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Avengers Alliance game assembles on iPhone, iPad

The Facebook game, which lets you lead a team of Marvel superheroes, is now available for iOS devices.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

iPhone and iPad users can now do battle as SHIELD agents, courtesy of Avengers Alliance.

Launching Thursday for iOS devices, the free game first requires that you qualify as an operative of SHIELD, the not-so-secret government agency made famous in Marvel comic books and movies. You then move on to recruit your team of heroes, including Iron Man, the Black Widow, Captain America, Thor, Hawkeye, and the Hulk. From there, you and your super-powered teammates face off against the bad guys in a series of 60 hazardous missions.

As you polish off each mission by defeating your foes, you can recruit more heroes, train your teams, and increase your different skills, thereby moving onto to the next challenge. Marvel parent Disney promises additional chapters and missions in the future, complete with new storylines and heroes.

Those of you looking for a high-octane action game won't find one in Avengers Alliance. Instead of a fast-paced shoot-em-up, punch-em-out scenario, the game is more of a strategic adventure, leading you step by step to complete each mission. The good guys and bad guys each take turns trying to vanquish one another. You control the heroes and their unique abilities, telling Iron Man to fire his repulsor rays or Hawkeye to unleash a quiver of arrows.

Along the way, you have to make sure your heroes survive each battle by collecting and applying the right amount of first aid and stamina. And you have to achieve victory by gathering up enough weapons and powers to take down the forces of Hydra and their super-villanous allies.

Avengers Alliance is compatible with the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. An Android version is in the works and due out soon.