It's been almost a year since last we saw an iOS port of the successful LEGO series. While we've yet to see the likes of LEGO Lord of the Rings or Pirates of the Caribbean grace Apple's platform, the folks at Warner Bros saw fit to show some DC universe love with LEGO Batman: DC Super Heroes [$4.99]. Hampered only by spotty controls, DC Super Heroes is an otherwise great port bringing a fresh coat of paint to the classic LEGO gameplay formula.

Unlike the previous LEGO ports we've seen, DC Super Heroes actually features an original narrative within the DC comic universe. While the game focuses at the onset on the escapes of Batman and Robin (along with the usual villains) other heroes, such as the iconic Superman, get weaved into tale. Of course, being a LEGO game, players eventually have the option of playing as a wide variety of DC icons, with over 80 playable characters (along with create-a-character minifigs) available for the unlocking.

Gameplay, meanwhile, is pretty familiar if you've played any other LEGO games. Like others in the series, DC Super Heroes combines platforming, puzzles, and decent amount of brawling. In addition, there's also ample opportunity to collect studs, which are used to unlock the myriad of characters and extras available. While DC Super Heroes does offer a few new twists, such as some additional depth with the various Batman and Robin suits that expand powers, gameplay largely remains unchanged and fairly linear. That's not to say it's a bad thing, as LEGO games have typically been highly approachable while offering tons to do. DC Super Heroes certainly doesn't disappoint in this regard.

Another new addition to the iOS LEGO ports is the inclusion of Golden Bricks, which can be purchased via IAPs. While the game's additional characters and extras can still be unlocked with enough studs, progression, and collectibles, golden bricks can be used to sidestep a lot of the stud grinding and unlock items a lot faster. In this regard, I didn't really mind the IAP as most LEGO games are a bit too grindy for my tastes and golden bricks could be used to speed up some actions of the game.

Maybe it's due to the freedom of an original story or because the universe history is so deep, but I really enjoyed DC Super Heroes from a thematic standpoint. From the onset, you're treated to the epic tunes of the Danny Elfman Batman theme and the game is full of little nods to various facets of the DC Universe. In addition, the large swatch of playable characters means fans should have plenty of options in playing their favorite characters (assuming said characters have the necessary super powers to pass the level). The fact that the game features full voice acting (a first for iOS) also goes a long way towards making the story more enjoyable.

Spotty controls have been an issue with LEGO iOS ports in the past, and unfortunately they continue with DC Super Heroes. Previous LEGO games offered players either virtual buttons or touch-based movements. While DC Super Heroes is the first port to offer players both options, I still had some problems with both. The touch-based scheme is the more intuitive of the two options, but there's a tendency to tap errantly on enemies/environmental items on the smaller iPhone screen (although it works better on the iPad). Virtual controls, meanwhile, work as mediocre as one would expect. That's not to say the game isn't playable, but it's definitely the weak link for the game.

Control issues aside, DC Super Heroes is a welcome addition to the few LEGO games currently on iOS. In fact, I'd say it's the better LEGO game currently on the App Store considering the wider appeal of the story combined with the decent visuals, awesome music, and familiar LEGO gameplay. Suffice to say, LEGO fans have little reason not to check out DC Super Heroes, while anyone else interested in a light-hearted adventure should take the plunge.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • dosch033

    I'M BATMAN!

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  • Josh Dombro

    This game seems cool, but I expect a lot of content for $4.99 (I realize that seems harsh, but that's mobile gaming I guess). Does the game last long enough to warrant that pricing tier? I'm guessing a lot of the cost is due to licensing/voice acting costs, so I want to get something I can play for a while.

    • Rothgarr

      I'm three or four hours into it so far, not sure how long a single playthrough is. But like the console versions, it's probably endless if your goal is to go through the levels repeatedly with newly-unlocked characters to access areas that only certain characters and manipulate items that only certain characters can manipulate. Also trying to find all the hidden batkits and special bricks, etc...

      Even if I stopped now, this game was well worth the $5. It's so worth way more, actually.

      • Josh Dombro

        Cool, thanks. I figured since LEGO titles are usually pretty good, and you can't really go wrong with Batman, just wanted another opinion

    • jtfields

      I believe it's a complete port of the Nintendo 3DS game which sells for a lot more than $5. So I would say it's worth it.

      • Josh Dombro

        Didn't know it was a complete port, thanks.

    • Jerutix

      Not to be a bad gamer and what not, but this game will drop to $1 in not too long for a sale, as do all other WB games. It is worth $5, and certainly worth $1.

      Before anyone gets mad, I did buy this game already on Mac.

      • Josh Dombro

        That's kinda what I was getting at. It looks really fun, and I definitely plan on getting it, but my question is ultimately whether or not it's worth rushing to get and paying $5 for right now.

