Atari 2600 – Spider Fighter


Why is there a green rainbow?

For real tho.
This is an arcade shooter by Activision so I expect an orange/sh*t brown rainbow on the box.
Weirdly enough, this game sold relatively poorly and was even panned by critics back then.
I can see why, but…

There’s no story to be found here.
Basically, you see four fruits in the top right corner and various kinds of insects try to steal it.
Some of them are supposed to represent spiders but apart from moving erratically, they look nothing like these eight-legged freaks and more like fuzzy bouncy balls.
That’s fine by me since spiders give me the creeps but a few legs would have been nice.
Yes, the word I’m looking for is “lazy”.
Lazy programming.

Anyhow, not only are they fast, they also shoot lasers (because video games).
So jump into your spaceship(?) and fire back.
If you survive a wave without losing a fruit you gain an extra life.

Here the deal:
Protecting your fruits is far too easy.
Even if a spider grabs it they still have to drag it outside the screen. Enough time to blast the f*cker.
I guess that’s why the shooting work a bit differently from other games.
Holding down the fire-button does not mean you’ll shoot an endless stream of bullets. You fire three bullets and then you have to press it again.
That’s fine and makes it slightly more challenging but it’s also really exhausting.
For me and my joystick.

Like the last few games I’ve played, there’s a tactic here which can easily break the game.
Enemies always, without exception, swarm in from the left.
So if you position yourself at the right spot and hammer the fire-button you will likely never lose since you get a bonus live after every stage.
Turning the difficulty-switch to expert somehow makes the game even easier.
Having no additional gameplay variations seals the deal:
This is a shooter for absolute beginners.
And hey, they’ll probably enjoy it.

The controls are fine, the graphics are colorful (except for the boring black background) and the sound effects arent intrusive either.
Intermediate players and pros:





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