The Heroes of the Marvel Universe Unite With the Best In Puzzle Games
User reviews: Mixed (2,336 reviews)
Release Date: Dec 5, 2013

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Recommended By Curators

"Free-to-play one-button game with a touch-friendly UI. Works fine, as well as any other Puzzle Quest game."

Recent updates View all (15)

December 15

R67 Now Available! (12/15/2014)

R67 is now available! Download today!

Season’s Greetings and happy holidays to everyone!

It seems that this month, Santa isn't the only hero wearing red!

We're very excited to announce that a brand new PVE gameplay mode will be arriving soon. (Hint: "The Law of Inverse Ninja Strength.") But wait, there's more! The Story continues...is Wolverine really the ally you think he is?!

R67 Patch Notes:

UI, Tweaks & Bug Fixes
- Shields may now have cooldowns depending on the Event. The cooldown is displayed below the amount of time the Shield lasts.

- Players can now preview Event rewards before an Event starts by tapping the “Event in..” Chapter button or the Rewards button on the time selection dialog.

- Default starting opponents in Versus play now always report the correct amount of "current points" they have.

Characters
- Hulk's Anger will no longer fire from allied abilities.

For full (English Only) Patch Notes, please visit http://www.d3pforums.com

0 comments Read more

December 1

R66 Available Now!

Here's wishing a very happy holiday and bountiful harvest to all Marvel Puzzle Quest players!

- Loading screen now 300% more Galactic.

- Team-Up AP Tutorial now properly appears during the intro missions.

- Clarified that users keep Team-Ups when recalling a character from On Patrol.

- Recruit Token counts now display when the user has over 99 tokens.

- Button added to go to an applicable Comic Pack when user is missing an Essential character.

Full (English only) Patch Notes can be found at: http://www.d3pforums.com

1 comments Read more

Reviews

“An intricately crafted, remarkably deep experience – Marvel Puzzle Quest doesn’t merely meet the expectations of its name, it exceeds them.”
9.1 out of 10 – http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/10/11/marvel-puzzle-quest-dark-reign-review

“Even for those unfamiliar with the ever-expanding Marvel universe, Dark Reign’s use of collection and randomized drops make it compulsively, sickeningly playable.”
4 out of 5 – http://toucharcade.com/2013/10/12/marvel-puzzle-quest-dark-reign-review/

“Takes the unlikely pairing of Marvel heroes and match-3 makes it fun. Lots to do besides the story missions. Entertaining, surprisingly humorous dialogue.”
4 out of 5 – http://www.gamezebo.com/games/marvel-puzzle-quest-dark-reign/review

Update Notes

R67 is now available! Download today!

Season’s Greetings and happy holidays to everyone!

It seems that this month, Santa isn't the only hero wearing red!

We're very excited to announce that a brand new PVE gameplay mode will be arriving soon. (Hint: "The Law of Inverse Ninja Strength.") But wait, there's more! The Story continues...is Wolverine really the ally you think he is?!

R67 Patch Notes:

UI, Tweaks & Bug Fixes
- Shields may now have cooldowns depending on the Event. The cooldown is displayed below the amount of time the Shield lasts.

- Players can now preview Event rewards before an Event starts by tapping the “Event in..” Chapter button or the Rewards button on the time selection dialog.

- Default starting opponents in Versus play now always report the correct amount of "current points" they have.

Characters
- Hulk's Anger will no longer fire from allied abilities.

For full (English Only) Patch Notes, please visit http://www.d3pforums.com

About This Game

The best in match-3 puzzle gameplay meets Marvel’s biggest Super Heroes and Super Villains in the most epic puzzle adventure game out on your phone and tablet! Marvel Puzzle Quest combines your favorite Marvel characters with deep RPG leveling, player-vs-player tournaments, alliances, and much more. It’s time to unleash your inner Super Hero and wage war against your enemies.

Now featuring 100% more Deadpool!

