Publisher: Kalypso Media
Review Platform: Xbox LIVE Arcade
Review Copy Provided By: Kalypso Media
Release Date: March 20, 2013
What is an alien spider to do when he crash lands on Earth? Spidy is not anything like your typical earth spider so he speeds through 69 levels in 3 different stunning environments while trying to find his friend, Virgi, and piece together his ship. Alien Spidy, developed by Enigma Software Productions, is a fast paced platformer with a focus on precision and speed.
Each level tasks Spidy with reaching the end while collecting orbs as fast as possible. The levels are meant to be replayed in attempts to getting 5 stars, a higher score, and getting that perfect run. It ends up feeling like a mish mash of games like Super Meat Boy with the shorter single screen phone games like Cut The Rope, action-platformer meets physics-puzzler. You can expect to die.. a lot just like Super Meat Boy because difficulty ramps up a lot the further you progress into the game and sometimes not for the right reasons.
Controls become an issue for Alien Spidy. The web swinging is based on flicking the right stick in the direction of where you want the web to go. The challenge comes from the level of precision and timing of the flick required which leaves the player often times missing hitting the anchor points with their web. Complicating this even further is the variable length of the web that can be changed by pressing up often leaving Spidy being at the wrong height with little time to adjust if web does not miss altogether.
Alien Spidy is a downright beautiful game and may be its saving grace. Colorful backgrounds are contrasted against pitch black foregrounds with features accented with color. Enigma Software Productions designed Spidy to be spider like but much more affable with human and pet like mannerisms. The animations and simple design ooze with cuteness. The audio does leave something to be desired though. While upbeat and cute to begin with, the lack of variety in the soundtrack will eventually grind on a person’s nerves when they have died for the 20th plus time and are dealing with the stress of point penalties per a death and a clock that is working against them.
Alien Spidy is a game that you want to like. It is graphically gorgeous and is only truly hampered by the frustrating controls. It is tragic to see what could be a great little game be brought down so low by poor control design. Maybe this is something that can be patched but until it is Alien Spidy is hard to recommend to anyone but the masochist.