X-Men: Battle of the Atom is a new free-to-play card battle game that lets you face off against the forces of evil at the head of a famous band of mutant superheroes including Scotius Summerisle, Stepford Cuckoos, the Glob, Cipher, and Cypher. Wait, who?
If you're a casual X-Men fan – you enjoyed the movies, maybe read a few trade paperbacks – then the first thing to know about Battle of the Atom is that it's probably not the X-Men you X-pect. As a tie-in with the "Battle of the Atom" comic crossover that began in the fall of 2013, the mobile game features "hundreds of characters spanning 50 years of X-Men history," according to the App Store description. To fill a roster that broad, Aeria Mobile brought in just about everyone who ever appeared in a mutant comic book, from past, present, future, and even alternate worlds.
The net result is a menagerie that might be familiar to die-hard fans of the franchise but is largely baffling for anyone who thinks of Thunderbird or Northstar as "exotic" X-Men. This would be fine if it was actually a good CCG, but that's the real problem with Battle of the Atom: It isn't. It is, in a word, boring, and while that may be at least in part due to the cookie-cutter nature of the CCG genre, there's simply nothing about this one that makes it stand out from the crowd.
All the usual CCG elements are here: Battle enemies by tapping the screen, collect points to recruit new cards, enhance and evolve cards to make them stronger, build a powerful deck, square off against your fellow players and, when your stamina runs out (which will happen relatively quickly at higher levels), stop playing until it recharges or fork over some money to make it happen immediately. But it's unengaging and flat, and comes off feeling like a minimal-effort tie-in mandated by the marketing department and farmed out to the lowest bidder. Read more »