If a superhero game doesn't make you feel like a superhero then it may as well not exist.

There's no point dawdling through an origins story or trying to incorporate some boring real-life trauma. We already have boring real lives, and we already know they're full of trauma. We just want to sneak around and hurt people.

Batman: Arkham Asylum understood all of this, and it's fair to say that Gameloft's The Amazing Spider-Man owes a heavy debt to the caped crusader's recent console outings.

While the web-slinger's mobile return isn't quite of the same calibre, it's still an awful lot of fun.

Swinging party

The game throws you straight into the action with costume donned, mask on, and web fluid ready to squirt from shooters attached to your wrists. You control Spider-Man's movements with a stick on the left of the screen, and his actions with a set of context-sensitive buttons on the right.

What comes next is very much a game of two halves. On the one hand you have the exploration, which entails swinging through the canyon-like streets of a good chunk of New York, clambering along the side of buildings, playing chicken with taxis, and generally having the time of your life.

On the other hand there's the combat, which requires you to be quick and precise, with a simple button layout that lets you dodge, attack, and fire out gobs of web quickly and easily. Unfortunately, a clunky camera and a tough learning curve make combat a clumsy, frustrating experience.

Violence is wrong

Fighting a couple of opponents is a breeze, but when you're beset by a larger group, who are trying to shoot you or throw flaming sticks of dynamite into the fray, you'll need superhuman reaction speeds of your own to get out of the way of attacks.

It's worth sticking with the violence, though, simply to experience the rush as you swing from skyscraper to skyscraper, plummeting down to street level before firing out a web at the last second to launch yourself into another glorious arc.

The Amazing Spider-Man succeeds in making you feel like a superhero, and while the combat isn't as impressive as the titles it tries to ape the freedom afforded to you to explore and play just about makes up for it.

iOS version reviewed.

Want more? Check out our growing collection of The Amazing Spider-Man review!