Spandex Force: Superhero U is a match-3 game set within a school for superheroes. Herein lies the strength or weakness of the game, depending on whether you like match-3 games or not. There is a bit of variety to the games – 3 different control methodologies, different shapes for the game grids and some slightly different features – but basically, whether you will like this game comes down to whether you like the genre. It's basically a puzzle game with some limited RPG features.
The graphics are nice enough, with a real comic-book style to them, and I enjoyed the daft humour – if you enjoy Adam West’s Batman you probably will to. From the cheesy dialogue, blatant superhero rip-offs (and Harry Potter parodies) to sill plots the deliberately obvious plot twists, everything here is designed to be humorous in a very undemanding way – and most of the time, it manages. Some have grumbled about a lack of animation but to me this actually adds to the comic book feel of the whole thing. Sound effects are okay and the music is quite nice, although perhaps a little too repetitive.
The game itself plays very well, I just wish there had been more variety – more to the point, I wish there had been at least something in the game that was anything but match-3; an arcade mini game here, a breakout clone there, just anything. The battle sequences and ability to upgrade your character and equipment add a little extra to the idea, but your opponents’ lack of intelligent AI means that these are rarely a challenge to win. There are also various achievements to unlock, which despite the game’s easiness, will likely require at least a couple of complete play-throughs to earn all of.
To be fair, Spandex Force: Superhero U was clearly designed very much for the casual gamer, and if you do like match-3 games, you’ll find it an agreeable time-waster. Completing the story mode will probably take you around 4-5 hours. One or two challenges in the game required a few attempts to beat.
Spandex Force: Superhero U is available for PC and Mac (PC version reviewed).