The Superhero job is simple, you got your powers, there are the baddies – stop them! Being the supervisor of the Superheroes however is an entirely different matter, especially if the company has been driven into the ground by the former employee that did less than adequate job managing the branch. This is where you step in, take matters into your own hands and try to restore this failing branch of “Justice corp.” to its former glory. You are the Middle Manager of Justice.
You start off from the top-down view of your new office. It looks quite terrible and empty at the beginning. The first thing to do will be to hire some heroes to do your bidding and for that purpose, the head department of Justice corp. decides to transfer some “Superium” (the premium currency) to your account, just enough to get you started. And so it begins.
Help! I don’t know what to do
Middle Manager of Justice can be described as freemium micro-management simulation game. Once you acquire your first level 1 heroes, you can immediately send them to fight the baddies at the local neighborhood. The crime events pop-up on the map and beating each of them will allow your heroes to gather clues about the boss for that level. When sufficient clues are gathered, the boss fight will be shown as the next event you should take care of. Once defeated, you will gain access to fight crime in the next district, while the old one will continue to provide occasional events that you should also clear in order to make the district happy. District happiness will determinate how much coins (the second currency) will it generate on regular basis, coins that you spend to upgrade rooms, add new ones, upgrade equipment or purchase all kind of items for the office or your heroes.
The fighting part of the game is automated. Heroes will auto attack enemies, but you will have to manually decide when to use some of the super powers each hero possess. Superpowers come in many different forms all the way from direct damage attacks to weakening group of enemies or AoE damage types. Each hero comes with 3 unique powers that can be trained and improved in order to maximize their efficiency, but keep in mind that you can only take one power per hero in battle so choose wisely. Beside providing moral support, you as their manager can also use couple of powers on your own during the battles that can help determinate the outcome in your favor.
Speaking of training, in order to stay fit and progress through the game you will have to train your heroes abilities in the training room. After each successful battle, both you and all of the Superheroes that participated in that event will gain experience towards the next level. When ready, you can officially promote them and give them some cake so they feel important. Each promotion will grant 3 train points that you can spend improving one of the 3 attributes. The strength will provide more punching power, stamina boosts the health bar, and intelligence allows you to research more upgrades in the science lab.
Freemium done right
Now that you understand how this works, let’s talk about some of the restrictions of the freemium model and how the developers plan to get your money. Every training or other activity in the office is time based and if you don’t like waiting, you can spend “Superium” to finish the session instantly. For the first half of the game this is just fine. Improving one of the attributes takes about a minute or two, sleeping to regenerate heroes health is tolerable, upgrading powers and working in the lab takes a little longer, but still within the limits of your patience. The problem starts on the later levels. Once one of my main character hit level 12, training times for strength and stamina jumped to 45 minutes and to finish the training instantly I was required to spend 6 Superium points.
Thankfully this is the only restriction the game implies regarding the IAPs. Unlike some of the greedy developers that spam you with ads and all sorts of store items and even time-restrictive gameplay, “Double Fine Productions” decided to do this right. Sure, waiting 45 minutes to finish the training (and 2 more to go) can be annoying but rest assured it’s a fair trade for all the game has to offer. Besides, you are not left out dry as the game will occasionally fund you with certain amounts of Superium, and carefully managing the resources will allow you to finish the game without spending a dime. Furthermore you can simply assign training tasks to all your heroes, exit the game and come back later to find out that they finished their job and are standing ready for their next assignment.
Since you can’t both wait for the sessions to finish and solve crimes at the same time, you will probably want to rush things now and then. If you decide to support the developer and buy some of the premium currency, you will find the prices to be adequate as well …or you can simply focus on training and let the districts “go to hell”. It’s your choice, but keep in mind that districts will generate minimum amount of coins if the sad face appears on the map. One of the better investments is the “Superium plant” that will produce Superium coins every few minutes providing steady income on the long run.
Middle Manager of Justice is fun to play, especially if you like simulation/management games. I was little disappointed to find out that you can only have 4 active heroes at any given moment, but I suppose adding another one will make the screen even more crowded and harder to manage. This however doesn’t stop you from acquiring more heroes and taking them in battles as you please, but unless you choose them to be in the office too, they will remain on stand-by. The other part of the game where you manage your office and build rooms can also be improved. As of now, there are 6 rooms that you can build and upgrade. The bedroom where heroes rest to regenerate, the living room used to boost their moral, both of the training rooms, the office and the science lab. Perhaps adding a few more will broaden the gameplay by providing couple of more aspects that you could manage.
All in all Middle Manager of Justice offers sufficient content for free to keep you occupied for about a week or two, without the annoying bits present in most of the freemium games on the Android platform lately. The animated art style is exceptional and goes well with the comical atmosphere prevailing during the entire gameplay. If you feel like bossing around the heroes, there is simply no reason not to recommend this one. It’s free and fun, go get it.
by Martin J.
|Fun to play||Needs more rooms and bigger office to manage|
|Fair freemium model|
|Cute graphics and animations|
UPDATE: Removed from the Play Store. You can download Middle Manager of Justice APK here.