The Amazing Spider-man

Spiderman!

The Amazing Spider-man is a 1990 platform/puzzle game, published by Paragon Software. In the game you obviously play Spiderman, platforming around, but there is a curious twist. Or rather, there are many curious twists, but this is the main one. For some reason, Spiderman became all pacifist and refuses to directly harm any enemy you encounter. The only thing you can do with enemies is evade them. And that’s why the game is fundamentally a puzzle game.

Title screen. Also main menu, probably because the artist didn't feel like drawing certain aspects of Spiderman's anatomy

Now, evading enemies is not exactly hard. SpiderGandhi can walk on walls and ceilings and can shoot webs to climb and swing around on. The webs can also be used to trigger buttons, which makes for some interesting possibilities and cool level design.

In case you don't have the money for a chandelier, the Spiderman(tm) makes a nice alternative for your foyer.

In yet another curious twist to make the game more puzzlelike, SpiderGhandi will only walk at about the same speed my Vista computer boots, which is to say horrendously slow. I’m not entirely sure why this is. Does SpiderGhandiSnail feel that whenever his girlfriend is captured by Mysterio makes the perfect time to leisurely enjoy the various enemies and traps he encounters? That sounds wrong. My old adage “what would Spiderman do?” is crumbling before my very eyes.

Spider sense tingling... No, that's just the heating.

The game is hard. It is also traumatic. The two might be related, but there is certainly a curious twist that is also partially responsible for the traumaticity (that is totally an existing word, spell-checker!) of this game. You see, there is no health-bar in this game. The concept of the health-bar is translated to a visual representation of Spiderman himself. Which, when taking damage, slowly turns into a skeleton. Starting from the feet. It makes no sense, it is weird and awful, and it probably caused at least 5 kids to have nightmares. At least.

Seriously.

The Amazing Spider-man: a maze of curious twisty passages designed to make you feel like crap for loving Spiderman. But if you forget for a while what Spiderman is about (leaping from huge buildings, using the momentum of the spiderweb-swing to kick right through a villain, leaving said villain’s intestines scattered all over Spidermancity – note how I don’t have the foggiest idea but I like Batman and Wolverine), if you forget all that and can appreciate SpiderGhandiSnailSkeletor, then this is not too bad a game. 6/10

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