The Amazing Spiderman logo

EMPIRE £24.99 * Joystick

Web-head is back in town, and this time he has brought his wife! Or at least he would have, if she had not been snatched by arch-bad guy Mysterio. Now our 'friendly neighbourhood wall crawler' has to save her from a fate worse than death. Well, just plain, simple, death actually.

In traditional supervillain manner, Mysterio has told Spidey the exact address, telephone number and zip code of the film studio hideout where he is hiding Mary Jane. All that Spidey has to do is break in, avoid a mass of traps and then beat seven buckets out of Mysterio. Spiderman must methodically work through each and every room in the film studio complex searching for his good lady.

Naturally the place is crammed full with of old film sets, and each section of the game takes a famous movie theme for both its décor and traps. Most of the dangers are deactivated or diverted by switches which Spidey can hit with his hands, feet or webs. The trick is finding the right order, quickly enough.

Spiderman can walk on walls or ceiling and fire webs, which are useful for reaching high ledges or swinging over dangerous holes in the scenery. Even these abilities are not enough - are they ever? - to guarantee success and it is up to you to supply the split-second timing and perfect jumping to see him through this test of superheroism.

Webby has to overcome zero gravity space sets, vulture-culture Wild West scenes and Indy Jones filled with burning floors, rolling balls, electrified fences and robo zombies. With only one life the Wall Crawler must make reaching the six energy refreshing clapperboard rooms his prime objective - they also act as game save points - if he is to be the first heroine to meet the sticky end promised by the villain?


Arachnophobics fear not! This spider is deliberately made small allowing him to strike 256 different animated positions and whole rooms to be viewed at once on the screen so you can see what pressing that particular switch actually achieves. The spider sprite, although a good mover, behaves oddly, sticking to everything, which makes negotiating smaller gaps interesting, as Spiderman seems to insist on standing sideways rather than obeying the rules of walking we all know and love.


It may sound trite but a puzzle game is only as good as the posers it sets the player. By this mark Spidey will have you climbing the walls in amused frustration. As well as the obvious blocked doors and dangerous floors, Mysterio has arranged other surprises in the shape of unclimbable walls, unwebbable ceilings and illusory blocks to throw you into confusion. The puzzles are perfectly-placed and game-save clapperboard rooms make Spiderman a game of the carrot and stick variety. It is possible to finish, but only if you have radioactive blood and stubbornly refuse to be beaten by costumed creeps.


The Amazing Spiderman takes a classic gameform and manages to live up to the pedigree. The characters, though small, are tolerable, the puzzles are solvable and progress possible. It is packed full of intricate switching, jumping and webbing manoeuvres which are only hampered by Spiderman's occasional insistence on standing in the wrong place. Spiderman is no revolution, just a cracking platform puzzle challenge that can hold its masked head high with pride.

The Amazing Spiderman logo

So Populär die Comic-Helden aus dem Hause Marvel auch sein mögen, am Computer bringen sie es einfach zu nix. Empire hat schon mit "Dr Doom's Revenge" daneben gelangt, jetzt mußte auch Spidey dran glauben...

Bereits der krächzende Titelsoundtrack läßt das Schlimmste befürchten, und so kommt's dann auch. Weil sich aber wenigstens der Grafiker des Comic-Intros ein bißchen Mühe gegeben hat, sei die Vorgeschichte auch kurz erwähnt: Peter Parker, alias Spider-Man ("Die Spinne") muß feststellen, daß seine Frau vom Superschurken Mysterio entführt wurde.

Die Spur führt in die Rockwell Studios, wo sich der Rest dieses kümmerlichen Games abspielt (sofern man nicht schon zuvor an der lästigen Paßwortabfrage verzweifelt ist).

Mit der winzigsten Spielfigur aller Zeiten kletter man über Möbel und Wände der unglaublich langweilig gestalteten Level und legt per Schuß mit dem Spinnennetzstrahler Schalter um, auf daß sich Durchgänge öffnen.

Man kann auch am eigenen Netzfaden herumschwingen und so versuchen, die mickrigen Fallen und Wachroboter Mysterios zu umgehen.

Das Spielprinzip ist noch öder, als sich das hier anhören mag, hinzu kommt, daß bei diesem Programm wirklich alles in die Hose gegangen ist: Die Steuerung ist elend ungenau, die Sound-FX sind auf PD-Niveau, und die Animationen des Helden gelinde gesagt ein Witz.

Und wie am Screenrand Spidey's Abbild (nach Feindkontakten) langsam von den Füßen aufwärts skelettiert, sorgt ebenfalls für eher unfreiwilliges Gelächter.

