Captain America Saves the Day For Mobile Gamers

Captain America has been admired in comic books for years, but this summer, he's getting far greater exposure in other mediums. He's making his (true) feature film debut this Friday with "Captain America:The First Avenger," and gamers everywhere can enjoy his exploits in Sega's "Captain America: Super Soldier" for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii.

Not to be outdone, Marvel Games has released a game for iPad and iPhone as well, titled "Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty." Featuring slick, high-definition visuals, precise touch-screen gameplay and a fairly affordable price ($4.99), it's an adventure mobile gamers can certainly appreciate.

We recently had the chance to sit down with the game's producer, Nathan Rose, along with Marvel Games' Eric Adams about the project, along with what to expect from the publisher on iPad, iPhone and other mobile platforms in the future.

CBR News: First off, how well does "Sentinel of Liberty" fit into a mobile gaming experience? Do you think comic book fans will be happy with the result?

Nathan Rose: With the mobile gaming experience, players are dealing with a different control mechanic -- touch screen interface. For Cap that method worked out really well. That being said, it wasn't easy to get it polished, but we did it and we are extremely happy with the way it feels.

Does the new game tie into the film's story at all, or does it go off into more original territory? Are you still battling the Red Skull?

Rose: This game takes players into familiar territory (World War II type locations) but with a slightly different story line. Core characters are there, such as the Howling Commandos, and Cap's ultimate foe is the Red Skull, but he has to deal with Iron Cross along the way, as well.

We understand Christos Gage was involved in writing the game's storyline. What was it like working with him?

Eric Adams: Working with Chris was terrific. Whenever possible, we try to secure Marvel talent to work with game developers to ensure the game hits our standards for a compelling story and art design that stays true to the featured character. We are very happy that the Disney team shares this vision. In both Captain America and Thor, we were fortunate to have the services of Marvel artists Ron Lim and Chris Sotomayor in crafting the story panels.

Rose: Chris was a perfect match for "Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty." He knows the characters inside and out and was unusually in tune with what was expected out of writing both the story and dialogue for a video game project.

How much gameplay time does the title provide? We understand there are hidden goodies to track down.

Rose: There are 24 levels spread across three different environments. "Captain America" provides approximately 4-6 hours of gameplay with a good number of hidden goodies along the way. Players can unlock classic costumes for Cap and some of the best comic book covers ever.

Do you think Captain America lives up to the standard of other Marvel-licensed games on the iOS platform, such as "Iron Man 2" and "Spider-Man HD?" Or does it surpass them in its own special way?

Adams: "Captain America" really does hit the quality bar that our previous iPhone games have achieved. The team at Sarbakan really embraced the project and brought a passion to the work that resulted in a compelling and inventive game. I also think that they were brave with the design, as they went with a perpetual motion/touch interface design versus a standard virtual controller stick. Cap is all about action, amazing acrobatic moves and tactical brilliance, and the Disney and Sarbakan teams nailed this.

How tricky is it to make an action game that utilizes touch screen controls?

Rose: Getting the controls to feel not only unique but incredibly responsive was the toughest part of making this game. It took about two months of tweaking to just get it to a level that we were confident it was the right decision. Virtual thumb sticks just didn't feel like the right direction to take the game in. Swiping down to get Cap immediately into a slide, then up to have him uppercut, then down again for a shield bash is such a satisfying feeling that you just couldn't get from thumb stick and button presses. We feel it came across smashingly!

Are unlockable items available in the game, such as alternate costumes for Cap?

Rose: Yep, we currently have four unlockable costumes for Cap. They include The First Avenger, Bucky Barnes, Ultimate Captain America and Classic Captain America

Finally, what future efforts can we expect from Marvel Entertainment on iOS platforms? Should we look forward to something revolving around the Avengers?

Adams: Marvel definitely wants to expand our reach into the iPhone space. We have release seven games and plan to bring more gaming goodness to our fans. We'd also plan to support the Android market as that platform evolves and grows. 2012 is going to be the year of "The Avengers" for Marvel, and having a strong gaming presence on the mobile/smart phone platforms. The Avengers is an epic property with incredible, iconic characters -- you can bet our gaming efforts will mirror that!

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