9.1 out of 10 “An intricately crafted, remarkably deep experience -- Marvel Puzzle Quest doesn’t merely meet the expectations of its name, it exceeds them.” - IGN.com (Editors’ Choice Award)

Features
• FREE TO PLAY
• Assemble the ultimate team from your favorite Marvel Super Heroes and Super Villains such as Captain America, Spider-Man, Hulk, Thor, Loki, Punisher, Black Widow, Venom, and much more!
• Harness the power of Iso-8 to upgrade your team and collect comics to unlock new characters and abilities.
• Introducing new characters from the Marvel Universe and continually expanding game features!
• Brand new tournaments and events are launched each month to offer players fresh gameplay to explore.
• Unmatched strategy and depth! Embark on a journey of a global scale and unleash your strength and wits with your favorite Marvel characters to outsmart and defeat your opponents.
• Build Alliances among your friends and compete against rival Alliances.
• Snag the top rank in Tournaments, Alliances, and Season Play for new character rewards and other prizes!
• Stop Norman Osborn and his worldwide terror spree and watch the story unravel as different forces such as the X-Men, S.H.I.E.L.D. and H.A.M.M.E.R. (Dark Avengers) compete for resources and influence.
• Be a part of the Marvel Universe in an epic story written by Marvel veterans Frank Tieri (Iron Man, Wolverine, Weapon X) and Alex Irvine (Iron Man: The Rapture, Daredevil Noir) based on the Dark Reign storyline, a monumental narrative in Marvel history.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP SP3
    • Processor: Intel Pentium 4 3.00GHz or better
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD 3000 / Nvidia GeForce 8600 GT / ATI Radeon HD 4650
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 250 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Windows Compatible Card
Helpful customer reviews
203 of 228 people (89%) found this review helpful
533.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
The developer and publisher for this game treat their playerbase as cows to be milked with overpriced micro-transactions and have proven not to be above actively neutering play options in an effort to squeeze more cash out of players.

Story time:
On the official forums of the publisher a 'discussion' thread was started by the developer on a very controversial change regarding the game's hit point healing mechanic. This triggered an unforeseen and unprecedented unanimous response to a change that everyone was up in arms against. This thread eventually grew into 30(!) pages of nothing but negative feedback, ranging from warnings that the change would break the game, to full blown alternate solutions (solutions to a problem that many don't even acknowledge exists). But most of all; people calling it out for the cash grab that it was.

This was the last in a long, long line of controversial changes to the detriment of the quality of the game. This time though, the response got ugly enough for one of the actual forum moderators to stand up and abuse his moderator powers by stealth-editing the developer's opening post by adding an additional line of text to the section that clarified the reasoning behind the change to the healing mechanic. Said added line simply stated: "also: money", a blatant jab at the conduct of the publisher and developer over the course of this history of changes aimed at pumping up the monetization in the game.

As of this writing, said moderator has been banned, the developer's one-sided idea of a 'discussion' has ended and the change has been pushed through unaltered and in full effect immediately, game-wide. Including taking effect in running PvP or PvE events close to finishing time, where people were already deeply invested into strategizing their finishing runs.

The current fallout is enormous. The developer is silent. And why wouldn't they be, when their admitted business credo is "this too shall pass":

From Al's Game Blog, article: "Handling balance changes":
"This too shall pass – While you need to expect and accept that there will be a backlash and the first couple of days will be painful, give it a few days before you judge the results. In the early days of MPQ, Ragnarok was massively overpowered and the day we changed it players were furious. A week later, it was no longer a topic of widespread conversation."


(For the record; try mentioning Ragnarok to some of the veteran players and find out just how much it is 'no longer a topic of widespread conversation'.)
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131 of 150 people (87%) found this review helpful
463.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
This game was/is not much different then many other match 3 games except that you use characters to beat up other characters.

It was quite fun and a way to waste a few hours just battling it out. But then they did a few changes which made it so that if you wanted to progress you had to do whats called grinding (for those that don't know, thats when you have to spend 5 or 6 hours playing just to keep up with others playing). This made things less fun.

Now for the biggest change, if you have any characters that can heal the team during combat its called false healing. Basically what happens is that while in a round, they will heal your characters, but soon as its done, any and all damage that was done to your character during a round gets applied to your characters, which means they will more then likely be instantly down and you have to wait somewhere between 3 and 14 hours for them to heal.

