Chillingo hopes to make Superman 64 a distant memory with this DC approved iPhone adventure.
Superman has two weaknesses, kryptonite and video games. DC Comics' Man of Steel just can't catch a break, regardless of platform and developer. There was the shoddy Atari 2600 title, and more infamously, the abysmal Superman 64. We still have flashbacks about that one; the rings, dear god, those horrible rings.
Chillingo is aware of this, and hopes to right the proverbial ship with Superman, an iPhone exclusive (for now) 2D adventure that may finally do the superhero justice.
Here, players take control of Superman and pummel bad guys using his array of powers, including flight, super speed, frost breath and laser beams.
Each mission takes three to five minutes to complete, and that's by design. Chillingo intends to make the game accessible to hardcore and casual gamers, giving them the opportunity to get their Superman fix in bite-sized chunks.
Objectives, meanwhile, run the gamut. Gamers will punch bad guys one second, then take off to prevent a missile from reaching its target. Later, they'll even soar past the Earth's atmosphere into space, where they'll need to track down debris plummeting towards Metropolis.
It's all to thwart another one of Lex Luthor's diabolical plots. Chillingo wouldn't say much about the story, other than it involves Luthor's "good natured" intention to launch a satellite to measure climate change, and Superman's suspicion that his arch nemesis is up to something. With DC penning the narrative, though, fans have little to worry about.
As for the gameplay, Chillingo made everything user-friendly for the most part, with an on-screen d-pad and two buttons, one that controls speed/flying, the other handling Superman's attacks, be it the aforementioned lasers or frost breath. The game apparently knows the difference, depending on the situation.
If, for instance, Superman moves towards a fire, he'll freeze it. Transition to a bunch of robots, and he'll automatically break out the lasers.
Flying, meanwhile, is a lot of fun, as players easily zip around the city. It's too easy to overshoot a target, but Chillingo hopes to tweak that before release.
All told, Superman appears to be a fun mobile title that should go a long way to improving the character' image. All we know is this: after more than 20 years of flops, it's definitely time to reverse the curse.