If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to fly through the air, guided by Mjölnir, or smashed through walls like an angry Bruce Banner, Marvel Super Hero Squad Online may very well be the game for you. The browser-based online game, which recently released its public beta, allows adults and kids to play as their favorite Marvel characters, fight Marvel villains while completing missions and interact with other characters online while decking out a personal headquarters with cool décor and gear. The MMOG, based on the Marvel imprint of the same name, is compatible with both PCs and Macs and the basic game is free to play.
There are plenty of games out there for kids and a lot of MMOG-type games, so what makes Marvel Super Hero Squad Online (MSHSO) different? I sat down with Jason Robar, Vice President and Studio Manager of The Amazing Society, who are developing the game, to find out their gaming philosophy and learn why you should play the game.
“[At The Amazing Society], we are part of the first generation of gamers. We grew up in the ’70s playing Pong and Space Invaders and we’re finally having kids and so our first choice of entertainment is going to be games,” Robar begins. “We recognize as we make games that kids go through lots of different phases of development. They start out playing in parallel play — solo alongside other people — and as they’re exposed to online game worlds they carry that over. Kids play by themselves with other people.
“So as we designed our game, we really wanted to take that into account. There’s solo play, cooperative play and finally competitive play as kids get older and more confident. The first thing they want to do as soon as they start playing with other people is play cooperatively. But no one wants to lose, so we have a whole philosophy. We say “let the Wookie win” so in our game you never die, you never lose, but we encourage you to come back and get a higher score or get a better medal. So we have a way for them to play solo, a way for them to play cooperatively with their parents.”
Robar continues, “Some great games that forged the way ahead of us, like Lego Star Wars, set the stage where kids play and parents can drop in and out to help achieve goals. We believe you start by leading your kids, but soon after, they’ve mastered the mechanic and are leading you. Our game has 5-10 minute missions. It plays very fast — we recognize families have limited windows for play, so we want to make sure there’s always something parents can drop in and do, even with a small amount of time.”
Players will be able to team up with other players and friends to accomplish missions, explore and have fun in a city packed with landmarks from the Marvel universe. You can also decorate and add items to your own headquarters; build stacks of objects and smash them with attacks that are keyed to each individual hero. Also, a CCG is coming soon in the near future. You’ll be able to combat other players with your cards and watch as each battle takes place on your screen.
There’s also a social aspect to the game with a strong community planned. Parental concerns came first with the community and great precautions were taken to protect kids on the MSHSO site. Chat operates on a strictly filtered system and moderators are ever-present to regulate activity.
As with similar sites, MSHSO offers a healthy chunk of content at no charge. But to access all the characters, missions and additional content, a membership is required. If you would like to set up an account and play, we have a special offer for GeekDad readers. Leave a comment below and 20 lucky winners will be chosen to receive a code good for 25 prize wheel tickets. These will generate in-game currency and prizes that you can use to decorate your headquarters and more. Check it out by registering today.