Marvel Hero Tales

App review by
Ana Beltran, Common Sense Media
Marvel Hero Tales App Poster Image
Beat the villains, learn language skills in unique game.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids will use their knowledge of vocabulary and grammar to successfully move forward in the game. For example, kids will practice using adverbs to describe verbs and will practice finding synonyms in order to subdue bad guys and meet their objectives. Kids will also have the opportunity to practice reading and comprehension skills when reading the comics. 

Ease of Play

Orientation introduces kids to navigation. Occasionally, hints may appear on the screen as an additional support. It's as simple as tapping on images and dragging words to the desired space to defeat bad guys using the power of language.  

Violence & Scariness

Mild violence: Superheroes kick, throw objects, and use their superpowers to defeat thieves, zombies, and other bad guys who are threatening public peace. 

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

In-app subscription is required in order to unlock all playable comic issues, access all of the Marvel Heroes, and unlock additional app features including the personalized comic issues. Without a subscription, kids will only be able to play as the Marvel Hero on patrol and will only have access to one playable comic at a time. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Marvel Hero Tales is an education app that embeds vocabulary and grammar practice into a game. It's free to play as the character "on patrol" for the day, but subscription is required to play as a Marvel character of choice and to access additional playable comics and app features. The playable comics layer reading, gameplay, and language practice. Kids will be able to read the comic and control the character's movement around the city to find where the action is happening. Kids will encounter different language-driven challenges depending on the playable comic. As kids complete events or rounds, the sentences they create to power the game are used to narrate their personalized comic, which they can later access and read. Under the birth year passcode-protected Grown-Ups' Corner, parents will be able to determine how long kids can play Marvel Hero Tales. Parents will also find social media links, credits, the option to restore purchase, and more information about the game. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

MARVEL HERO TALES engages kids in gameplay and captures their actions in personalized comic books. It's part gameplay, part word game, and part reading app. Upon launching, kids experience orientation training, which is accessible at any time by tapping on the training tab that appears before beginning any of the adventures. The training will walk new users through the objective of the game and using the on-screen controls to make the characters run, jump, or swing along city streets. The radar on the top right corner of the screen shows kids where to go in order to find action.

Once kids navigate to the key point of action, they have to apply language skills, including vocabulary and grammar knowledge, in order to achieve the objective and defeat the bad guys. Using tap and drag motions, kids will fill in blanks with nouns, verbs, and adverbs to complete sentences that determine how the Marvel Heroes will approach challenges. Players also get a unique deck of word/definition cards that can be used to compose sentences that determine and describe the character's actions. Completing the language tasks correctly and within the allotted time moves kids forward in the game. As they complete rounds, their decisions and sentences are memorialized in personalized comics. Once complete, kids can read their comic, which reflects how they used language to power the superheroes. In addition to educational gameplay, kids can also read characters' fact files, which outline their backgrounds, personalities, and special powers. The free version currently offers the option to play as the Marvel Hero "on patrol," which changes regularly and offers some variety in games, but you need a subscription to unlock all content.

Is it any good?

Kids won't even notice they are building and practicing key reading and language skills as they enjoy the fun and vivid gameplay action that empowers them to save the day. Marvel Hero Tales features a video game approach, which will capture the attention of kids who enjoy controlling characters' movements as they complete missions. The educational component is layered in as a word game or as opportunities to read comics or fact files, but the transitions are pretty seamless. And there's a clear routine so kids can predict what's next. In order for kids to play independently, they'll need to have some comfort with reading, since the app doesn't offer a read-to me or read-aloud feature. Bu there's plenty of other support available for kids who need it.

The app will definitely capture the attention of Marvel Hero enthusiasts! They'll have the chance to choose from a collection of characters including Captain America, Spiderman, Black Panther, and Captain Marvel. It entices kids with popular characters and gameplay and keeps them engaged through comics and word games. The app empowers kids by giving them the authority over how comics are written. Through word choice, kids determine what Marvel Heroes will do and how they will do it. Kids can make silly sentences or sentences full of power and strength. It requires the completion of several rounds, but once ready, kids will be thrilled to see their ideas and input in the comic panels of their personalized book. The educational component and opportunities to practice and build reading and language skills are definitely a highlight. Although the free version offers some variety by varying the Marvel Hero "on patrol," kids may feel limited since they can only access one playable comic at a time and don't have access to the personalized comics. Otherwise, Marvel Hero Tales is a fun app that promotes creativity, reading, and language skills.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about parts of speech when playing Marvel Hero Tales. Kids will practice using adverbs to modify verbs. Kids will also experiment with synonyms when matching words to their closest meaning. What are synonyms and why might they be useful? How do adverbs enhance the meaning of a sentence?

  • Use the characters to discuss empathy and helping others. Why do you think it's important to help those in need? How might we be able to help those in need considering we don’t have superpowers?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Subjects: Language & Reading: letter or word recognition, naming, reading, spelling, storytelling, vocabulary
  • Skills: Creativity: imagination, producing new content
    Communication: multiple forms of expression
  • Price: Free to try
  • Pricing structure: Free to try (subscription for full content $3.99/mo. or $34.99/yr.)
  • Release date: April 15, 2020
  • Category: Education
  • Topics: Superheroes
  • Size: 1.40 MB
  • Publisher: Kuato Games (UK) Limited
  • Version: 2.0.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 9.0 or later; Android 4.4 and up
  • Last updated: June 20, 2020

Our editors recommend

For kids who love comics and language games

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