So now instead of being able to play for a couple of hours, you're lucky if you get in a couple of rounds that can last about 5 to 10 minutes at most and then you need to wait till the next day (least for those of us with families, work and who require sleep) to play for another 10 minutes and then wait.

They wanted to stop people from using their healing characters in story mode to heal their wounded characters and instead buy heath packs, which cost Hero Points which while they do come in game, they are very rare in game and they expect more people to buy Hero Points so they can buy health pack. This has basically turned the game into pay 2 win game, well it was before but now its much worse.

The majority of people who play F2P games will never actually put money into free 2 play games. Once it gets to the point where they are spending more then a few hours playing and not being able to keep up with their friends, they loose interest and leave, and start bad mouthing the game, which causes people not to go play that game, which means the game looses lots of money.


So for now I can not recommend this game. Maybe if the devs wise up and actually listen to the community and things go back to how they were a couple of months ago, may I will start playing again and maybe even recommend this game, but lots of things have to change.
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47 of 58 people (81%) found this review helpful
1,070.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
Game was balancing around P2W, now its probably even P2P at all. Demiurge with D3 dont care about customers, they dont want to have a fun, enjoyable game...they want your money and nothing else.
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33 of 42 people (79%) found this review helpful
66.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 17
♥♥♥♥ this game. Literally ♥♥♥♥ this game.

Why? Because it is actually really REALLY FUN. And THAT is exactly the Problem!

How so you ask? Simple! Because it is yet another free-to-play, pay-to-win game. It is a good game disguising a hideous marketing strategy. It is absolutely repulsive.

Because you're gonna start playing this game and go "Oh man! This game is really fun! I want to keep playing it!" but then slowly the realization starts to seep in... YOU CAN'T. Why not? Well, lets see here... did you lose that last round? Bit of random bad luck and didn't quite make it? Want to try the round again? WELL TOO BAD!! Your heros are out of health now and won't be full again until THREE HOURS FROM NOW. Hey, did the game just give you a sweet new character as a reward for beating a stage? Great! Too bad you're out of spaces for new characters in your hero roster that you can only expand using the game's premium currency! Oh and by the way, your reward expires in five days and then you'll lose it forever, good luck trying to farm premium currency through the stages in game! Oh, I'm sure it won't take you very long if you've got a strong team of heros to keep plowing through with... Oh, what's that? They're all out of health again? Guess you're ♥♥♥♥ed! LOLS!! Seriously, this is the only game I've ever played that gives you rewards that you're never able to actually use.

And it all just spirals on downhill from there. You want to get anywhere in this game? "Give us your money!" And not just some of your money... ALL OF YOUR MONEY! Because lets face it, it would be EASY to release a normal, playable version of this game for say $15... but they don't want just a little of your money. They want ALL OF YOUR MONEY. There is a never ending supply of money that this game can drain away from you. Because that's how it was designed. And it is a damned crying shame!

Avoid this piece of garbage like the Plague. Or Ebola. Whatever horrifying desease floats your boat. XP

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18 of 20 people (90%) found this review helpful
1,951.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 2
Ok, I have put a lot of time, effort, and some money into this game.
Overall at this point I must say that I would not recommend this game.

Basically when you first start playing the game it captures your interest quite well. Being based on the Marvel characters and universe was enough to do that for me. Upgrading your roster and characters from star level 1 to star level 2 is challenging but enjoyable as you can easily see the improvements. So you get a nice feeling of progression.

Unfortunately once you start to move past star level 2 characters into star level 3 and 4 characters things start to go bad.

Upgrading your roster and characters from star level 2 to star level 3 becomes a nightmare because you first have to upgrade them 50% before they start to become useable. The playing time alone to gather the required resources to upgrade one star level 3 character 50% could take you a month. Throw in the fact that there is no scaling or bracketing in this game and players that already have full power star level 3 characters will sap points and rank from anyone below them and you start to get an idea of just how difficult a task this is.

For arguements sake, if you were going to spend 'real money' to upgrade a star level 3 character 50% instead of just playing the game it would cost you about US$100+. If you were going to buy all the powers for one character and max them out completely it would cost about US$400-US$600. So really, I would assume most people are inclined to play the game to gather the required resources instead.

