If there is one toy that is absolutely timeless, it has to be LEGOs. From childhood through adulthood they are impossible to resist. In 2005 TT Games got us to look at these boffo bricks in a completely new, digital way with the launch Lego Star Wars: The Video Game and now here we are eight years and later and 10+ LEGO puzzle platforming games later and the bricks are still bringing it.
Warner Bros and TT Games recently released LEGO Batman: DC Super Heroes, the iOS port of the popular Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes game released on PC and consoles last June. As a big fan of both of their mobile Harry Potter LEGO titles, I was super excited to check out LEGO Batman: DC Super Heroes. The good news is that Warner Bros and TT Games seem to have struck iOS gold for a third time.
Those pesky Gotham City villains are destroying the city, and once again it’s up to Batman and Robin to stop them with a little help from their DC-Universe Superfriends. That’s right, not only do you get to do battle with the likes of the The Joker, Harley Quinn, The Riddler, etc., you also get to play as Batman, Robin, Superman, Wonder Woman and more. Players start with just Batman and Robin, but these additional superheroes can be unlocked using your harvested silver studs in the in-game store.
Two heroes are on-screen at a time (one of which is controlled via AI) and you can switch between these characters at any time, which you will need to do in order to take advantage of each’s unique abilities, gadgets and/or superpowers to complete the level. The AI player does have a tendency to get it your way from time to time, but never gets so over zealous in its fighting, leaving plenty for you to do as well. When it comes to enemies and boss fights, I’d rank the overall level of difficulty on the lower side, making it perfectly approachable by younger players (brick busting violence aside). Though it was never so simple that it ceased to be fun.
I’m sure that there will be some who complain about need to “purchase” the additional characters (80 in all) and while the price for some heroes is certainly expensive, regular players of the LEGO series will be no stranger to the smash and grab grind of harvesting LEGO studs. There is just something both humorous and cathartic about smashing an object made of LEGOs until it explodes into a bunch of tiny collectible pieces. If you are willing to put in the time, there is no need to spend money on any IAP, you can eventually unlock the content for free.
Players have a choice of two control options, a virtual d-pad for movement with separate buttons for jumping, attacking, performing actions and using your bat-a-rang. In my gamplay sessions on the iPad I found this to be surprisingly responsive despite seeing some early complaints to the contrary. However I did have occasional difficulties gaining momentum from a standing still position. The other option is a simplified touch-based control, where you tap and drag in a direction to move and to attack object or person, you simply tap directly on them. Jumping is accomplished just by tapping on the screen and again there are separate buttons for other actions. These too occasionally miss their mark, but for the most part I foresee this being the more popular choice as it feels more hands-on with the bricks.
The $5 price tag is an absolute bargain especially given that the console release originally sold for about ten times that and there is a great deal of content here as well as replayability. The game weighs in at a hefty 1.27 GB and you’ll need twice that much space just to install it. However, it is easy to see that all that data was put on the screen with some gorgeously animated cut-scenes, nice retina graphics throughout and Danny Elfman’s haunting Batman score. One-on-one battles often end in satisfying slow-motion moves as your selected hero dispatches evil henchmen with a back flip, spinning kick, etc..
LEGO Batman: DC Super Heroes offers players many hours of gameplay and loads of replayability. For those of you who’ve never played a LEGO game before, there are certain areas of levels which can only be accessed by characters with specific abilities, so replaying of levels with unlocked characters is encouraged and compulsory for completionists. There are also special hidden blocks for you to find throughout the game and various other surprises. Needless to say you’ll be spending a good deal of time in this bricky version of Gotham City.
Another stellar iOS port in the LEGO game series, LEGO Batman: DC Super Heroes delivers ageless fun for all. Control hiccups are quickly forgotten as you get pulled into this LEGO universe, watching humorous cut-scenes and taking the role of all of your favorite DC Superheroes, to kick the brick out of the super villains.