Among popular mobile games, Kabam’s Marvel: Contest Of Champions is one of the ones updated most frequently. Every few weeks there’s either a full update to the game (fixing glitches, refining new features, etc.) or new characters and quests inserted into the mix without the need to download an official update. But the most recent official upgrade, to version 7.0.1 of the game, came out on March 18.
In case you’re not familiar with the game, this is essentially Marvel’s answer to Warner Bros.’ Injustice: Gods Among Us, which made use of a massive collection of DC Comics characters in an RPG/fighting game that was immediately popular in app stores. Both games involve efforts to acquire as many heroes and villains as possible, improving them gradually and engaging in a variety of 1-v-1 battles just like those in popular fighter franchises such as Tekken and Mortal Kombat.
The key difference is that while Injustice was built on the existing structure of a console game of the same name, and bears a resemblance to the wildly popular Mortal Kombat series, Contest Of Champions was an original effort. It’s also one of the shockingly few instances in gaming in which a significant number of Marvel characters are brought together on a single platform or in a single game. Before Kabam’s game was released, the Marvel Heroes online MMO and the collection of casino jackpots at Betfair were the two most prominent instances of collected Marvel heroes on a single gaming platform. The former is a satisfyingly large yet traditional MMORPG taking place in the Marvel universe, and the latter is a collection of themed slot machines featuring a variety of superhero characters from several different Marvel films and comics.
But Contest Of Champions has now become arguably the most compact example of an ensemble Marvel game, simpler than either a sprawling MMO or a busy casino site and yet still able to rope in all the characters. As a result of this, as well as the game’s close ties to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (the game often releases characters in accordance with which films are in theaters), Contest Of Champions has gained enormous popularity. And because so many people are playing and staying interested, Kabam seems to have made a point of constantly tweaking and updating the game with new features and smoother gameplay.
The latest major change to Contest Of Champions was the introduction of “Alliance Wars” to the game. Having been teased and promised for some time by the developer, the Wars offer the chance for different alliances (groups of up to 30 players working together for various quests and rewards) to square off against one another. They were initially released in an experimental beta that invited only a certain portion of the top alliances to play, but has already been refined considerably.
The March 18 update to version 7.0.1 furthered this refinement. In addition to a few general changes (such as making it harder for players to accidentally press on the part of the screen designated for in-app purchases), the update was largely about the Alliance Wars. Specifically, we’ve seen the following changes:
- Messages alert alliance members in the “War Room” when one of the alliance’s three battlegroups is clear. For wars, alliances divide into parties of 10 to take on 10 members of the other alliance, and the alerts about each group’s completion help to clarify the total picture.
- It’s easier to see the “reward tier” your alliance is in during a war phase. This gives players a clearer idea of what kind of benefits to expect from winning or participating in alliance wars.
- Players actively playing in wars can now view scores for both their own battle groups and their alliances overall.
Ultimately these may appear to be small updates, particularly for those who don’t yet play the game. But in the bigger picture, Kabam is slowly working on perfecting what’s quickly becoming one of the most dynamic multiplayer experiences available in mobile gaming.