Note that everything costs more as you progress. Characters from each star level catagory; ie: 1, 2, 3, and then 4 have an increase in 'experience' levels, hit points, damage per gem, and super power damage levels by almost double. But coming with that is an almost doubling of resources and costs involved for said characters.

This all adds up to the fact that the time you invest in the game has to increase as well. Where you might have been able to do well putting two hours a day into the game you will then have to put in three and then four hours a day. This doesn't mean all in one sitting just total overall time played per day. There maybe up to three events running simultaneously and if you wanted to do well in all of them you can sink alot of your time into it. You may feel obliged to do this since events are usually put into 'Seasons' and you may not see an specific event again until the next season or two in the future. 'Seasons' typically seem to run for the length of a month.

It's kind of awkward how events are setup. Each event usually lasts for 2 days or if longer are broken down into 'stages'. These longer events of up to a week are broken into 'stages' that last for 2 days each. What happens is to earn 'points' and keep you 'rank' up compared to everyone else, you have to play the 'stages' over and over as many times as 'plausible' in that 2 day period. 'Plausible' in that there is a 'full points' refresh timer of around 2.5 hours and also there is a point-catch-up (rubberbanding) system where the longer you wait between replaying the 'stage' the more points you can get. Also, each time you replay a 'stage' the difficulty and level of the enemy characters increase.

There are players that gain rank #1 and play the game every 2.5 hours even throughout the night. That is the type of competition you will be up against.

Ok, I want to end this review now as I think I have given you an insight into what is involved if you wanted to build and progress a roster of characters in this game. Or, what to expect once you have moved on from establishing a foundation.

A few other things that are really off putting:
A) Characters have been changed by the developers out of the blue. Usually termed as 'nerf' where characters are weakened or resulting in less useable. How annoying for those players that have spent time/resources building said characters up. You can sell characters, but you will only get a pittance of what you have put into them.

B) There have been a myriad of server issues over the time I have played this game. Sometimes this has had a catastrophic effect on the scores/ranks etc of whatever event was running at the time. Sometimes the developers have given out a form of compensation but not always. Two recent events had server glitches that cost me ranking high. Unfotunately they happen in the later half of the week long events when you have alreadly invested alot of time.

C) The free-for-all pvp system means that those with maxed out or high level characters can just stomp over everyone below them. How frustrating to come out of winning a battle for 20 points reward to be greeted by a message that you have been attacked by half a dozen players twice your level losing 200 points. They really need to incorporate some form of scalability or player bracketing to make play balanced.

I would recommend avoiding this game unless you are happy to invest all your free time into it.
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14 of 15 people (93%) found this review helpful
468.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
Don’t even think about it, Just don’t.
It was once a fun game, really it was but the greedy money grabbing Developers have killed that, now every time you fight a battle you’ll have to wait hours before you can fight again or Spend $2.00 dollars just for one more battle, If you like Facebook games, by all means have fun with this, if not Avoid it.
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19 of 25 people (76%) found this review helpful
2,070.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 13
I really wanted to like this game, but the path chosen by the developers makes this one of the most frustrating experiences with a game I have ever had. The hours I have listed on this game are not technically accurate as I had it running in the background for days/weeks at a time. However I have easily put in 100's of hours into trying to like this game, hoping that the devs would fix the issues and it would improve. Ultimately I finally realized that there was near zero chance that would happen because the devs want the game to be this way.

First the lets talk about the good - If you enjoy PuzzleQuest you will like the mechanics, the incorporation of the Marvel license is topnotch both with writing and character design. If you can be content with just playing the story missions and only a small subset of the available champions then go ahead.

However if you are like me and want to play with the new champions when they are released and play the special events then you will pay. And if you pay realize that it is only a matter of time before that which you paid for is nerfed or sidelined or otherwise invalidated by whatever the newest cash grab from D3 is.

