It is time for the summer comic book movie blockbuster and of course there is an iOS movie tie-in game. The newest incarnation of Superman has been reborn at the box office to decent reviews and legions of fans hailing the renewed relevance of the strong man in red undies. But does this iOS game hit that blockbuster spot like the film? 

Man of Steel was one of the most hotly anticipated films this summer. Even though the movie clocks in at a decent length, you might find yourself wanting to spend a bit more time with Supes. What could be better than having the adventures of Superman right there on your iPad?

Well, at the very least, the game looks and runs halfway decent. The most common plague of these movie tie-in games are that they’re a bit unstable. They crash and flounder around on loading screens forever. But, I’m happy to say that Man of Steel works well even if one of the characters you fight has an unnervingly large head.

That being said, Man of Steel is a re-skin of another, more successful title. And if you’re going to copy any game play, it might as well be Infinity Blade’s. The controls work well enough as you take control of Superman to combo punch enemies wailing far off into the distance. They aren’t the best controls, but they are far from broken and you barely notice any inconsistencies while playing.

Just like Infinity Blade, you can tap on each side of the screen to dodge attacks. You can also double tap on the screen to block and parry any fists heading your way. The controls are responsive enough and it is a joy to throw baddies around and flex your super muscles while zapping them with some heat vision.

In addition to heat vision, which you can move around all over your enemy to do more damage, you have the ability to pick up enemies and slam them to the ground or drag them across bits of road for a decent amount of damage. Sadly though, I wish we had a bit more freedom with the flying. It would be fantastic to be able to fly between sections of a level saving innocent bystanders. But as it stands, much of the flying is pre-scripted and repetitive.

The other downside to Man of Steel is that there is really only one setting. A good portion of this title takes place in the streets of Smallville. While it is enjoyable for awhile, you might get tired of small town America and wish to lay the beat down on General Zod’s minions somewhere else and expand on the locales of the movie. A bit of variety would be a welcome addition to the title.

As you lay the super smack down, you gain experience points to upgrade your heat vision and super speed punching abilities. You also get to save up for different super suits which, while not really adding anything to the gameplay, might be something you’d like to go after if you’re a video game completionist.

Hopefully there will be a bit a few updates to this title to tighten up the control response and add in some new enemies, abilities, and settings. Right now, it feels like a bare bones game that has a bit of potential hiding in the wings. With a bit more of a nudge in the right direction it could be, and I can’t believe I’m writing this, a halfway decent movie tie-in iOS game.

The icing on this otherwise serviceable cake are the cutscenes which are well produced and look great. They really give a sense of story, (however small), to this title. They're a joy to watch and the voice-over work is quite good. Superman is back but he's not without his faults. Maybe there's a bit of Kryptonite hidden somewhere in Apple’s devices that's hindering his performance?


Store Link: Man of Steel HD for iPad | By Warner Bros. Inc| Price: $4.99 | Version: 1.0 | 514 MB | Rating 9+

7.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating