Spidersaurs Worth It 1

I was excited to finally play WayForward’s newest run ‘n gun. I’ve been a fan of the genre my whole life and, obviously, new releases these days are few and far between. Spidersaurs is very clearly in the mold of the Contra games, another reason I was so looking forward to giving it a go. After all, WayForward is no stranger to the series, as it made Contra 4 for the Nintendo DS. The game initially launched on Apple Arcade due to an exclusivity deal, and is now available on all other platforms. But the question stands: is Spidersaurs worth it?

Trouble shows up shortly after launching the game the first time. See, despite the fact that WayForward has put over a dozen games out on PC, Spidersaurs has no PC options. And I mean nothing. As far as I can tell, the game launches at 720p and you absolutely cannot change it. I looked for a config file in the install folder and couldn’t find anything there either. As such, I noticed a lot of jagginess in the game’s graphics. I have no idea how this was overlooked, but it was. This is an incredibly lackadaisical port.

 

But at least the gameplay and level design should be up there, right? After all, who better to make a Contra homage? Unfortunately, Spidersaurs is a completely underwhelming run ‘n gun. The premise is cute: a company has spliced spiders and dinosaurs to sell them as food. Things go awry and the containment facility is breached, so it’s up to a girl with a guitar and a guy with a potato gun to stop the monsters. Dialogue is fully voiced by a talented cast and generally funny, but that’s where the positives stop.

Spidersaurs Worth It 2

No crisis

Spidersaurs is simply bland. The character designs and monsters are unimaginative and dull. And the levels are the same: lab area, random forest, volcano filled with lava, ugh, a sewer. To make things worse, the level design, enemy types, and enemy placement are all mediocre at best. Like Contra, characters can hold two weapons, but most of the weapon types aren’t fun to use and the enemies aren’t fun to fight. The game isn’t hard so much as it’s consistently cheap. There are hazards throughout the levels that will hit you the first time you play through solely because you can’t know they’re there and there isn’t adequate time to dodge.

Depending on positioning, it can be impossible not to take damage as well. Sometimes Spidersaurs will spawn you in a position where you have to take damage in order to continue. Enemy projectiles can come from offscreen and there are plenty of occasions where they’re the same color as the background, making them hard to see.

You have a few lives when you start each stage and there’s a checkpoint after the miniboss that lets you start from there if you lose all of your lives. But there’s no checkpoint before the boss, meaning that getting through the second half of a level is typically based around equal parts memorization and luck. I got so sick of replaying each level just to get to the boss with enough health, only to quickly lose lives due to BS.

Spidersaurs Worth It 3

I had high hopes for Spidersaurs, but it’s simply not a good run ‘n gun. It’s not fun, the levels, enemies, and shot-types are bland and boring, level elements are poorly balanced, and bosses are tedious and slow. The lack of any resolution options only serves to make this an even harder sell. So, no, as far as I’m concerned, Spidersaurs is not worth it. Go replay the older Contra games or Mighty Goose.

Andrew Farrell
Andrew Farrell has an extreme hearing sensitivity called hyperacusis that keeps him away from all loud noises.  Please do not throw rocks at his window.  That is rude.  He loves action and rpg games, whether they be AAA or indie.  He does not like sports games unless the sport is BASEketball. He will not respond to Journey psych-outs.

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