Here is how it works, lets say you have a set of beginning characters (called 2 star for their rarity) and are having fun. You see that a new character is being released (omg Nick Furry?! I want to play that one too!). In order to get covers for that character you have to buy them with real money, oh except you can't really buy them straight you have to buy a "pack" and hope you get the covers you want (along with a bunch of stuff you don't want). If you aren't willing to go that route then you will have to jump through some very specific hoops, namely you will be "competing" with other players for a chance to win the cover. You do this by direct competition (through a very very broken PvP style contest that I am not even going to get into its so bad) or by grinding away at special missions, missions that are designed to be overpowering and that will wound or kill your characters (requiring you to "rest" or buy medpacks with money). I don't know if I can stress how grindy these missions will be if you actually want a shot at the new cover, we are talking hours of playtime, but what is even worse is D3 picks the times you need to play. This is ultimately why I had to stop, in order to be successful with the rubber-banding and the like you had to be playing near the finish of each sub-event and each main event. That means you can't even just grind it out on your own time you needed to be hardcore during specific hours (forgot real life commitments). What I finally realized was there is no end game. That process described above is it. It doesn't get easier just harder, and not from a skill level just from a time commitment and frustration level. D3's entire model is to reward low level players greater then high level players to make them think rewards are quick and easy. Once you are hooked however you will constantly lose you chance at the new covers to the next wave of new players getting their hooks set. No only do I not recommend this to anyone I would be very cautious about ever playing anything from D3.
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11 of 12 people (92%) found this review helpful
468.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 30
This used to be a fun game and it still could be. Unfortunately, the unmitigated greed on the part of the publishers has surfaced fully and without reservation in a recent patch where team healing was nerfed.

Healing used to be possible outside of PvE or PvP combat by going to the prologue and fighting a few battles with a healer and the damaged roster members. Biff bam boom! You're back to playing. Now that healing is only temporary during that battle. So, it's either wait 3+ hours for your team members to heal or pay for health packs.

The AI also cheats heavily, but I consider that more of a challenge to overcome than a reason to stop playing.

I already spent $40 (US) getting my roster space up to speed. I refuse to spend more money on a game that is no longer fun for me. This latest healing patch moved the game into the "not fun" category.

If the patch notes and forum indicate the game has been fixed, I would be willing to pick the game back up. Until then, I am done.
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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
995.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 2
This is a stupid game. The game itself is fine but the programming has destroyed it. The adjustments have been so obviously tilted to make you spend more money, no one in their right mind will play this. I love the game play but it has gotten so obvious that they are programming to help you if you spend a lot of money and not if you play the game. You should just give them your credit card and let them suck all your cash out of your pocket while you sit with your thumb in your mouth. The only thing these guys are doing is inspiring hate hate hate. What are they thinking?

Listen, unless you spend a lot of money, the programming is designed to destroy your abilit to win. The rewards for winning are just stupid. Even with a decent set of characters, you absolutely should not lose challenges 9 times out of 10. The only way this happens is if they assure that you will lose to inferior character sets according to how much money you have spent. The rewards are irrational. This is a joke.

You are a fool if you get started on this. It is a collection game but the best way to collect anything is to buy it, not bother to play. If you like paying $50 for a chance to get a virtual card, have a great time but this takes a good concept and destroys it. Play the game. You will love it. Then you will hate those who are controlling the economic model. If you start this game, you are throwing away your money. Better to poke yourself in the eye with a pencil. So, no, I don't recommend it at all.
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16 of 23 people (70%) found this review helpful
146.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
Pay to Win unfortunately :(
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10 of 12 people (83%) found this review helpful
81.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 19
TL;DR - Avoid at all costs! I'm in too deep but it may not be too late for you.

