Imagine this, you have seen Spandex Force Champion Rising on the App Store or where you can buy it on PC and thought that it could be the next Candy Crush. This led you to do a little research so you can be sure you would be the first of your friends to discover this gem. I would like to be the first to assure you that the latest Spandex Force is not Candy Crush. It is the creation of a single developer, Miro Karjalainen and is better in many ways; it has a hilarious tongue-in-cheek story, diverse gameplay, and characters you will care to love or hate. But the hook in gameplay of Candy Crush is something lacking in this title.

The story revolves around your soon to be hero that is approached by the good guy, Blizzard Wizard, that has bet he can turn any normal loser into a superhero. You are mugged by a small time crook and deemed the perfectly pathetic individual for the Blizzard Wizard’s bet.  You then travel around the town making money, building a reputation, and upgrading your powers under the sarcastic and demeaning tutelage of the wizard. Soon, villains will appear that threaten the good of your city and will reveal the secrets behind crime and your mentor.

The game has a very limited amount of customization that includes 4 different sprites, the 2 colors of your costume, and a name, all of which are selected at the very beginning of the game and cannot be altered. The story leads to three choices that will become 4 endings, but all the choices are very much black and white and the ending that goes along with what you choose is very predictable.  Speaking of the ending, it is an intentional cliff-hanger that teases a sequel and can leave the gamer feeling unsatisfied. But the game does not end when the story does; afterwards, you can play through a kind of arcade mode that poses the greatest challenge with hugely overpowered opponents. With this mode included, the game should last between 7 and 10 hours, depending on whether you want to spend a lot time leveling up. The most original and best aspect of the story is the humour that openly mocks comic book stereotypes and at times, even itself. The characters will joke about convenient events like characters inadvertently revealing their most private secrets, obvious hideouts that have gone unnoticed, and the cord to the most powerful force field being open to sabotage outside the field. The humour is very strong and is even reminiscent of Monty Python. I recommend this humorous story to any fan of the British comedy troop or anyone who enjoys comic books because it will make you laugh.

The gameplay is made up of mini-games that are diverse in goal and structure. You will move your hero from side to side with your mouse to avoid falling objects or cars to save old ladies, search an area for a criminal, or shake kittens out of a tree by clicking the mouse at the correct time. But mostly, you will be connecting blocks, like in Candy Crush, to power up abilities in order to fight evil doers or to work special blocks down to the bottom row for upgrade points. The game adds an extra dimension though, you must do this while constrained by time, a move limit, or competing for combos with villains. The great part of this is when you get tired of one mini-game, you can switch to another. The only problems I had with the gameplay was it is necessary to grind mini-games to prepare for the next boss, which slows down gameplay and will start to feel like a chore. It also does feel unfair at times when blocks are not falling your way and it is easy to blame the game.

The graphics and art style are reminiscent of comic books in the cartoon style, but looks like it belongs on an IOS device instead of PC. But this is completely understandable because the game is made by only one man. The music is very repetitive, with only a few songs that all sound very similar. I recommend playing with your own music for those of you who did not last through the early N64 and Gameboy games. Controls are spot on and very accurate, with no lag or slow down. This is however expected for any puzzle game, as the controls are limited to dragging your mouse. The presentation overall is weak and looks like it belongs on IOS instead of PC. This is because the game on mobile devices appears to be the same exact one as the PC version, but the price tag of 4 extra dollars would suggest the PC version would be superior.

This game is fun, original, and hilarious at times, but in between these points, it feels like it drags on because of grinding gameplay and weak sound and graphics. The art style of animated comics and humor that openly mocks itself, however, redeem the experience fully. If you are a fan of either of these concepts, download the demo and decide if you want to part with 7 bucks for these factors.