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1 Player

Game Type


Mem. Card

Review Date

May 1997

Setting the Scene

They spend their lives tucked away in dark corners. They prefer to live in sheds at the end of the garden or that seldom used cupboard under the stairs. But as soon as they raise their tiny little heads from the plug hole in the bath or they scamper across the carpet when you are watching TV, they appear to grow ten-fold. "It was the size of my fist" you brag to your mates, but you sorted it out, didn't you. Yeah, you and a baseball bat.

You play the part of a scientist who is working on a project to create a thought controlled cybernetic spider weapon. Late at night, the door bursts open and all hell breaks loose. A rival company have sent a strike force to steal your work. In the struggle, you are shot while wearing the mind transference helmet that was linked to the cybernetic test spider. Instantly your mind was transferred into the spider and you become a man trapped in the body of an insect!
All your notes are stolen, but fortunately for you, they didn't notice the spider.

To return to normal, you must track the strike force back to their lair and reverse the experiment.


Spider is a platform game that has many similarities to Pandemonium. The way that the camera spans the 3D graphics, the fact that Spider is played entirely on rails and even the control of your character works in a similar fashion.

You must guide the spider across the games 30 rooms as you set out on a mission that has a duel purpose. Collection of the microchips will allow you to advance onto the next level, while you eventual aim is to recover your human body from the abductors and return to your former self.


The opening levels are set in a darkened environment which fail to do the game any justice. However if you persevere to the third level, the graphics begin to show their true splendor. Here your spider must leap from platform to platform that appear in the form of suspended packing crates. You can crawl all around the outside of these highly detailed crates which are over run with an assortment of deadly creepy crawlies. This area is bright and colorful, but as you move further through the game, there will be many shadowed corners where enemies will leap out at you, when least expected.

The street levels will see Spider scurry along the sidewalks avoiding the pistol packing grasshoppers, slimy slugs and swooping kamikaze bees. Once again the scenery is superb with the rainwater pipes looking the size of a gigantic tunnel and a flight of stairs appearing the size of Mount Everest to the tiny creature.

The street levels will see Spider scurry along the sidewalks avoiding the pistol packing grasshoppers, slimy slugs and swooping kamikaze bees. Once again the scenery is superb with the rainwater pipes looking the size of a gigantic tunnel and a flight of stairs appearing the size of Mount Everest to the tiny creature.

The game is dispersed with some quality FMV sequences that explain the story as it unfolds.

Sounds and Effects

The sound effects are well chosen. If you jump your spider in the air, the sound of it's eight legs landing on the surface will have you checking around your room to make sure its not about to crawl up your leg!

The weapons have the usual crash, bangs and wallops to accompany their contact with the enemy.

The music compliments the action superbly. On one of the street levels you must guide your spider up the face of a multi-story building by jumping from one ledge to the another. One slip and it's a deadly drop to the ground. The music that accompanies this tension packed level is 'almost' the theme tune from Mission Impossible. It's not, but it is very close. There are other 'almost' recognizable tunes, including a guitar solo that is very close to the Neil Young classic, Southern Man.


Although there is no adjustment to the difficulty setting there is the option to begin with up to five lives and three continues. The game can be saved after each level is complete by using a memory card or taking note of the twenty digit password code (whatever happened to the brief passwords that were available in Doom).

Your journey between the lab and Microtech spans six worlds, each containing five sub-levels. Your spider is initially armed with a simple slash-weapon, which is only useful in close leg to leg to leg to leg combat. Weapon upgrades can soon be found lying around the game in the form of cybernetic limbs.
Other weapons include:
Guided missiles that home-in on the closest enemy target and then blow them to pieces. A flame limb will shoot a long stream of fire out in front of you. Strap on a poison leg and spray a green mist of toxic mist that will down airborne assailants quicker than a whiff of Fly Killer. A Smart Bomb is a one off explosion that will destroy everything on screen. Mech-mines can be dropped behind you when those enemies try to sneak up behind you. Electro omits a lightening rod that will fry anything that comes in contact with it while a Boomerang will slice up any creature it connects with.

Weapons appear in two forms, defensive which fit to the back legs and offensive which are connected to the two front limbs.

The control pad is simple enough to operate with two fire buttons, a weapon select button and a jump button that is used in conjunction with the directional controls. Moving your spider around is easy. When walking along the floor you must press "up" to scale the wall and when reaching the ceiling, moving "left" or "right" will take your spider across the upper surface. If you press the "jump" button while the spider is upside-down, then he will spin a web and quickly lower himself down to the surface below. This feature can also be used to swing to previously unreachable platforms.

The levels are all vastly different in appearance with each having up to four different endings. For example when you are in the garden you will notice a number of holes in the ground with each leading off into different directions. You will need a return visit to each level to complete the game properly.

The enemies are a wide range of creepy crawlies and vermin:
Spiders will drop right down in front of you when you are least expecting them. Rats roam the sewers and shoot little green pellets that will kill you on contact (so a blast with your Electro will turn them into a "ratatouille"). Bats will drop mines on you from above and the wasps will fire a sting from their tails. There are slugs, grasshoppers and stinging scorpions, while the end of level bosses are a mixture of mechanical creatures and frightening monsters that will take you quite a while to defeat.

The usual platform game rules apply with an extra life awarded for collecting 100 DNA strands, or a little blue spider.

So the next time you are going to put your size 10 shoe on top of a poor defenseless creature, -STOP- and think! It may be Spider armed with an eight pod missile launcher!

Value for Money

Spider is an very playable platform game that has a smart graphical content, cool music, and challenging gameplay.

If you enjoyed Pandemonium, then I would recommend you try out this game. The ability to climb walls and cling to ceilings, adds another dimension to games of this genre.





I was hoping that Spider would make full use of the 3D environment and allow the player to explore the entire room, but unfortunately the game is played on rails forcing the creature to follow a predetermined path.
However this does not spoil the enjoyment of this challenging platform game.











A nice progression from Pandemonium. This platformer retains all of the addictive qualities that any game of this genre should have and will keep you coming back for more until you have finally completed the game.








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