I've been playing the version on iOS since October last year and a lot has changed. The game deals in ISO and Hero Points. ISO is common but you'll need lots and Hero Points are uncommon but both are required. How much you'll enjoy this game will depend on how much money and time you'll be OK with sinking into this hole.
You collect covers of characters. Each cover is arranged in a 1-4 star configuration. 1* = common, 4* = super rare. How you can get covers is by either winning tournaments or by earning standard or heroic tokens and lucking in to a cover you require. A standard token would typically give you 1* cover with a sprinking of 2* cover and the day you get a 3* cover go get a lotto ticket. Heroic tokens are hard to come across but you can get anywhere up to 19 Heroic Tokens (personal experience) before you get a 3* cover. Why covers of characters and not the characters themselves? Because you can have more than one cover of the same character! Yes! Lazy! For instance, there are 3 covers of Storm - a 1*, 2* and 3* cover. Wolverine has 3 covers - a 2*, 3* and 4*. Thor has 3 covers - 2*, 3* and 4*, etc.
On top of that, most covers have 3 coloured moves and a maximum of 12 covers per chracter. Eg. Iron Man Model 40 (3*) - Unibeam (red), Ballistic Salvo (blue) and Recharge (yellow) (minus Bullseye (2*), Dr Doom (3*), Ragnarok (3*), Loki (3*) who all have 2 moves and a maximum of 10 covers). Meaning in order to max out your character, you need 12 covers and A LOT of ISO to level it up to full level. 1* covers level up to level 40, 2* = level 94, 3* = level 166 and 4* = level 270. Also, each cover takes up 1 roster slot. You can buy more with hero points!
You can buy cover packs with hero points/real money. They come in 1, 10, 42 packs. The amount of REAL money for hero points in this game is highway robbery. There is 0 value. If you were to spend money on this game, it would be in hero points but the little hero points you get for your hard earnt money is not even close to worth it. When you purchase a pack (because the only other time you can earn a 10 pack is through the season rewards), it USED TO guarantee at least one 3* cover. But they took that away because screw consumers. They don't want people having all the good covers by simply getting a "cheap" (it's not cheap) 10 pack with at least one guaranteed 3* cover in it. No no, we want you to jump through hoops to earn that 3* cover! What it DOES guarantee is a higher chance of getting a particular cover! So instead of of chance being 0.8%, it's 5.6%! They are REAL stats pulled right from the game! So if you get a 10 pack, you still have a VERY HIGH CHANCE of getting NO 3* covers! And this game uses them as the highest currency! From the 7 seasons so far, I have had 3 x 10 packs with 0 x 3* covers. This is what we're all aiming for! 3 and 4* covers! You think your hero points cost you a lot? Yes sure, but what are they REALLY worth?!? They can only buy you CHANCES of getting covers! If you already have one colour and you want another, you CAN SPEND 1250 Hero Points per 3* cover.
You have two types of game: PvE (Story) and PvP (tournaments). When you start the game, you can go through the prolog (PvE) which is one of the worst stories ever told. You know that episode of the Simpsons where Burns pulls out the piece of paper from the monkeys typewriter and he reads out, "It was the best of times, it was the BLURST of times?!?" well, that monkey seems more capable of writing a better story than what is present here. Quite honestly, I've stop reading all the "story" in this game months ago as it's merely a flimsy glue that holds this ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ game together.
It's not really pay to win because you can win tournaments (PvP) with a bad roster. The only difference is how active you are in playing. It's a game that masquerades as a casual puzzle game in the vein of bejeweled but make no mistake - they is no puzzle aspect and it's purely a numbers game that forces you to grind and pray that you finish first. All it takes to win is enough time to persist. You can have a strong team and if the computer feels like you're winning too often, it can decide to drop matching gems in favour of the enemy team. I've lost to a team half my level because the tiles dropped in the enemies favour. If you're up against someone who is too hard, you can skip them until you get someone easy. When you lose a round, it really hurts you because you get 5 health packs on a timer - 36 minutes for each health pack. And if you have a limited roster, it shortens the amount of covers you can use in a tournament. Once you've used up all health packs and your covers, you have to wait OR you can buy more health packs. One method of winning is purchasing health packs with real money/hero points and just continue playing until you've earned a score which is hard to beat. Then spend MORE real money/hero points to secure your position with a sheild. You don't really face people in PvP. You face their roster and the computer uses their roster. So how does the computer know which covers to use from other people's roster? Dunno. You would think it would pull their strongest characters but it doesn't always. If you find yourself towards the top of the tournament, you become enemy #1 and your team has a high chance of ending up in other people's list to face. If you don't have a sheild, you can lose points when your team is defeated by others. The only benefit in having the 3 star characters is more people to use in the roster. When your team gets naturally stronger with more 3* characters, you face stronger enemies so your weaker 2* becomes more useless.
Also, it is worth noting that some characters are USELESS such as Bagman Spiderman and Bullseye. Bagman Spiderman has 3 useless moves, each more usless than the next and Bullseye is a 2* with 2 moves which means his max level is 78. And while he can lay down defense tiles like crazy, he can't take a hit which makes him pretty useless. All your 1* covers are useless 99% of the time once you develop an even remotely strong team.
Why it's not really pay to win as well is because this game has no end to it. The end is you have all the covers. And they continually release new characters so the end to this game is when they shut down the servers or stop releasing new characters. It also feels like they do very little testing with the new characters/covers they release. We see it often when a new character comes out. It's hard to get excited about it when we know the second a bunch of people flock to the new character, it means its overpowered and will be nerfed.
Also, saving is a little ♥♥♥♥. If you want to save your progress, it is only possible through Facebook connect on iOS. I didn't see any feature on PC and I don't know what Android saving is like.

