Comic book legend Stan Lee has lent his name, vocal talents, and a new character to Stan Lee's Verticus, an iOS game released in the App Store today by Moonshark. You take the role of the titular Verticus, and the game essentially plays out like a vertical Temple Run — you fall from the sky straight to the planet's very core, picking up coins and power-ups along the way to help you avoid obstacles. The game's bold line art and bright colors look great, and it plays pretty well too with a simple, Star Fox-style behind-the-character setup.
The biggest issue is the IAP scheme
Unfortunately, the game isn't without its issues, the biggest of which is its in-app purchasing scheme. Despite the $1.99 entry fee, you're heavily encouraged to buy orbs that let you continue playing after crashing and coins that allow for upgraded equipment. There is a launch promotion going on that gives you 2,000 coins after your first game, but considering that when you start out you don't even have a weapon, these will get spent pretty quickly without you feeling particularly superhero-like by the end.
Stan Lee fans probably shouldn't buy it for the story, either, as beyond an introductory sequence and the occasional radio interjection from your commander (voiced by Lee) the game is decidedly light in that regard. It's also a little buggy at this point and crashed a few times on our iPad mini. Overall we feel that, while the game is fun and the production values are clearly beyond the majority of free-to-play games on iOS, it'd definitely make more sense at a lower price point — or none at all. Then again, considering the troubles faced by Punch Quest we wouldn't be surprised if more developers are giving second thoughts to the freemium model.