That Was a Game 012 – Superman Returns: Fortress of Solitude (GBA)

Remember that time Superman had a game for the Game Boy Advance? And it was actually a Sudoku game instead of an action game? Welcome to Superman Returns: Fortress of Solitude!

Hey kids, do you like Superman?

I mean, I guess. He’s alright.

What would you think if I told you there was a Superman game for the Game Boy Advance?

Hmmm. I’d probably say it was a 2D sidescroller or beat-em-up. Probably decent, but nothing special.

Ummm. It’s not that. We’re talking about Superman Returns: Fortress of Solitude, based on the 2006 movie. It’s actually a puzzle game.

No, I’ve seen that game. It has Superman flying on the back of the box.

Ummmm…those are the bonus levels. The game is mostly Superman solving Sudoku-like puzzles with colored gems and jewels. Imagine a day-in-the-life Superman game where he mostly sits around all day playing games on his smartphone and you get the basic conceit.


Superman Returns: Fortress of Solitude is a collection of puzzle games that have very little to do with Superman or the 2006 movie it’s based on. Or maybe it’s completely faithful. Superman can solve any problem faster than a speeding bullet, so maybe most of Superman’s time is just playing cell phone puzzle games.

What’s weird is…I very much enjoy the puzzle games. They’re logic puzzles. They’re nothing I wouldn’t play on my phone.

The trouble is the game has nothing to do with Superman. But I also wouldn’t be talking about this game if it didn’t have Superman’s name on it.

There are a few Superman flying missions that happen after completing a few puzzles. Like a space shooter, Superman flies at enemies and kills them with either his laser eyes or freeze breath aka red beams or blue beams. One enemy is immune to red, the other is immune to blue. It’s sort of like Ikaruga, except way less complex. The most frustrating part is knowing that this could have been a Superman action game with puzzle minigames, but instead they flip-flopped it.

Superman Returns: Fortress of Solitude for the Game Boy Advance may be one of the flimsiest license uses I’ve ever seen. It barely has anything to do with Superman.

That said…it’s a pretty fun game. Actually, that’s not true. It’s an alright puzzle game.The puzzles are not as well-constructed as something like Sudoku or Picross or Bejeweled, but they do tickle my brain. It’s certainly not a disaster.

It just doesn’t make sense why it exists. All I can say is THAT WAS A GAME.

2 thoughts on “That Was a Game 012 – Superman Returns: Fortress of Solitude (GBA)

  1. dialhforhouston May 22, 2016 / 8:49 pm

    Reminds me of the Stargate game for Game Boy I wound up getting as a present randomly one year (I think it was part of a two-pack or something).

    Instead of getting to sidescroll as Kurt Russell and shoot Egyptian aliens, it’s … an odd kind of circular 3D tetris, based on matching blocks with hieroglyphic symbols. The actual puzzle part isn’t terrible, actually.


    • Vincent Goodwin May 22, 2016 / 8:52 pm

      Oh heck yeah! Thanks for reminding me. That Game Boy Stargate was so weird. I wouldn’t say it was disappointing, just not what I was looking for.


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