        I play a lot of mobile games and have a perfectly fine attention span, but with so many options I often drop a game I'm not in love with. If I spend $5 on it, I'm more likely to keep playing, even if I'm not enjoying, causing a whole negative situation. It sounds like everyone loves the game, so I'm not too worried about that, I just haven't bought it yet.

      • eventide

        Word.

      • jtfields

        I hear ya. I don't begrudge people who wait for sales. Heck, I just got the Wii version for my son a month ago because we waited for it to drop in price (got it for $15). I went ahead and got him the iOS version for his iPod touch only because he is really into LEGO Batman right now. I'd like to think I'd have paid full price anyway to show support for games like this but, who knows, I might have waited too.

        FWIW, I believe Harry Potter went on sale for $2.99 after a couple of months and $0.99 after four or five months.

  • Cobalt

    Heard they may be releasing a marvel one for mobile as well when they launch the marvel Lego game for pc.

  • changery

    It needs to be mentioned that saves only occur at the end of each level and some levels are very long! When you leave the game and come back it often loses where you were at and you must start the level over again.

    Otherwise, I love the game and it is well worth the price! I doubt WB will fix the save problem:(

    • jtfields

      I think this is the intended behavior. At least the console version behaves that way as well.

    • roguewaver

      This is how all the Lego games are. It's the intended behavior and part of the inherent challenge of the game. I hear you though that on a phone we can't always choose when we have to restart a level. It's a price I'm willing to pay for full titles like this.

  • troyster

    Just not quite as good as the TMNT runner I guess according to the rating! I agree with this review however, these Lego games are pretty fun and you can't go wrong with Batman

    • Skullinton

      It's not the same guy who reviewed the two games... And opinions tend to differ. ;)

      Anyhow, I think that this is a spot on review.

  • Morgan01

    Done pretty well. Controls are pretty clunky, however. Attacking with the touch control doesn't work very well, especially in boss battles. Be mindful if you use virtual controls for movement, it has a very small foot print. Lastly, how do you get out of the water if you fall in when in the bat cave??

    • Stinkeye

      There's a little platform in the lower left. Jump up on that guy.

      • Morgan01

        Thanks

  • eventide

    I'm glad iOS gets lego games but man, they really do need analog controls. The platforming is bad enough in lego games WITH analog controls but they are a worse nightmare with virtual controls. Travelers Tales 'gets' Lego games but twhat they struggle with is controls and mission structure in these games. iOS only compounds those issues with virtual controls. But again, I'm glad these games are available on iOS, just wish they controlled better.

    • ODMay

      You have to go to option to change that.

  • Benegesserit

    Control issues = 0 for me. Not permitted for sale.

  • jtfields

    iCade support would be nice. Might help with the controls issues.

  • http://twitter.com/Rob__McCallum Rob_McCallum

    am I the only one that's having problem saving my progress? Every time I start the game, I have to start again

    • Pheebers

      Have you tried exiting to the cave mid-mission? You have to start that mission over, but it saves for me that way. I've completed the game, and now I'm going back through to get my mini kits, and I don't always finish the level if I don't need to.

  • eventide

    And oddly enough, this made me go out and get the Wii version of the game and my concerns are still in that version of the game. Controls are atrocious. Having your character let go of ladders on there own, getting stuck in the floor, trying spray certain things only for the hit detection to be poor...it's a mess. These games look great but under the surface there are some glaring technical issues that TT needs to address. I hope the Chima games are better but I doubt it.

  • SuperMario7

    I've played this on the PC and the iOS version is pretty much the same thing. The UK price of £2.99 for the iOS version is an absolute bargain for a full game like this. It's getting silly now with the number of games that i have bought both for iOS and for my PC, Bastion, Waking Mars, Walking Dead, Superbrothers Sword and Sworcery, Jet Set Radio etc I've paid for all these games twice now! Really wish developers would work out a way to transfer save games between Steam and iOS, so I can play a bit on my iPhone and then carry on playing on my laptop through Steam

  • http://www.juegos-de-yepi.org/ juegos de yepi

    Having your character let go of ladders on there own, getting stuck in the floor, trying spray certain things only for the hit detection to be poor...it's a mess. These games look great but under the surface there are some glaring technical issues that TT needs to address. I hope the Chima games are better but I doubt it

  • http://www.friv2.org/ friv

    nice tisp

  • http://www.fri-v.com/ Friv

    This game seems cool

  • loganexplosion

    I REALLY want this game. But there's too many people clamoring in the reviews saying that it won't save....
    NOT spending $5 on a game that i have to start over on every reboot..

  • http://www.friv2friv3friv4.com/ friv 2 friv 3 friv 4

    That's kinda what I was getting at. It looks really fun, and I
    definitely plan on getting it, but my question is ultimately whether or
    not it's worth rushing to get and paying $5 for right now.

LEGO Batman: DC Super Heroes Reviewed by Eric Ford on . Rating: 4