Preview: Alien Spidy swings and weaves with precision

October 25, 2012

I hate spiders. They’re basically the worst things, and I don’t want them to be around me. Alien Spidy, though, is an alien, which somehow makes it okay that he’s also a spider. But what is he doing in the game in which he serves as the titular character, and how is it fun?

What it is: A downloadable action-platformer for 360, PS3 and PC, Alien Spidy has you shooting webs, jumping, swinging and avoiding obstacles on the way from one side of the stage to the other. It relies on the now-standard star system to give you a manageable goal and incentive to go beyond, and it’s this chase to get through the level super-quickly while being precise enough to collect everything that pushes the game forward.

Why we’re excited: Shooting and swinging webs is a variation on the grappling hook mechanic, one that is generally fun, and a variation that keeps it both thematic and fresh. Spidy himself has just enough charm and personality to make you okay with him being a spider, and the otherwise-simple aesthetic works with a downloadable title.

What we’re wondering: Unless you really love swinging, we’re not sure there’s an urgent hook that will get players to pick the game up. The genre’s a crowded one, especially in the download space, and even some phenomenal designs have been lost in the shuffle. Also, can it keep up the mission variety through the levels and introduce enough new elements, or is it just going to make the trips more harrowing?


Alien Spidy is set to release later this fall.