If you hate your life and after reading what I've had to say still want to go through with your cult suicide decision to play the game, go join an alliance. They now cost nothing and the benefits are huge. Although you need to accept that your alliance will never be in the top 10 unless you have contacts and join one of the already established X-Men groups who are always in the top 10. Hell, it's hard to even place top 100 alliance without all 20 players being dedicated to winning.

In over a year, I've had to step back from the game 3 times because it has made me that angry and upset. I now play on a very casual basis and I can only ever treat it like that otherwise you burn out. I loved Puzzle Quest 1, 2 and to a degree, galactrix. But this is just dead ♥♥♥♥.
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
888.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
Very hard to make significant progress in the game without spending a good amount of money.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
1,476.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 12
Supposedly this was a good game when launched. Since I've been playing, they have done nothing but made it worse. Characters that were depended on to heal (and therefor increase your playtime) had that ability taken away. Other characters were weakened as well - beware if you depend on anyone to long, that person will be nerfed without warning! Additions such as "team ups" were added with obviously no testing put into them - everyone I read online and in my alliance pointed out horrible problems with them day one. This was yet another addition that removes health from your characters, in a blatent attempt to extort more money out of their userbase.

DO NOT think this is a "free to play" game. It is not a "pay to win" game, it is a "pay to play" game. The developers have ignored user feedback and implemented changes that constantly make it more difficult to play any session longer than half an hour. God help you if you are in Europe (with horrible ending times) or here on Steam (where you can't play when the developers want you to).

To keep their older userbase they add the rarer characters every other week, but this means for the new user you'll have to pay cash up front for roster spots to have any chance to collect these. These rares are hard to find: it also means you'll have a year of playtime before you can compete with those who had their characters built up early on from a smaller character pool.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
906.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 27
The game was initially a lot of fun, especially for a free game on Steam. But the game is constantly changing, and not for the better. What was once a fun game has become a chore to play, mostly due to poor game design and decisions by the developers.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
17.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 2
Game is entertaining, although it keeps you hooked with the idea that you will eventually get to use new and cool super heroes. Although its possible to unlock new heroes, in order to get the ones you want and be capable of leveling up, you either need a lot of time or to simply pay money.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
11.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 5
Moderately fun premise for a puzzle game to tie-in popular and well-loved characters and stories but it quickly becomes a transparent pay-to-win. If that is your bag, I'm sure you'll enjoy Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign but it was tedious at best for myself.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
171.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 6
Can't recommend the game anymore after recent changes. What was a genuinely fun game has been ruined by changes that scream of greed on the part of the developer. Because healing spells only last for the current battle, I can now only play 2-3 rounds at a time (if I'm lucky) before I either have to pay real money or wait several hours for my team to heal themselves. Such a shame, as I was really starting to enjoy it, and was considering throwing some money into the game simply to show my appreciation. Now that it's kinda being forced on me, I can't bring myself to do it, and have been playing much less.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
3,848.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
The game itself is actually fun, but there is no way to progress without spending money. Maybe if you spent a few hundred hours, you might be able to finally achieve what $20 would get you immediately.

Unfortunate, but there's really no point bothering with this unless you want to spend money, it seems like each update is just geared towards trying to squeeze more money out of players, and the devs completely ignore player opinion.

