Though LEGO Marvel Super Heroes: Universe in Peril (out now, $4.99) is scarcely the best ever LEGO game, it still oozes lots of LEGO-ness: cute LEGO characters, gorgeous animated cut scenes with voiceovers, and stud collection.
Unlike previous iOS LEGO titles, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes: Universe in Peril does not come with a hub—a home base of sorts for you to relax in-between levels. However, the levels are a whole lot shorter than usual. Along with this brevity is some additional peril. In previous LEGO games, when your character dies it’s automatically revived at little loss to your game progress (all you may lose is a few studs). However, in this game, if your super hero dies, you’ll fail the level and have to start all over again. This extra challenge is welcome, and since the level’s brief, dying isn’t overly frustrating.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes feels less leisurely than some other LEGO games. Stud collection is tougher, because if you want to finish the level faster to earn other awards, you’ll have less time to roam about collecting those studs. In all likelihood, you’ll want to repeat levels to complete different challenges, which earn you awards, and thus gold bricks. You’ll need to have earned a certain number bricks to unlock the various stages, each of which comprises of three levels.
You can use your amassed studs to purchase new characters (though you’ll first have to unlock them for purchase by meeting certain game goals). Alternatively, if you’re impatient, you can buy them through IAP.
The biggest problem with this LEGO title lies with the controls. Do you want to walk, dash, or attack? The game often has trouble figuring this out via the default gesture controls. The tap-to-attack gesture works more often than not, but ordinary movement often gets mixed up with the dash. This can sometimes get you killed, and as mentioned, this will also mean failing the level. Fortunately, you can switch to a virtual D-pad, though this may not necessarily be better. Having to swipe up with two fingers to fly also feels clunky. That said, iOS LEGO games have had a long history of complaints over the controls, though the exact issues may differ.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes: Universe in Peril is another fun, action-filled LEGO title with short and very replayable levels. Though it’s considerably slimmed down from its console version, it’s also a lot less expensive. So if you’re not a console owner, you can simply enjoy this iOS game for what it is.