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?
GRAPHICS AND SOUND
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.