Last fall's release of the HeroClix TabApp tried to bring together the worlds of physical and digital games, letting users place specialized figures from the HeroClix tabletop game series on an iPad screen and transport them into a game. Unfortunately, while it did a solid job of recognizing the figures, the game itself was an utter mess: Painfully repetitive, both ugly and filled with lag, and lacking the strategic spirit of the tabletop source material. The brand new HeroClix TabApp Elite forges a fresh path with distinct gameplay and much different figurine implementation, but while it's thankfully a much smoother experience, the game itself still isn't strong enough to warrant the investment.
It's a clever idea, using physical figures or toys to interact with the iPad's touchscreen, but much of the time it simply proves a novelty: a short-lived diversion that deflates once you realize you'd rather be playing a great, standalone tablet game -- or with better toys, for that matter. That's certainly the case with the HeroClix TabApp and the recently released sets of compatible Marvel Comics figurines, which span X-Men and The Avengers. Much as they're properly recognized by the free app, the game experience itself proves terrible throughout.