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LEGO Batman: The Mobile Game

For: Mobile

A touch blocky

Product: Lego Batman: The Mobile Game | Publisher: Studio X | Publisher: TT Games | Developer: Cobra Mobile | Format: Mobile | Genre: Action, Film/ TV tie- in | Players: 1 | Format: J2ME | File size: 474KB | Reviewed on: N95 8GB other handsets | Version: Europe
Lego Batman: The Mobile Game Mobile, thumbnail 1

There are two things that you can do with LEGO: you can either play with it sensibly, building replica towns and communities, full of amenities and a fully functioning society, or, you can build stupid stuff and smash it up. The idea of a LEGO-based city simulator game aside, Traveller's Tales's take on Denmark's biggest export (besides bacon and Alphabeat, of course) falls into the latter category, with LEGO studs flying left, right and centre.

By indulging the physicality of LEGO pieces and the way they fall apart, LEGO Batman – and, indeed, LEGO Star Wars, LEGO Indiana Jones, et al – is able to entertain the same universal audience that both LEGO and our winged hero haved pulled in alone for countless decades. No doubt mindful of this, LEGO Batman is as traditional as they come, consisting of ledge-jumping platform levels and baddies out to get you. Luckily, some of Batman's most famous tools are here at your disposal.

With the story focusing on the break-out of some of Bruce Wayne's biggest adversaries from the local asylum – The Riddler, Penguin and Joker all making the line-up – Gotham City's guardian dons his cape and sets out to recapture each of his rivals one by one, trudging his way through level after level populated by 'goons' dashing around the place, firing at you, chucking bombs and generally making a nuisance of themselves. It's your job to bash your way through them, avoiding their fire and picking up their studs when they're smashed to pieces.

Studs equal points you see, and can be found both in the carcusses of those you've killed and in barrels scattered around the levels – if you give them a bit of a bash, that is. Bashing appears to be Batman's forte, too; as well as simply running into adversaries (LEGO Batman uses the '4' and '6' keys to run left and right, with the Caped Crusader resorting to giving his rivals a good bosh if you happen to run into them), you can also perform a variety of kicks as well as throwing your grappler at oncoming enemies.

Naturally, the grappler can also be used to swing about the game's levels (though judging just which ledges can be reached with it is a different matter), and Batman's cape also acts as a shield, fending off attacks for an indefinite period. While this is all contributes to what is fairly plain but plentiful play, where LEGO Batman does stumble is in its navigation.

Many of the levels have a vertical bias, meaning you'll spend the vast majority of your time jumping from ledge to ledge, gradually ascending to the top. The problem is, numerous surfaces – most notably rooftops – aren't actually solid, and it's fairly common to travel some distance up only to leap for a ledge that is actually just a part of the background, crashing right down to the bottom of the map as a result.

This actually hampers play when you take on the game's bosses. They require sustained attacks, which see you darting from ledge to ledge, firing your grappler or kicking mid-air to take them down. However, in the heat of battle it's fairly easy to leap for what appears to be a ledge only to end up freefalling and bouncing around on a wedge of spikes at the bottom of the map, chipping away at Batman's health as a result.

It's something that, with repeated play, will become less of an issue (trying to memorise the maps will serve you well here), but it's one of a couple of small bugbears that undermine the package as a whole, and while LEGO Batman never claims to be anything but fairly mindless fun – something it achieves - there are better platformers out there that are just a little more deserving of the metal studs you keep in your wallet.

LEGO Batman: The Mobile Game
Reviewer photo
Keith Andrew | 31 October 2008
Entertaining if a little tame platformer that perfectly merges LEGO with Batman, but still comes with one or two niggles
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