It's often said that the trouble with Superman as a character is he's far too super. When it comes to video games, his ridiculous power levels and nigh-on indestructibility pose all sorts of balancing issues for developers looking to build a game around the iconic hero.
And that’s the problem - having to build a game around a character rather than vice-versa. Digital Chocolate has adopted a far more sensible approach with Captain Galactic: Super Space Hero - they’ve had a brilliant idea for a game and invented a hero to fit.
Captain Galactic’s primary ability is interplanetary flight, although he’s dependent on the gravitational powers surrounding him to slingshot him across the galaxy - the kind that NASA used to get to and from the moon.
You begin each level by building up a head of steam on foot, running around the tiny planetoid you start from. Pressing and holding 'Up' sends you into orbit, where you can collect the coins that have been carelessly left floating about.
Releasing 'Up' pings Cap’ out into space, where one of two things can happen. If there’s nothing else to latch onto, our hero will crash back to earth in a powerful stomp attack, destroying any baddies and even, in some cases, damaging the planet itself.
It’s when there's another planet within range that things get interesting, though, as another press of 'Up' will send you into the orbit of this new heavenly body. The game becomes a question of gracefully twisting and looping across each stage, collecting and smashing your way to a decent point score before exiting through a handily placed rip in space.
Slightly less graceful are the planet-bound sections, accessed by pressing 'Down' when running past a city icon. These play like a traditional platformer, only with severely hamstrung controls.
The instinct when trying to jump a little further in such a game is to hold jump (‘Up’ again) a little longer, but here this results in shooting up, up and away and back into the main game. It’s an unfortunately clunky misstep given the smooth execution elsewhere.
Overall, though, Captain Galactic: Super Space Hero’s joyful sense of flight and inertia, allied to Digital Chocolate’s typically excellent presentation, makes for one of the freshest mobile games we’ve played in some time.