Available On: Switch
Played On: Switch
In 2019 the successful tween girl-targeted DC Super Hero Girls web series was rebooted into a full animated TV series for Cartoon Network and Netflix. DC Super Hero Girls: Teen Power is based on the reboot, with fun, exaggerated character art, lively voice acting, and simple but effective third-person brawler gameplay.
The Gang’s Mostly Here
Teen Power is an action-adventure brawler where you can play as most — but not all, of the DC Super Hero Girls. The girls live dual lives as teenagers navigating school drama, and superheroes thwarting crime and fighting supervillains. The former is presented as several open world hubs in the city of Metropolis, as the street-dressed girls roam around finding collectables and taking on missions, including main story missions and lots of little side quests.
When you pick up a mission, such as defending a store or defeating a bunch of criminals, you’ll have a chance to select your character and two AI-controlled allies as you suit up for battle. The AI companions are suitable helpful, especially Super Girl’s Frost Breath to free enemies, but it’s a big shame you can’t simply swap characters on the fly as in Marvel Ultimate Alliance. It’s also a big bummer that it’s single player only, as the genre is usually co-op friendly.
Being able to choose between different heroes (or villains!) for most missions is nice, but it’s weird that only half of the heroic cast from the series are playable: Wonder Woman, Super Girl, and Bat Girl. Zatanna, Bumblebee, and Green Lantern, while main characters in the show, are relegated to background non-player characters in the game. Instead, the story gradually adds three of the series’ villains as playable characters, with Catwoman, Harley Quinn, and Star Sapphire eventually joining the roster as playable characters.
Get Your Cape On
When the girls are roaming around Metropolis they aren’t in their super attire, and don’t have access to any of their abilities. It would have been far more interesting if Bat Girl could use her fun Bat Hook to swing around the city map, instead of only during missions. Chatting with citizens, shopping for clothes, and taking pics and selfies is all very cute and satisfying, however, and the game features an in-universe social media network that’s very age-appropriate.
While you could spend a lot of time roaming around taking pics and customizing your outfit, the majority of the gameplay involves completing missions and fighting bad guys. This is a superhero game after all!
Combat is basic button-mashing with a single attack button as you chain together combos. Heroes can dodge out of big attacks and collect hearts to regain health. Each character also has access to three different abilities, including a super move that must be charged up, like Wonder Woman’s power bracelets, or a volley of bat rockets from Bat Girl.
Don’t be fooled by the game’s source material — combat is actually quite challenging. Battles are surprisingly fast-paced and aggressive for such a youth-targeted game. Enemies won’t hesitate to stun you, knock you around, and quickly deplete your health. To further increase the pace, many missions are timed, forcing you to defuse bombs or defend an area. If your child isn’t already familiar with 3D action games, they may find the action too fast and difficult, though a Help Mode does pop up after repeat failures to make things easier.
Teen Power is rated E10+, with Cartoon Violence. As a superhero game, you’re battling other minions and super-villains by punching, kicking, and smashing. The action is appropriate for kids under 10, but some may find the 3D gameplay and fast-paced combat a bit too challenging and frustrating.
DC Super Hero Girls: Teen Power could’ve been a quick cash-in adaptation, but it’s anything but. The audio and visuals embrace the over-the-top comic book action, including big letter SLAM and DODGE balloons, and the characters feature excellent voice acting that sounds like it’s ripped right out of the cartoon. Combat strikes a decent balance between simple and engaging, and there is a ton of content between story missions, side missions, and collectables. If your kid loves superheroes but isn’t quite ready for Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 (or are just big fans of the show), Teen Power makes an excellent gateway game.