The Ninjabot

Alien Spidy Review

Posted on March 21, 2013 at 10:00 am by Stephen Janes

In a market dominated by major releases, it’s very refreshing to see a small game with big heart able to entertain gamers anywhere between minutes to hours. Games like Angry Birds and Temple Run are capable of attracting an audience of any age with their simple mechanics and easy to understand progression. Developer Enigma Studios offers an interesting title by the name of Alien Spidy that offers beautiful and high-contrast visuals while delivering a challenging experience.

Alien Spidy (8)

photo courtesy of Enigma Studios

Combining side-scrolling action with minor platforming elements, the objective of Alien Spidy is to achieve a “Challenge Score” at the end of each level in order to progress. To achieve the ultimate high score, you must collect virtually every orb possible while respawning very little. You are essentially required to replay the level over and over again in order to find the best strategy for each stage.

There aren’t a lot of gameplay features that stand out, but for such a simple concept not much is required. You are able to control Spidy left or right while jumping and web capabilities. You are also able to respawn at any time in case you feel you can perform the previous leg of the stage better. The web shooter is controlled by the right-analog stick for consoles but isn’t entirely accurate in my mind. I often miss my target by a small amount which leads into slight frustration.

Alien Spidy (3)

photo courtesy of Enigma Studios

Alien Spidy perfectly increases the difficulty rating as you play along. You are given a good amount of training stages that tell you how to play and what to look for. There are no lengthy instructions or dialogue, just an image of what button to press and the following result. Once the training stages are complete, you are sent into the real game where new obstacles are seen.

Many times I felt as though I was fighting the controller in order to get exactly what I wanted from my game. The jump button doesn’t seem right at times and I already mentioned how the web shooter isn’t completely accurate. For a game that requires a lot of jumping and fine-controlling, a tighter control scheme would have been appreciated. We shouldn’t have to blame in-game deaths on our controllers anymore.

Alien Spidy (1)

photo courtesy of Enigma Studios

Power-ups cannot be reserved and used at will, but are required to complete certain segments of a level. For example, some cases require Spidy to jump twice as high and you really only get one chance. Messing up a segment that required a power-up almost always means you’ll have to respawn to the previous checkpoint. Power-ups include the ability to jump higher, run faster, reduce gravity, attract nearby orbs and more.

The major challenge comes in trying to decipher the best possible way to avoid death in-game and how to complete the level quickly. You are allowed to take as much time as you need and respawn whenever, but you lose points off your total score in the end. Some levels you can easily breeze through without a second though, while others will require more attention. The time penalty is always on the mind as taking even the slightest of breaks can harm your score. There are also a number of negative orbs, which reduce your point total on site that throw a wrench into your strategy.

Alien Spidy (4)

photo courtesy of Enigma Studios

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy my time with Alien Spidy. While I won’t go as far as saying you need to purchase this right away, you will have a hard time letting go of this game after a while. Most levels only take about three minutes to complete, meaning it’s great for killing time between classes or when you don’t feel like booting up a mega blockbuster like Skyrim or StarCraft II. Another redeeming feature is the ability to post your high-scores on the leaderboard and compare with your friends and other players alike. Many hardcore gamers will probably be disinterested in the game, but casual gamers and risk takers are more than welcome at this fun little game.

Alien Spidy is available for the Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, PC and Mac platforms for 800 Microsoft Points or $9.99 respectively. Alien Spidy is rated ‘E’ for everyone.

Presentation: 8.0

Gameplay: 7.0

Replay Value: 8.5


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