Unlike most of the planet, I have thus far refrained from dabbling in Pokémon Go. Is it because I fear joining the casualty list of players who have been struck by traffic, walked off cliffs or been assaulted by muggers masquerading as Team Rocket? Nah, I just don’t own a mobile – and even if I did there’s the small matter of me being an antisocial hermit who detests venturing outdoors. What I have been playing instead is Teeny Titans, a Pokémon clone based on the animated show some of you may have watched on Cartoon Network. Screw Pikachu and Jigglypuff – as a superhero fan I’d rather battle with figurines modelled after famous DC comic book characters.
Set in the Teen Titans Go universe, this Grumpyface Studios release sees players guide Robin on his quest to become the Teeny Titans world champion. What’s that mam? A hoodlum is robbing you? Sorry, Batman’s apprentice can’t save you today because he has abandoned crime fighting in favour of collecting Amiibo knockoffs. Needless to say, unlike a brooding Warner Bros superhero flick, this game doesn’t take itself too seriously. As an example, one of the more ridiculous missions on offer has Robin disguising himself as a pooch so he can participate in a Teeny Titans contest being held at a pet shop. Holy canine cosplay Batman! I never knew that Dick Grayson was a furry.
Battles in Teeny Titans are fought using a team of three characters. At the start of a match you summon one hero onto the field, leaving the other two in reserve. At any time it’s possible to swap your active fighter with a substitute – be it to save them from harm or to capitalize on another teammate’s abilities. To unleash attacks players need to wait until the action bar has filled up sufficiently. Each Titan has three moves at their disposal, with mightier attacks requiring a bigger chunk of the bar to activate. Encounters are both fast paced and strategic, although most opponents aren’t overly tough as the enemy AI is only slightly smarter than the Ghostbusters’ male receptionist.
My rating for Teeny Titans is a four out of five. I can highly recommend this title to iOS owners who like superheroes or Pokémon in general. The combat system is fun, the dialogue is humorous and the colourful character designs are pleasing to the eye. Another plus is that it only costs a couple of quid to download the complete game off the Apps Store. That’s very generous when compared to other titles, which claim to be free only to then tempt players with costly micro-transactions. No, I’d rather not spend all my life savings on hundreds of Poké Balls Nintendo. Why should I? You’ll just squander the cash on censoring western releases rather than paying for stable servers.
My only real gripe with Teeny Titans would have to be with its interface. Traversing the map can be a chore at times, due to its zoomed in perspective and fiddly touchscreen controls. I also wish that the main story were a bit longer, as the omission of a multiplayer mode does hurt the title’s shelf life. On the plus side there are optional quests to tackle and seventy Titans to collect, which should keep completionists occupied for a while. Now that I have finished the game I must ponder what to play next. Perhaps I should succumb to peer pressure and check out Pokémon Go after all? I loathe going outside, but then again I could mimic those chaps who play Go by hooking up their phone to a remote control drone. Those flying contraptions evidently can do more than just spy on Middle Eastern nations.