Four summer blockbuster games that don't suck

It's not uncommon for a mobile game based on a big-budget movie to be a complete waste of time. Here are four (on Android and iOS) that might not be.

Jaymar Cabebe Former Associate Editor
Jaymar Cabebe covers mobile apps and Windows software for CNET. While he may be a former host of the Android Atlas Weekly podcast, he doesn't hate iOS or Mac. Jaymar has worked in online media since 2007.
Jaymar Cabebe
3 min read

These days, big-budget blockbuster movies are usually accompanied by story-driven mobile games. They usually tie in with the movie plot in many ways, and sometimes they put you in the shoes of the main character. The idea behind these types of games is great, but more often than not, they are completely disappointing.

With that in mind, I found four that are actually not so bad. Sure they're not perfect or even great, for that matter. But they do have specific qualities that make them enjoyable, especially for big fans of the movies.

Screenshot by Jaymar Cabebe/CNET

Monsters University: Android (99 cents) | iOS (99 cents)
Primarily a game for kids, Monsters University is the official mobile game for the Disney Pixar film of the same name. In it, you play as Mike, Sulley, or Squishy, as you hone your child-scaring skills in two different game modes: Catch Archie and Toxicity Challenge.

While both game modes offer different story lines and objectives, they don't offer any significantly different gameplay. In both, your job is to run through a stage, pick up coins, and dodge hazardous objects along the way. The problem, of course, is that this can get repetitive. Unlockable power-ups do help to change things up a bit, but for the most part, this simple game isn't something that you'll be playing for hours on end. With that in mind, though, at 99 cents, it might be a good purchase to keep a child occupied.

Screenshot by Jaymar Cabebe/CNET

Fast & Furious 6: Android (free) | iOS (free)
If you're into racing games, then the free Fast & Furious 6 might be right up your alley. It puts you in the shoes of a hotshot driver looking to join the crew, and couples a storyline with fast-paced behind-the-wheel action.

As with other games in the genre, your job is to win races, earn money, and pimp your ride. You can upgrade your engine, intake, exhaust, tires, and more. You can even change the color of your car or buy a new one altogether.

Fans of the franchise will enjoy interacting with various characters throughout the game, including Brian, Tej, Roman, and more. And because Fast & Furious 6 involves a number of different game modes (Drift Challenges, Drag Challenges, and more), it will probably keep your attention for longer than the 2-hour movie would.

Screenshot by Jaymar Cabebe/CNET

Man of Steel: Android ($4.99) | iOS ($2.99)
Reminiscent of old-school fighters like Tekken and Virtua Fighter, Man of Steel is a 3D fighting game that is all about outdoing your opponent with hand-to-hand combat. It pits you (Superman) against the Kryptonian villains from the movie, and lets you duke it out in a number of different settings.

Before you get your hopes up, you should know that Man of Steel is noticeably buggy and its graphics are what I would consider subpar. Good thing is, the gameplay and storyline still make it fun to play. There aren't as many moves as there are in Tekken, but there are a few combos and blocks that are satisfying to pull off. Plus, at certain points throughout the game, you can take the fighting to the sky and throw punches and kicks like only Kryptonians can. Finally, as you fight your way through Metropolis and Smallville, you can earn points to upgrade things like health, strength, heat vision, and even your suit.

With a $4.99 ($2.99 on iOS) price tag, Man of Steel is not for everyone. But if you're a huge fan of the movie, and you have some extra money to blow, you might enjoy it. If you do decide to give it a try, I suggest checking it for bugs on your device before your 15-minute refund window expires.

Screenshot by Jaymar Cabebe/CNET

World War Z: (Android (99 cents) | iOS (99 cents)
Just like the movie (and novel) that it's based on, World War Z is a dark and realistic take on the zombie apocalypse. It puts you in the dead center of a story-driven adventure, where your primary objectives are to survive and rescue your loved ones. While it may not be as complex as console titles like Silent Hill, this game certainly has a similar eerie feel. And with clues to pick up and puzzles to solve, it brings a lot more to the table than the typical zombie-spraying action.

At 99 cents, World War Z is not a bad deal at all. However, it is a 1.3GB download, so be sure your device has enough storage space before you attempt to purchase it.