Game Reviews

HeroClix TabApp Elite

Star onStar halfStar offStar offStar off
HeroClix TabApp Elite

HeroClix is a boardgame using small figurines that are based on characters from popular series - predominantly the Marvel and DC lines of superheroes and villains. Multiple characters across many universes engage in tactical combat in an orgasm of enjoyable strategy nerdiness.

HeroClix TabApp Elite is a game that uses a special series of these figures in a wholly underwhelming pseudo-strategy game that you can play on your tablet device via a special portal that has more than a passing resemblance to the Skylanders range of products.

You can use the figures for this latter game in the former, but it's unlikely you'll want to spend much time with the iPad or Android tablet compatible offering.

Never clicks

We were sent the Superman Starter Pack to play the game with, but it's not necessary to have any figures at all, should your budget not stretch to include these pieces of kit.

If you do fancy plonking down the cash, then you might end up disappointed. The ClixStation is the device which transports the characters into the game, and it's cheaply built. The epic musical score and sound effects are somewhat undermined by the tinny, feeble speakers.

Locking the figures in place doesn't come with a satisfying click. In fact, it often feels as though you might break the models if you were to turn them just a little bit harder.

However, the design of the figures themselves is excellent: they look like slightly short, slightly pudgy, slightly comical versions of the heroes on which they're based. A bit like your average superhero cosplayer, I suppose.

Aside from build quality of the portal, the main issue is that you'll barely use it. Once your team is constructed, you can pretty much just pop the unit away somewhere and forget about it forever. Some of the supporting characters you bring into the game also have special pads on their undersides that transport them into the game via your device without the need for the ClixStation.

You can determine their characteristics - such as proficiency over a long range, fast movement on the battlefield, and so on - by adjusting their Combat Dials (the figure's twisting bases) before you bring them into the game. In practice, it's a bit fiddly, and in any case you can do this with a button prompt in the game.

Ordinary League

HeroClix just doesn't feel like it needs these extra bits and pieces. Though the inverse is equally true - the bits and pieces could happily live without the game, which is shallow, unwieldy, and unsatisfying.

Modes on offer are Survival and King of the Hill. Survival asks you to get through wave after wave of enemies, and King of the Hill requires you to protect objects across the large maps. Both wind up feeling very similar, as the enemy AI simply rushes you at every opportunity with little regard for its personal well-being.

Not that you're particularly smart yourself. On several occasions I was intrigued to observe Superman tousling his hair while an enemy punched him in the face repeatedly.

I couldn't find a way to control the camera, but it's perhaps best to simply focus on your lead character, as controlling both in a meaningful way seems to confuse the software to no end.

On several occasions I supposedly requested that Wonder Woman smack The Batman about a bit - which, of course, I hadn't. This should have been straightforward, as you'll rarely perform any other task than tap on the enemy you want dead.

Sound glitches, tepid visuals, difficulty spikes from nowhere, slow pacing - the list of issues goes on. It's just not a lot of fun, and all seems hastily thrown together.

If you're a collector, then HeroClix TabApp Elite is a novel distraction with which you can use a small selection of your figures. If you're looking for the strategy equivalent of Skylanders, though, you're plum out of luck.

HeroClix TabApp Elite

An unnecessary electronic spin-off of the popular plastic and cardboard boardgame, HeroClix TabApp Elite will satisfy neither hardened collectors, nor newcomers to the franchise with its unwieldy gameplay and poor presentation
Peter Willington
Peter Willington
Die hard Suda 51 fan and professed Cherry Coke addict, freelancer Peter Willington was initially set for a career in showbiz, training for half a decade to walk the boards. Realising that there's no money in acting, he decided instead to make his fortune in writing about video games. Peter never learns from his mistakes.