It's not a Bird! It's not a Plane! It's an Easy Superman Game [Superman Review]

By Rich Shivener in Reviews
Wednesday, November 23, 2011 at 10:00 am

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Lex flexes his muscles against the Man of Steel.
The Golden Age Superman is a badass, although, in the light of modern comic books, his adventures are pretty harmless and campy, replete with cardboard characters and sayings like "Oh, no! A meteor is going to destroy Metropolis! Save us, Superman!"

Chillingo's iOS videogame Superman is no different, capturing the days when Supes regularly smashed Lex Luthor's face in the names of Truth, Justice and the American Way. You can learn its gameplay faster than a speeding bullet. But is it more powerful than a locomotive?

My early verdict: I've seen stronger Angry Birds.
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Superman versus missiles and monsters. No contest.

Complete with 18 levels, Superman is set on an expansive 2-D plane of Metropolis, threatened by Lex, whose innovative technologies are ruse for destruction. His devices include tanks, giant spiders, space debris and missiles. Metropolis is under constant attack. As Superman, you're guarding the "City Health Bar," rather than your own. That explains why the Kryptonite is missing.

However, Chillingo is playing on the idea that Metropolis is Superman's lifeblood. It's an interesting way to present the near-invincible character that was also seen in the otherwise forgettable Superman Returns game.

Perhaps too simple for the Man of Steel, the control scheme gives you an action button, for lasers and cold air; a boost for faster flying, and a d-pad for steering, which is sensitive. To me, steering was a pain when combined with a boost; too many times did I zip by the targets or miss them completely, releasing the boost button and floating back to them.

In each level, Superman must clear two waves of smaller threats, then the "Alert" threats. At one point, I was stuck on Level 7, which culminates with an attack from space drones guarded by shield space drones. I liken it to deadly synchronized swimming, me circling around the drones as they mirrored my every move. Level 8 was equally difficult, a madness ending with a fast meteor shower. It was a testament of my flying skills, which still need work. In other levels, I took down machine guns and robotic guards, and I even blew up a giant hamburger set to blow up ...

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The key to Supes' heart.

Overall, Superman is the Man of Yesterday, a lighthearted iOS video game with a story ripped from pages of the Golden Age, an episodic world full of shallow characters. Fans of Superman comics of yesteryear will enjoy its pick-up-and-play nature.

The Official Verdict: 3 out of 5

This review is based on an iPad code provided by the publisher.
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