Batman: Arkham City Lockdown is an exciting, rhythm based beat-em up developed by Mortal Kombat (2011) luminaries NetherRealm Studios. While it’s big brother: Batman Arkham City, was a sprawling adventure that took dozens of hours to complete, Batman: Arkham City Lockdown looks to narrow the focus, and provide an intense and visceral experience for mobile gamers.
The game is controlled in a curious way. It’s based almost entirely on the rhythm of your punches and the timing of your enemies In combat. You swipe your finger left to throw a left, right to throw a right, and then up to do an uppercut, and so on. To dodge an enemy attack, you simply tap the screen right before the enemy connects with his fist or pulls the trigger of his gun, and you’ll dodge out of the way. Complicating matters is that enemies can become “enraged” meaning the player must only dodge, and won’t be able to do any damage to the enemy until after they throw a punch or two. Thankfully, on the left hand side of the screen is where all the gadgets you’ve purchased are kept: Electrified Bat-gloves for extra damage, health boosts, and new combos are all available to be upgraded for EXP as you progress throughout the game, and will help you take down baddies much quicker than brawn alone.
While I was initially wary about the idea of having no control over Batman outside of his ability to hit things really hard, I have to say, after some time with the game, the restrictive nature actually pays off. What NetherRealm Studios has done is created quite an addictive little button masher of a game. Or, well, I guess it’s a finger slider. My point is that despite some flaws (which is mainly it’s repetitive nature) the game becomes something you go back to after you put it down. Let’s not forget, Tetris was repetitive as it got.
You’ll put the game down after getting frustrated with a particularly annoying battle or stage, only to pick it back up again 5 minutes later to try and beat that stage one last time before bed, or work, or finishing that number 2 you’re taking (if you’re rich enough to keep an iPad at the ready in the potty). Ultimately Batman: Arkham City Lockdown is addicting like the best mobile games are, and all the more fun because you’re freaking Batman. What more could want for under a dollar?