The Dark Knight has always been a bit of a loner. Fighting crime, righting wrongs, embarrassing the police and protecting the citizens of Gotham are all things he likes to do on his own. But sometimes even the Caped Crusader needs a little help from his friends, and luckily in his newest adventure LEGO Batman: DC Superheroes, the Bat grudgingly (very grudgingly in Superman’s case) learns to love.
If you’ve ever played LEGO Harry Potter or the other games in the series, then you’re going to be right at home here. They’re not trying to do too much outside of the LEGO game series wheelhouse. But what it does have is 14 huge, vibrant levels in service of a wholly original and fun story told through brilliant cinematics. The blocky characters are brought to life with some amazing voice acting and a whimsical sense of humor. We could honestly watch a full length animated movie based on this game–it’s that good.
All of the game’s fairly linear levels are filled with tons of things to smash apart and build up, puzzles to solve and evil henchman to dispatch. Since the name of the game here is teamwork, you’ll spend most of your time switching between Batman and Robin or another character as they have to work together and use their different skills to get around the traps or obstacles. Even though the game pretty much controls where you go at all times, it’s up to you to figure out how to get the end.
The creative approaches to the problem solving, once you figure things out, can bring you some truly heroic moments. You really get a sense of accomplishment and fun once you see something like Superman freeze a waterfall with his breath so that Batman can climb up the hill and join in the fight.
While the game is a massive amount of fun, it does have some noticeable flaws, the most important one being the controls. There are a few different control options for you, and none of them are all that great. Missed jumps, doing the wrong things in combat, and failing to interact with objects are all pretty commonplace and can be really infuriating at times. It’s pretty obnoxious when all you’re doing is trying to push a button and you end up end flailing around like a chicken with its head cut off (although it can be fairly amusing watching Superman go buckwild with his heat-vision for no reason at all).
The game can also be a little confusing at times, as certain things aren’t explained that well. Various game mechanics like special skills and the way puzzles work can be confounding. Even figuring out how to continue our saved game was an enigma at first, and there’s just no reason for things to be so confounding.
LEGO Batman: DC Super Heroes is a very fun game that needs a little work. The graphics are gorgeous, the sound and music are amazing, the levels are fun, and the gameplay–when it works–is awesome. It’s got a few things that need to be fixed, and it would be nice if even the simplest game aspects weren’t sometimes baffling, but overall this is a great game full of fun characters, clever puzzles, and one of the best stories we’ve seen in an iOS videogame.