GAME: The Superhero League by Lion Studios
PLATFORMS: iOS, Android
Entertainment media these days is stuffed with superhero content. Yet on the mobile gaming side, there aren’t many memorable “superhero games” as such. So I was in for a nice surprise when I bumped into The Superhero League, a mobile game by 1Button. The game is relatively easy, occasionally tickling the brain with its interesting puzzles. Though in true hyper-casual fashion, it’s riddled with ads and in-app purchases that can feel annoying to deal with.
This is a puzzle game where every shot counts. Your objective is to save civilians from the bad guys using a finger and a superpower. From a gameplay standpoint, each hero is an archetype, with their superpower being a unique mechanic in itself. While you start with a hero that can control objects or enemies using a rope, there are five other heroes you can play as. Each of these allows you to slice enemies, transport enemies, lob grenades, throw shurikens, trace shot paths and even draw things into the scene. So the core puzzle-solving experience is vastly different based on the hero you pick.
With a diverse range of mechanics to have fun with come a tonne of different levels to solve. Each hero has over 60 to 120 levels per chapter, totalling the level count to over 800 levels! Hours-worth of content of this kind is a rarity for a hyper-casual game. And if a puzzle proves too complex, you can always use a limited sniper special to clear it. You get these for free by watching ads. Which confused me; all unlockables and boosts are earned through ads. So the rewards you get — money and stars — are placebo.
From a technical standpoint, the game could use some work. It heats up my phone and sucks the battery juice real quick. This isn’t a common experience when I play other similar games.
However, the real issue would be the drawing mechanic. A mechanic like this runs real-time simulations. Getting that to work on a smartphone takes heavy resources, a luxury most smartphones can’t afford. And if the mechanic isn’t optimised well enough, it can glitch out your phone, cause stutters and crash completely. When playing the drawing levels, I crashed over five times, which ticked me off a little.
Then come the intrusive ads. They appear in the form of banners, playable ads, and the classic quid-pro-quo economy design element often found (and disregarded) in mobile games. So expect them to disrupt your gameplay experience a lot. You can switch off your Wifi/data connectivity to fix this problem.
VERDICT: When you overlook the occasional crash and the disruptive ads, The Superhero League is a fine quality game that surprises you with its puzzles with zero frustrations and all fun for hours on end. I’d give it a seven out of 10.