A new King of the Swingers?
Swooping through the air, skimming close to the ground before casting another volley of webbing to send you skyward. This cinematic trope a universal appeal which games have regularly tried to emulate. That element of danger mixed with skill is something that’s inevitably associated with Spider-Man, Bionic Commando – the list goes on, but really so few have nailed that pixel perfect control which at one moment can make you feel like a master of momentum, and the next punish you coldly for not grappling onto something in time. As you can probably guess Alien Spidy, packs a similar swinging dynamic to the aforementioned red and blue spandex-clax hero, but the difference is that he’s just a tiny insignificant arthropod trying to find his lost girlfriend in the heart of a dense forest.
At its core Alien Spidy shares a lot with Sonic the Hedgehog as its platformer gameplay is very forgiving and is geared towards collecting magical orbs as quickly as possible around levels, in order to accumulate point modifiers which contribute to your end total and star rating. The story premise is wafer thin, but the natural setting is consistently clever. Swinging around levels you’ll need to avoid web cutting hornets, utilise handily placed ladybirds to anchor your webbing and stay out of the thorny undergrowth to keep your Spidy safe. These are just many insect inclusions which again shares a lot with SEGA’s blue mascot franchise – but you know the good ones.
The colourful aesthetic and jovial music keep the frustration to a minimum when you inevitably time jumps or swings wrong, and that’s helped by your character instantly respawning at nearby checkpoints. There isn’t a danger of running out of lives or anything like that, but players are penalised for death with respawns costing a couple of hundred orbs each time.
Overall Alien Spidy is shaping up really well with an easy-to-use web control scheme, which allows players to cast out the sticky white string in any direction, and a gentle progression curve. That isn’t to say it isn’t deep, after all the scoring mechanic and its accompanying star evaluation will sort out the men from the boys, but it isn’t anywhere as intimidating as Super Meat Boy and as a result it’s much more likely to offer a great time for those looking to scratch that 2D itch. The key aspect of Alien Spidy will be length and price, but if Kalypso can hit they can keep this nostalgic release under the all important £15 price-point than they very well could have a bona fide hit on their hands.
Tags: Alien Spidy
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