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LEGO Marvel Super Heroes: Universe in Peril offers players a new action-packed addition in LEGO’s popular series of iOS games.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes: Universe in Peril has burst onto the App Store, offering players a new action-packed addition in LEGO’s popular series of iOS games that comes with its share of positives and negatives.

Let’s start on a positive note. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes indeed allows players to control a promising range of superheroes, including Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and Hulk, and in this sense it follows on from the hugely successful LEGO Batman: DC Super Heroes (which launched on the App Store last year).

Fortunately, you get to play as Iron Man from the get-go.

Fortunately, you get to play as Iron Man from the get-go.

Each character offers its own unique ability — be it the aerial prowess of Iron Man or the brute force of Hulk — and this naturally adds an exciting dimension to the app. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes adopts a quick-fire mode of gameplay, too, which we were pleased to see: levels are made up of two platformer-style stages plus a boss fight, and as such it’s easy for iPhone gamers to jump in and out of the application when they get a spare moment.

Unlike LEGO Batman: DC Super Heroes, however, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes isn’t a stripped-down iteration of its console counterpart; instead, the new app is an iOS port of a less advanced Nintendo DS and Vita title (which was developed alongside the console endeavor), and this isn’t ideal.

As such, rather than an immersive 3-D gaming experience featuring a dynamic camera mode, for example, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes instead uses a zoomed-out view that’s far from feeling on-par with the other LEGO iOS games we’ve enjoyed in the past. Adding to this sense of unease is the app’s default control system, which encourages users to perform gestures on-screen in order to control your chosen superhero.

The app presents challenges to gamers at the beginning of each level.

The app presents challenges to gamers at the beginning of each level.

This is more than a little clumsy, though fortunately gamers can switch over to using a more conventional virtual D-pad setup. The only problem, however, is that you’ll need to keep on lifting a thumb off the D-pad in order to either switch heroes or to perform your chosen character’s special move; fumbling between on-screen buttons in this way isn’t great, and we can’t understand why MFi (Made for iPhone) controller support doesn’t feature in the title.

Mini-boss fights feature in the app, too, but these aren't exactly thrilling.

Mini-boss fights feature in the app, too, but these aren’t exactly thrilling.

The app’s range of characters is clearly one of its best features, yet it’ll take you some time to earn the in-game LEGO gems necessary to unlock many of the best heroes available. Sadly, developer Warner Bros. has placed an emphasis on in-app purchases (IAPs) in the title, and as such the only way to enjoy the whole host of Marvel heroes from the get-go is to spend real-world cash on one of the game’s character packs.

Combine this with our above complaints and what you’re left with is a premium title that doesn’t quite feel like it’s worth its price tag.

Price: $4.99 / £2.99
Size: 1.19 GB
Version: 1.0.
Platform: iOS Universal
Developer:
 Warner Bros.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes: Universe in Peril Review - Far from 'Super'
Super-Flop. LEGO Marvel Superheroes: Universe in Peril might be an app some users will enjoy, but in our opinion it's one worth avoiding.
For
  • Wide range of characters
Against
  • Poorly designed controls
  • Locked camera
  • Costly in-app purchases
2.2Overall Score