Review: LEGO Batman: Gotham City Games

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There have been LEGO games for years, but things changed a few years ago when LEGO Star Wars arrived. No longer just for kids, these games offered action, platforming, replayability, and a sense of style and humor that made them great for all ages. This past year has seen the release of new LEGO games centered around the Indiana Jones and Batman franchises, and while neither have lived up to the original games, they were plenty of fun. Now we have a release of LEGO Batman for the iPhone, how does it hold up?

LEGO Batman: Gotham City Games is not a full version of the console LEGO Batman, nor a port of the DS or PSP game as you might expect, but rather a bunch of mini-games loosely associated with the characters and settings of LEGO Batman. There are two games modes – story mode and ‘Free Play’. Story mode has you play through the sixteen mini-games interspersed with nicely done animated cutscenes that provide the story. ‘Free Play’ simply allows you to go back and replay all of the mini-games you have unlocked and try to get the high score.

The mini-games include the following:

  • Batarang Skill Shots: Master the Batarang and take out as many villains as possible
  • Batwing Pursuit: This is a vertical shooter mini-game where you pursue Scarecrow in the sky using the Batwing
  • Bane Boxing: This plays like a punching bag version of the classic ‘Simon’ game, where a sequence is shown and you have to match the order to proceed.
  • The Riddler’s Maze Game: Work your way through to the correct exit!

As mentioned, there are sixteen mini-games you will encounter in Story Mode, and Free Play is more of the same. In Free Play you can choose different sections of the city to see what games are available and try your luck. The games in Free Play are longer and more challenging, so they will definitely keep you occupied for a while.

The games themselves are a mixed bag – you have puzzles, timed events, action games, and so on. Some I liked, while others I found annoying; but what you like or don’t is going to vary from person to person because the quality is solid in general. I just found some things more to my taste than others.

I have to admit that I was somewhat disappointed that there wasn’t more ‘meat’ to this package. I enjoyed LEGO Batman on the PSP and for the 90MB download on the iPhone I expected some more substance. You can play through the story in one short session, and Free Play will last longer, but the value is dependent on whether or not you like the individual games. For the price, the games are fun, the graphics and sound are very nice, and the pick-up and play aspect works well for a game of this type.

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Pros:
+ Plenty to keep you busy
+ Nice animated cutscenes
+ Budget Pricing

Cons:
- No interactive story
- Story is short

Game Info:
Platform: iPhone/iPod Touch
Publisher: Warner Bros. Digital Distribution
Developer: TT Games
Release Date: 12/18/08
Genre: Mini-games
ESRB Rating: Unrated
Players: 1
Price: $5.99 (limited time holiday pricing)
Source: Review code provided by publisher

About the Author

I have loved technology for as long as I can remember - and have been a computer gamer since the PDP-10! Mobile Technology has played a major role in my life - I have used an electronic companion since the HP95LX more than 20 years ago, and have been a 'Laptop First' person since my Compaq LTE Lite 3/20 and Powerbook 170 back in 1991! As an avid gamer and gadget-junkie I was constantly asked for my opinions on new technology, which led to writing small blurbs ... and eventually becoming a reviewer many years ago. My family is my biggest priority in life, and they alternate between loving and tolerating my gaming and gadget hobbies ... but ultimately benefits from the addition of technology to our lives!