Captain America: The Winter Soldier is dominating the box office rankings, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is due out in a couple weeks, and X-Men: Days of Future Past is just around the corner. Big superhero movies often also mean big superhero games, and the genre’s improved significantly since the last time we took a look in early 2012—many of the games listed then were barely decent. Some stinkers have still come in the last couple of years, but mostly we’ve seen an array of solid-or-better games based on comic heroes. Here’s a selection of seven enjoyable iOS games where you can battle crime and wield some powered-up muscle.
You'd think it would be a simple task to make a great game based on the latest Superman film, what with all its high-flying action and superhero awesomeness. Sadly, Man of Steel is a bland, repetitive, and weak (though ultimately competent) Infinity Blade knock-off, minus the exploration. You'll fight one Kryptonian after another, going through a Story Mode of loosely-connected scenes based on events from the movie, all while leveling up your skills along the way and watching a handful of neat comic-style cut-scenes that hint at the presence of a plot.
Seriously, where has the month of June gone? It's already the middle of the month, WWDC 2013 is over and that Superman movie you've been waiting to see for more than a year is now in theaters, complete with a companion mobile game for your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. But you won't need Kryptonite to get through our last overnight recap of the week, so up, up and away…!
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.
The gang's all here for LEGO Batman: DC Super Heroes, a decidedly goofy clash between iconic comic-book superheroes and villains modeled with digital plastic bricks. While Batman and Robin are the centerpieces of this silly iPhone and iPad romp through a LEGO-fied Gotham City, they're joined by more than 80 unlockable characters that add tremendous variety to your quest to stamp out evil. The silly antics and block-smashing fun found throughout this original adventure will feel familiar if you've played any of the other recent licensed LEGO games, but it's an amusing time nonetheless.
Looking for the next great iOS brawler? You won’t find it here, but the free Injustice: Gods Among Us is still well worth downloading, especially for comic book fans. Playing as 18 of the DC Universe’s most popular heroes and villains, you’ll battle Flash, The Joker, and company in frantic, surprisingly addictive 2D-style bouts.
Poor Superman. Because of his nigh-invulnerability and near-endless array of preposterous superpowers, DC Comics' star-spangled superhero has had trouble forcing himself into the same video game mold that works so well with many other men (and women) in tights. Chillingo's Superman for iPhone attempts to solve that conundrum with a novel take on the hero's arsenal.
The end of the week is here, and most of our U.S. readers are ready to dive into the last full week of November with a light workload thanks to the Thanksgiving holiday (not to mention next Friday’s Black Friday insanity). So let’s head into the weekend with a couple of fun new iPad apps that harken back to a kindler, gentler era, ruminate on 2012 Apple products and brag about our U.S. carrier on this Friday, November 18, 2011.