Berühmte letzte Worte: Wäre dieses Game 1983 für den C 16 herausgekommen, hätte es vielleicht sogar ein paar Käufer gefunden... (ml)

The Amazing Spiderman logo

Peter Parker, high school wimp, was bitten which granted him the proportionate strength and speed of an arachnid, as well as a powerful spider sense which can alert him to all forms of danger. Devising a powerful synthetic web fluid and donning a lurid red and blue costume, Parker became the amazing Spiderman fighting crime on the streets of New York. Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko and first appearing in Amazing Fantasy 15, 1962, the Marvel Comic's character now stars in four titles and his popularity shows no sign of declining.

After twenty years of crime busting Spiderman is more popular than ever, with the latest in the long line of Spiderman comicbooks topping the million sales mark. It is a remarkable achievement, especially for Tod McFarlane, the writer and illustrator, who was rumoured to have collected a cool quarter of a million dollars for the first issue in royalty payments.

This is Spidey's second computer outing. He was previously spinning his stuff on 8-bit machines, in an adventure game from Adventure International. Strangely, this time it is a puzzle game. It might nog seem such a good idea on paper considering the average gung-ho trigger happy computer gamesplayer, but on screen everything comes together, with absorbing puzzles, and a more than adequate challenge for your joystick skills.

Mysterio, one of Spidey's oldest adversaries, has kidnapped the web slinger's missus, Mary Jane Watson Parker, and hidden her in an abandoned movie lot. Obviously this gives a lot of scope for traps and characters. In fact the first bad guy on screen looks rather like R2D2, setting the mood for some really bizarre events later on.

In an industry which is increasingly leaning towards big graphics and countless frames of animation (usually at the expense of playability), it is ncie to see something which goes against the grain. The main Spiderman sprite is extremely small, neat and fun to control. Spidey can crawl on most surfaces, shoot webbing at the bad guys and, of course, swing around from line to line.

At the start the puzzles involve flicking switches and levers to free yet more switches and levers which will ultimately reveal a final exit, letting you into another themed section. Further on in the game the puzzles become more elaborate, set over several screens with plenty of bad guys.

For instance, there is a complex laser matrix that you have got to negotiate or else you will end up getting fried, and escape can only be accomplished by flicking a lever on the previous screen.

There is a novel restart system. When a level is finished Spidey arrives ina room with a huge clapper board. Jumping on its arm triggers a restart switch letting your continue from that point if anything untoward should happen. A Spiderman graphic at the side of the screen shows how much energy he has left, slowly transforming into a skeleton as he weakens. Should a full frame appear then it is scratch one arachnosapien.

Spiderman is virtually unrestricted in where he can move. Some surfaces have been deliberately Spider-proofed (i.e. made slippery) by Mysterio, causing some problems. These often add to the difficulty of a puzzle, as well as making escape from some traps extremely hard.

Releasing a potential action licence as a puzzle game is a daring move. The game is well executed and a lot of fun, so much so that I could not really envisage a Spiderman shoot em up now that I have played this. Controlling Spiderman is sometimes awkward, especially when you first start playing, but it is only a matter of learning how things work.

Spiderman is original, taxing and fun and could definitely be a surprise hit this Christmas.

The Amazing Spiderman logo

Empire, C64 £9.99 cassette, £14.99 disk; Amiga £24.99

The evil Mysterio is holding Spidey's wife, Mary-Jane, hostage in the Rockwell Film Studios. Your friendly neighbourhood webswinger immediately goes to the rescue. But the route to Mysterio's lair is filled with traps and plenty of energy-draining nasties. Spidey can temporarily freeze these by firing webs which he can also swing from and climb up. Most times though, he simply walks up the wall! Apart from various creatures, the main obstacle to Spidey's progress are the barriers and doors which can only be opened by finding the relevant switches. However, some traps - like electrified floors and spikes - are also activated by switches.

Additional hazards include slippery and magnetic surfaces, as well as holographic illusions.

Phil King After Empire's last Marvel game - the appalling Dr Doom's Revenge (48%/26%, Issue 60) - Spiderman is an improvement, but not much. The webbed wonder is made to look ridiculous, a tiny sprite who crawls over furniture rather than walk past it and regularly falls head-first onto the floor - if it wasn't so hilarious it'd break any Marvel fan's heart! Gameplay-wise, it's simply a matter of exploring, switching switches and webbing the odd creature. Not awful, but hardly Marvellous.
Stuart Wynne Spidey is an odd little game. The emphasis is very much on the puzzles, switches are scattered all over the place. But for this sort of game you need speed. Painstakingly climbing over chairs and desks soon gets irksome, while the tiny sprites, limited animation and spartan screen graphics mean there's little incentive to persist. Puzzle-loving webhead fans might find this acceptable, but its appeal is limited otherwise.