Shame since at its core it's a fun game, but it's ruined by all the micro (maybe macro for this game) transaction BS
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
Game has become a negative posterchild for pay to win. Before people who didn't spent any or just some money for slots etc. had a fighting chance. And even more importantly, they had some time to enjoy the game. Now they nerfed healing, so most Characters with healing skills get their healing only temporarily. Before, you could play 1-2 hours w/o a problem w/o having to use so called health packs.

Now, w/o proper healing, after you used your 5 free healthpacks per day, which can easily happen after 2-3 games, as EACH hero (you can use 3 heroes at a time) needs to get healed with one pack. So after 3 games (maybe 10 minutes) you can easily run out of health packs and that was it for the day as it takes hours for the healthpacks to replenish. Most people won't have the time play for 10-20 minutes every 5 or so hours, because they work and basically have a life.

If you wanted, like I did before, enjoy an hour or the occasional 2 hours on the couch, playing Dark Reign, you are now out of luck. After 30 minutes tops you run out of health packs and heroes to play. And guess how you only (reliably) get them back? Right, by purchasing them with real money. You can't even use the "normal" in-game currency.

To level one hero to 50ish (of over 200 levels) costs about 90 € (NINETY), if you do this with currency from the real-money in-game shop.

The most infuriating part is, that the devs think us stupid and lie to people, claiming the new system would save them time, because playing a 5 Minute game every few games to heal your heroes to full is much longer than waiting 5+ hours .

TL;DR, it's a predatory business model aimed at addicted players who need to continue playing after they ran out of health packs. Keep away till they change that factor. If they do, the game can be fun.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
2,307.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
Steam says I have more than 2000 hours in the game, but the truth is it is mostly running on the background. I'd say 500 hours is much closer to reality.

Here is what you need to know about the game. It is a 3vs3 match where you bring a team of heroes/villains and try to win by making use of their abilities. You use them by spending the required resources (AP) which you get when you match tiles. The characters are divided in 4 tiers (1* - 4*) with only the 3* and very few of the 2* being useful at the moment. Most characters have 3 abilities, but there are some with only 2 because the developers have left them incomplete for months. The abilities can gain levels by buying or winning covers. The stats of the characters and the effectiveness of their abilities are increased as you level them with the use of ISO-8, an in-game currency used solely for leveling characters and buying boosts you can use in matches. The second currency is called HP (Hero Points) and is used to increase the size of your roster and to level abilities without the use of covers.

The good: Fast game / doesn't require too much thinking which makes it ideal for short gaming bursts / you get to use your favorite heroes / very simple rules.

The bad: Several incomplete characters with no plan to finish them in the near future / a turn from F2P to P2P since March 2014 / Inconvenient event end times for Europeans / success depends heavily on playing close the end of an event / several exploits are reported which allow cheaters to roam free in the game / market prices for in-game currency are the worst I have seen in a game.

Advices:
1. Use HP only to buy roster slots. At least until you have 30-35 slots. Never buy tokens (they give random covers). The % to get a specific 3* hero is less than 1% in most cases. You have better results if you level the abilities directly with HP.
2. Never use ISO-8 to buy 1* tokens. You will need it to level your heroes and it will always, ALWAYS be in short supply.
3. Always take part in Lightning Rounds since they are the most efficient source of ISO. Try to get to 100 points.
4. Don't max a 3* hero unless you have a diverse roster with at least 3-4 more heroes with levels 85+. When you do, the levels of the teams you fight will also increase a lot.

Epilogue: I will not tell how to spend your money, but you have to know that the game has made a turn into a more P2P model after March 2014. The changes in late June change how healing works in the game and restricts your ability to play since there is practically no way to heal heroes unless they have an innate regeneration ability. Heroes heal over time, but with most of them taking 2-4 hours to fully heal. healing packs are your only alternative and they cost HP which is relatively rare. The market prices are ridiculously unreasonable. To fully level a 3* hero you will need ~170k ISO which costs ~$300. The game is quite addictive so be warned. I would advice against letting young children play with it. I bet they can find better things to do and you should encourage them to spend their time doing something more creative. So do I recommend this game? After the changes in the last 2-3 months, I do not.
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