I’m a sucker for a futuristic and neon-infused game. Yet, I wince at the thought of any twin-stick title. Accordingly, it was bittersweet when I received SpiderHeck. This visually striking game is breathtakingly beautiful, but undeniably simple at the same time. Furthermore, it has a hint of 80s magic and reminded me of the film Tron. However, its reliance on fiddly physics-based mechanics and a twin-stick control system filled me with dread. But, I’m a big boy and a professional and with a little practice, I knew I’d soon get the hang of it.
Developed by Neverjam and published by tinyBuild, this is an arcade and physics-based competitive and cooperative title. What’s more, it can be enjoyed solo or online with others. It has a handful of modes that include quick play, survival, and the Tiers of Heck. On top of this, the action is fast, brutal, and challenging. As such, it will push you hard, kick you harder, chew you up and spit you out. Subsequently, only the best players will complete every tier, and the worst players will be destroyed online.
SpiderHeck has no story, but it matters not.
Now, a story would have been nice. However, the lack of one matters not. Instead, you are left to your own devices in this wonderfully tough and hectic arcade experience. You control a spider that must battle waves of foes in an array of arena-based encounters. Your enemies are crazy-flying assholes that despise spiders. As such, they’ll do whatever it takes to annihilate you as quickly as possible.
This is the depth of SpiderHeck’s action. Effectively, it’s a deadly game of cat and mouse that involves guns, chasms, spiderwebs, and an awful lot of lava. Each level comprises 3 waves of varying enemies. What’s more, as you progress, the stages become more complex and the monsters are stronger, tougher, and more aggressive. Alongside this, the weaponry is ever-changing; the obstacles become more convoluted, and navigating the space is a real challenge. In short, the further you go, the more likely it is that you’ll quit through frustration and disappointment.
However, this is what makes SpiderHeck so brilliant! Its casual gameplay is easy to understand, but it is undeniably tough to master. Consequently, it is addictive and rewarding, even if you are likely to scream, shout, and swear repeatedly.
Guns, swords, and a weak as piss spider!
I’m not saying that a spider should be tough, but goddamn, this one is weak as piss. One little tap to its body and our hero folds quicker than a house of cards. Subsequently, you soon learn that jumping, dodging, and swinging are vital survival mechanics. However, running away only gets you so far and attack is often the best form of defence.
With a variety of guns, lasers, explosives, and swords at hand, our spider hero can shoot, slash, and explode its way to victory. Yet, it’s rarely that simple as your foes have shields and their own selection of weapons as well. Consequently, you must use your surroundings to best each enemy and overcome the 3 ensuing waves of monsters.
SpiderHeck looks incredible.
A good deal of indie games look great, but SpiderHeck is something altogether different. Thanks to its clean-cut lines and neon-infused imagery, it looks amazing. On top of this, the stage design is incredible, the creatures are interesting, and the action is flawless. Accordingly, this is one indie game that sets the bar extremely high, and visually, it won’t disappoint.
The gameplay is enhanced further thanks to the incredible audio. I adored the futuristic tones and electronic soundtrack. The upbeat and high-energy music pushes you to complete death-defying jumps whilst you hack up your enemies. This is then complemented by the loud and aggressive mix of OTT sound effects. The excellent blend of explosives, shrill electronics and cruel bludgeoning noises will make you smile.
The controls hurt my mind.
The controls are excellent. However, my skills and reactions are not. Accordingly, the learning curve was steep, and the controls hurt my mind and soul. But, more adept players will not struggle and veterans of twin-stick games will excel. Thanks to a basic layout, you’ll enjoy clambering on platforms, leaping through chasms, and swinging across vast gaps. Though I struggled with the controls, I soon found them enjoyable and rewarding once they clicked.
The good news continues, as this is addictive as hell. With many tiers to tackle, solo and online action to endure, and a tough but fair learning curve, this will entertain you for hours. The solo mode is phenomenal, but the online gameplay is better, still, as it is competitive, fun, and tough to put down.
SpiderHeck is a must-play title.
The phrase “must-play” is done to death. However, once more won’t hurt. If you want a challenging, rewarding, and casual arcade title that is a little unusual, then SpiderHeck has to be on your radar. I loved its presentation, stage design and simple mechanics. Moreover, its cruelty makes it oh so moreish. Unsurprisingly, I loved it and I recommend you to buy it here! Don’t let your foes defeat you. Grab a weapon, navigate each stage, and destroy anything that stands in your way.