Game Review: Dominate your Foes in Superhero City

supericon1Superhero City is a text-based social RPG that lets players live the dream of being a superhero. Players perform traditional RPG functions such as doing missions along with player-to-player combat that has flashy animation playouts. The game currently has 512,000 MAU and we thought we’d see if the gameplay will keep those players coming back.

  • Title: Superhero City
  • Genre: Social RPG
  • Game Developer: Klicknation
  • Game Publisher: Klicknation
  • Released: 2009

superbattle1Summary

Superhero City is a social RPG game where players create a superhero in hopes of triumphing the superhero world with their own customizable character. With a dynamic player vs player combat system, Superhero City is aiming to differentiate itself from traditional Mafia War clones by including animated battles, a robust league system, and continuous community-driven volution. Overall the game is a solid RPG that’s listening closely to its players and providing addictive entertainment at the same time.

Pros

Simple directions that get player into the game fast; A futuristic interface that sets the mood for an combat style game; lots of content and animations for customization;

Cons

Outdated php/ajax engine may not be appealing to next generation of social gamers; occasionally buggy programming; primitive avatar system;

Full Review

Gameplay

The game commences elegantly with the player customizing the granted superhero, ready to immerse into the magical world of superhero stardom, or fatigue, depending on the observer. Ranging from missions to training, which are formulated textually, players have several activities to perform daily in order to progress. Despite predictable result formats, the player is psychologically mind-shackled; unable to withdraw and clasping for the next energy refill to continue the grind, a true sign of a solid RPG.

To add to the narrative, players progress from one area to the next in the form of city names, a similar mechanic Mafia Wars adopted and has seen success with. Success of such endeavors are hard to predict and should be validated by ones audience; seems to be working well for Superhero City.

The battle scenes are interesting and endow the player with a sense of excitement as she awaits the results. Players can bypass the animations straight to the results if they wish. The battle system itself increases in sophistication as players progress, incorporating mind-blowing powers to keep the players excited.

The players seem to be most likely comprised of Achiever and Killer bartle types. achievers are driven by in-game goals, usually some form of points gathering – whether experience points, levels, or money, whereas killers use the virtual construct to cause distress on other players, and gain satisfaction from inflicting anxiety and pain on others. Albeit the presentation, which we discuss in the next section, is

superitems1Presentation

The presentation is appropriate for its genre. It’s lackluster but not much can be expected from text based RPGs. Although it isn’t as Grand Theft Auto-esque as Gangster City, it manages to stay loyal to its followers,

The jewel in the game is the animated fight that ensues during player to player combat. Relatively static, the game does manage to avert boredom with a floating avatar that escapes frozen dramatic poses occasionally.

Sociability

The phrase ‘My superhero can beat up your superhero’ sums this game up nicely. What is the fun in leveling up and customizing a superhero without exercising the coveted gaming industry-endowed superiority complex. Players can engage in 1 on 1 combat with the help of a sophisticated matching system then sit back and watch it all play out.

In addition inviting teammates (an act which is essentially a smoke screen for inviting your friends and gaining the illusion of social interaction), players can also form leagues. Leagues have a prerequisite of level 10 to apparently weed out uncommitted players and also add to the excitement.

Lasting Appeal

In September of last year at GDC Austin, 10 social RPG trends were discussed. The first was new horizons in virtual goods and recommendation for developers to incorporate goods that ‘meet aspirational fantasies’. Seemingly by linking their virtual goods closely to the look and abilities of the avatar, Superhero City has done well.

The second was gifting, and in Superhero city you can gift functional goods only, which is probably the only type of good players care about in such a game. The third trend was making missions more interesting as well as proliferation in the customization department, areas which are subject to opinion and Superhero City soars in that department with good content and virtual items. The game does lack in possessing a wish list or collection system which it tries to suffice with a league recruitment option that posts to a users wall. Overall the game creates a connection between you and your hero, tempting you to make as many upgrades as you can and keeps you coming back for more.