visual novel, as opposed to a simulation management title. As a consequence, the action opens with an almighty data dump that is unbelievably overwhelming. However, the pain is short-lived, so I recommend you stick with it.
The plot, or what little there is of it, revolves around an agency that hires heroes. These superhumans must complete missions to save the day while helping the people of Storborg City. By completing tasks, new information comes to light, and this helps to evolve each mystery. With limited interactions and mainly text-based dialogue, it feels like a visual novel. However, there are some key strategic moments, but these are limited and lack depth.
Simple enough once you grasp it.
Because of the information-heavy opener, the learning curve feels steep. However, the concept and mechanics are straightforward. Essentially, your band of 5 heroes has unique skills that can match the requirements of each mission. If you correctly match each skill, you are likely to be successful. Subsequently, this will increase your fame, shares, money, and more. However, if you don’t get it right, your heroes can die or become depressed, and you’ll lose cash and popularity.
Ultimately, you manage your employees, select the quests, and try to fight crime. You are also responsible for hiring and firing while maintaining a happy workforce. Unfortunately, this is the extent of the strategy element and it requires more luck than judgement. This was frustrating, as the core concept is intriguing. Sadly, though, the delivery is lacklustre and underwhelming.
Amazing Superhero Squad plays like a comic book.
The core concept’s delivery was disheartening and disappointing. It could and should have been much better. Yet, it isn’t all doom and gloom, as the aesthetics are wonderful. The game is presented as a comic book and it was amazing to look at.
Graphically, Amazing Superhero Squad is phenomenal. Its stylised approach, sharp colours, and crisp lines will wow you. Furthermore, the backdrops and scenery add depth and character to the gameplay. This makes the key elements that bit more disappointing, as the potential is plain to see.
The visuals are supported by excellent audio. The OTT music, high-energy songs, and absurd sound effects fit the theme perfectly. If it wasn’t for the hard-hitting sounds, the gameplay would have been flat and dull.
PC porting goes one of two ways. First, it’s perfect and the developers have considered the UI and mechanics. If this happens, the game is wonderful and a joy to play with a controller. Second, it’s woeful and the controls are abysmal. Subsequently, this leads to frustration and a lack of interest. Weirdly, Amazing Superhero Squad is somewhere in between! The UI and layout are really intuitive and fun to explore. Annoyingly, however, it’s held back because of a lack of cursor control. This oversight makes it difficult to select anything, and this was infuriating.
With 4 weeks of missions to undertake and a wide range of heroes to hire, there is some replay value. Longevity is increased further because of the multiple-choice missions and their random nature. These elements will be of interest to comic book fans, but everyone else will find it tiresome and repetitive.
Amazing Superhero Squad isn’t that amazing.
In theory, Amazing Superhero Squad should have been great. Its concept is interesting, the art style is striking, and there are many avenues to explore. Instead, you experience a shallow and underwhelming game with a badly translated narrative. Furthermore, the controls simply add to the frustration. Comic book fans may want to buy it here! For everyone else, I don’t recommend it. Running a superhero agency should be exciting. Sadly, this is a bit of a damp squib.