Cool, but crashy

'Watchmen' was a comic, then a trade, then a movie, and now an MMO for the iPhone that impresses and intrigues us, but kept crashing on launch day.

If you can't get enough of Watchmen: Justice is Coming, you'll find in this massive multiplayer online game an ambitious attempt to play against anyone else connected to the Net from your iPhone or iPod Touch. You get to create a character with gender, skin color, and even personality based on what you see in the character Rorshach's ink blot.

Once you're in the game, you're treated to a fly through of the "Watchmen" version of New York City, where you find a typical MMO: touch exclamation points for plot info and game tasks, meet other characters, fight them, and even chat while you throw punches. In the iPhone, you navigate by touching the screen. It's not terribly intuitive at first, but once you surmount the learning curve, the game is pretty impressive--for an iPhone app. It loads quickly, plays well, and downloaded relatively quickly.

When we tested the app on launch day, we were treated to repeated crashes, as were others who complained in online forums. This was true of World of Warcraft in its infancy as well, so hopefully the stability issues will get worked out over time. We'd be ecstatic if the game hadn't crashed so much it made it impossible to play. If you're up to the risk and the challenge of Warner Brothers' overrun servers, go ahead and give "The Watchmen" a try.

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