Before you delete music and Angry Birds from your phone to make room for the new “Arkham City Lockdown” App (I’ll never kill those damn piggies now), check out my review of one of this year’s best game’s baby cousin. ACL is a super light version of Arkham City. Picture trying to subsist on a diet of only tic tacs for a whole month. The good news is, in this analogy the tic tacs are the super yummy orange kind. If you’re not following my insane train of thought, it means that Lockdown has some of the best aspects of Arkham City, but still leaves you feeling empty inside.
First off, the game features one-on-one combat, with the swipes of your fingertips in control of Batman’s punches and counters. Now I know you’re thinking, that a single thug attempting to take on Batman armed with nothing but his fists makes about as much sense as…I don’t know, it just doesn’t compute. Anyway, any iOS device can experience some lag, which was very frustrating in a game where a delayed response causes you to get bashed in the head with a lead pipe. The good news is that the game looks wonderful. Maybe not Arkham City wonderful, but close enough. Also, good old Waynetech (again, diet version) will provide several nifty gadgets and upgrades to help you smash some baddies.
You’ll fight numerous thugs in familiar locations all around Arkham City, taking on groups of 3 or 4, one at a time. A boss controls each of the four areas of AC’s map, who can only be unlocked once you defeat the area’s thug life (big pimpin’). The bosses in the game are Two-Face, Solomon Grundy, Deathstroke, and of course: the Joker. All of the boss battles were a lot of fun and mildly challenging except for the Joker’s. I know, le gasp! I was able to defeat him in one 3-minute shot with little fuss or muss. As a final boss battle, the battle that motivated me through this game, it was a real letdown.
Some more bad: Lockdown is extremely short. I beat the game during two subway rides and an episode of Beavis and Butt-head. I understand that it is just a mini-game for a phone, but I’ve played “Fruit Ninja” for hours and it didn’t cost me $5.99. Also, the thugs were repetitive and didn’t vary much from encounter to encounter. Hell, most of the cut scenes were exactly the same too. Maybe it’s crazy to think that just because it’s a tenth of the price of Arkham City it should be a tenth of the value, but I think that dammit! To add to the injury, the Lockdown offers purchasable skins for the big bat like in Papa-Bear-Arkham City (BtaS, Beyond, and DK) for a whopping $.99 each. I’d tell them to go fuck themselves, but I’m not really sure to whom I should be addressing my suggestion.
In the concludiest of conclusions: my vote is to skip Lockdown. It looks like the real thing, but so does tofurkey. The most it makes me want to do is go out and shoot my own bird (read: play Arkham City).
And now to override that conclusion:
After playing the game, I came up with an objection to its existence that I didn’t think of before I downloaded it. I play a buttload of Arkham City on my Xbox. I still spend hours collecting Riddler trophies in my first run-through and started a new game. Maybe during the limited amount of time that I’m not sleeping or near my console, I should be doing something other than playing Arkham City Mini? I could be out sniffing flowers, reading Batman comics, or designing my own caped vigilantly outfit (you know, all the things I was known to do before Arkham City came out). I could could be wrong though…*picks up Lockdown* I guess a fix is a fix.