Reloading…Comic Book Heroes
Essential Apple User Magazine|September 2021
Superheroes have been a staple of entertainment for decades, since Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman (the caped crusader hadn’t added ‘The’ to his monicker quite yet!) took the army of masked avengers from the printed page to the big screen. From lunchboxes to action figures and clothing to tie-in video games, superheroes are a genre to themselves. Mimicking the movies that inspired them, while many are treasured by fans the majority of tie-in games ride the wave of hype and are then forgotten. In the case of the games covered here, they’re deleted from the App Store as well as our memories, so we thought we would go back and look at these lost games to see if they can get our Spidey senses tingling.

Superman

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a Superman game! We could hardly have a round-up of comic hero titles without at least one featuring the Man of Steel. There were actually several Superman games for mobile, but this one by Chillingo Ltd has got to be our favorite.

The simply-named Superman saw our hero soaring across the Metropolis skyline, taking on a myriad of enemies using many of his best-known powers. These include heat vision, super-breath, and super speed, but it’s the flying element that makes this game so much fun. The action took place over 18 levels as the evil mastermind, Lex Luthor, attempts to take over the world (well, what else does he have to fill his days?)

The game was fairly simple in design, but that made sense, as the action was often faster than a speeding bullet, and anything more complex would have made things difficult to follow. Each level contained score challenges, with gold, silver, and bronze rewards; giving Superman a level of re-playability. You could also play a Random Mission Mode when you’ve completed all of the main levels.

All in all, Superman was a fast, furious and fun challenge, even if it isn't the most amazing-looking game around - even at the time of its 2012 release. It was probably aimed more at younger players, but that didn't mean more mature superhero fans didn't find plenty to keep them entertained for a short time. Sadly, in terms of long-term appeal, this app also left your memory faster than a speeding bullet (sorry couldn’t resist that!)

Iron Man 2

‘You are Iron Man!’ in this release from the once prolific developer, Gameloft. Taking its cues from the movie sequel but interestingly not a direct tie-in, the action starts with Tony Stark showing off his shiny new suitcase armor in New York. Within minutes, robot drones start to attack and Iron Man is thrown into a battle that begins in New York but ends up spanning the globe, from city streets to tropical islands.

You played the game in a third-person perspective, with the camera positioned close behind our hero. In most situations this worked well, allowing you to see enough of the environment and your enemies to make things work smoothly. The controls did feel a bit cumbersome at times, and there were some frustrating moments when being attacked by enemies off-screen, and scrolling around to target them just takes too long. This was also a problem during the flying portions of the game.

Each level or mission was split into a series of objectives, from flying to a certain location to hacking computers. Sadly (or perhaps thankfully, depending on how hard you like your games) each objective was spelt out to you and there was never the need to simply explore the environment and work things out for yourself. This made the game feel like it is on rails, and you couldn’t help thinking the nicely rendered locations were slightly wasted.

On the subject of graphics, there’s no denying most of Iron Man 2 looked very nice indeed. There were a few areas where the visuals were less than amazing, but the player models and enemies were all well done and more than made up for a few shoddy objects in the environment. If you were lucky enough to play the game on the iPad, the level of detail was even more impressive. The frame rate was reasonably high, making Iron Man 2 smooth and fluid to play, and there was rarely any slow-down or stuttering.

Iron Man 2 was by no means perfect, and should possibly have delivered more for the price, but it did tick a lot of boxes. If you were a fan of the Iron Man/Stark universe, you would probably find the game a lot of fun. There are undoubtedly better superhero games available on mobile, particularly if you like a bit of a challenge, but Iron Man 2 was still a good attempt at bringing this popular franchise to mobile devices.

Spider-Man: Total Mayhem

Although arguably the world's favorite superhero (sorry Supes, apologies The Batman), and with a series of smash-hit movies to his credit, Spidey's career in mobile games had at this point been rather less than heroic. With the 2011 launch of Spider-Man: Total Mayhem, we true believers finally had a game worthy of our favorite friendly neighborhood crime fighter.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM ESSENTIAL APPLE USER MAGAZINEView All

iOS 15 Home Screen - How to Organise it

The Home screen is at the heart of your iPhone. It’s through the Home screen you open apps, organise them into folders, edit and use Home screen widgets and more. The previous release of the iOS operating system brought some great new features such as the App Library and using Widgets on the Home screen. Follow this guide to master your iPhone’s Home screen.

5 mins read
Essential Apple User Magazine
January 2022

Monterey's Menus - A Key Mac Feature

Whether it’s a pull-down menu accessed by clicking on the top bar of your desktop or a contextual menu found by right-clicking or ctrl-clicking on a file or folder, you need to know how to use your menus if you are to get the most out of your Mac and Monterey. Here’s a guide to your Mac’s menus.

3 mins read
Essential Apple User Magazine
January 2022

Notification Centre -Information Feature

The Notification Centre in iOS 15 has had a great visual redesign. Now, when you get notifications from people, such as incoming messages, their photo is displayed next to the notification. Notifications from apps have bigger icons showing which app sent them, and non-urgent notifications can be collated and delivered when you’re not as busy. Read on to find out how to organise and use your notifications.

2 mins read
Essential Apple User Magazine
January 2022

Reloading…The Apple Newton

It was arguably the first PDA, and it pioneered (badly), handwriting recognition. But what was the Apple Newton, and why is such a flaky device so fondly remembered? Let’s take a look at this mid-Nineties misfire.

3 mins read
Essential Apple User Magazine
January 2022

Super-Fast 5G

Once again, the 13-series iPhones feature 5G connectivity. This is the fifth generation of the broadband cellular networks standard, and it’s very fast. All four iPhones in the iPhone 13 series feature 5G, and it’s compatible with 3G and 4G for areas that don’t yet have a 5G infrastructure.

2 mins read
Essential Apple User Magazine
January 2022

Reloading…Comic Book Heroes

Superheroes have been a staple of entertainment for decades, since Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman (the caped crusader hadn’t added ‘The’ to his monicker quite yet!) took the army of masked avengers from the printed page to the big screen. From lunchboxes to action figures and clothing to tie-in video games, superheroes are a genre to themselves. Mimicking the movies that inspired them, while many are treasured by fans the majority of tie-in games ride the wave of hype and are then forgotten. In the case of the games covered here, they’re deleted from the App Store as well as our memories, so we thought we would go back and look at these lost games to see if they can get our Spidey senses tingling.

10 mins read
Essential Apple User Magazine
September 2021

Total War: ROME Remastered

I’m Spartacus, and so’s my wife!

3 mins read
Essential Apple User Magazine
September 2021

JOBY GorillaPod Mobile Vlogging Kit

Fancy yourself as the new Steven Spielberg? Grab this bundle and get filming.

3 mins read
Essential Apple User Magazine
September 2021

Nanoleaf Triangle Starter Kit

Can this smart system bring a little light into your life?

3 mins read
Essential Apple User Magazine
September 2021

DJI Pocket 2 Creator Combo

Can this pocket-sized auto-stabilising 4K video camera take your movie-making to the next level?

2 mins read
Essential Apple User Magazine
September 2021