John Gholson, Director of Creative Development at Rocksauce | APPS | 06.16.2011 @ 10:00 am
Are you ready for the comic book sci-fi action event of the Summer – Green Lantern? The DC superhero isn’t just flying into theaters; you can get two brand new Green Lantern apps right on your iPhone. Is either one worth the green? Read on…
First up is Green Lantern Comics, free from DC Comics, which uses the familiar ComiXology interface for an easy way to read Green Lantern comics on the go. This is basically a themed version of their existing DC Comics reader, containing a couple of short freebies to read, with most full issues costing $1.99. I was really surprised at the amount of vintage material available through the app until I realized that the app is completely bug-ridden, mis-matching Silver Age covers from the 50s with modern day content. Bugs aside, readers aren’t totally limited to just the most recent issues of Green Lantern — the app also contains key series related to the character, like the stand-alone DC cross-over Final Night or Green Lantern John Stewart’s short-lived solo series Mosiac. Be warned, the only comics you can read through this buggy application are Green Lantern books, so you might be better off getting the broader, more polished DC Comics app, that way you can still access Green Lantern issues, but you aren’t limited to that specific corner of the DC Universe.
Also arriving this week is Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters, developed by Other Ocean, an action game that ties-in to Warner Brothers’ blockbuster film. In the iPhone version, players assume the mantle of Green Lantern Hal Jordan (another Green Lantern can be unlocked for play later) as he flies through space, destroying the berserk robots known as Manhunters. The camera follows behind Green Lantern in a way that’s somewhat reminiscent of Sega’s arcade classics like Afterburner or Space Harrier. Players use different finger motions to control Green Lantern’s attacks, which all comes from his ring, and the action does get pretty intense right away. You have to keep an eye on the ring’s charge as well, or you could quickly find yourself outgunned by enemies. For a $1.99 movie tie-in game, it’s not bad, delivering authentic visuals and frantic gameplay, but Green Lantern’s body too often obscures oncoming attacks, giving the game a much steeper difficulty curve than necessary.