for C64

Mr Creosote:
Company: Scott Adams
Year: 1984
Genre: Adventure
Theme: Based on Other Media / Cartoon & Comic / Misc. Fantasy / Text-based
Language: English
Licence: Commercial
Views: 14975
Review by Mr Creosote (2002-06-05)

Spiderman - the first superhero who was a teenager. He was just a normal shy geeky teenager who wanted to attract girls, but didn't know how to start a conversation with them. He had his problems at home with his aunt. He didn't know what to do with his life. Basically just the usual problems of growing up - something the readers could directly identify with.

That was back in the early 60s. And it has almost nothing to do with this particular game. Why I'm telling this then? Because for some reason, despite being the one of the main reasons for Spiderman's success, this breakthrough of the series, what set them apart from others, is almost unknown to non-insiders! And a bit of 'general education' in history can never hurt ;)

So what do we have here? A piece of Interactive Fiction made by Scott Adams. Yes, the same Scott Adams who made Pirate Adventure, one of the undisputable classics of the late 70s. Spiderman is a part of the Questprobe series which he did in collaboration with Marvel Entertainment. The other parts feature Hulk, The Thing and The Torch.

This mini-series was first released in 1978 in pure classic IF style: text, text and more text. In 1984, remakes were released on the 'modern' systems (including the C64) though. These featured graphics in addition to the text parser. And the Spiderman I'm offering here is the said remake.

Phew, so much explaining.... let's get to the game itself. As you can imagine from a game made in the 70s, the parser is a classic verb-noun one. More than two words aren't accepted. Puzzles are very simple and straight forward. Most of it is running around, just like in one of these classic treasure hunts.

Some puzzles are actually quite clever and imaginative, but those are unfortunately a minority. The game is mostly dominated by searching every room to discover hidden objects and beating bad guys. And.... ahem....... carrying around a complete set of furniture, but still crawling up walls? Baaaaaad!

The graphics are sub-par for the mid-80s. Static, that's ok, yes. But the drawings themselves look kind of sloppily made, too. Most characters aren't even really recognizable if there wasn't the text saying “Lizardman is here”.

And now we come to the embarrassing part: I have no idea what this game is about! Spiderman just finds himself in some building where for some reason many of his biggest enemies roam around. And there are a lot of gems lying around (some protected by the baddies) which he has to collect and deliver to Madame Web. At least you win the game if you do. And when you've done, you get a password. Ah. What for? The game is ends without one word of explanation what kind of gems those were, why they lay around spread in the building, what the evil ones wanted there and anyway!

Well, I don't expect in-depth storylines, but this really goes too far. I can't really identify with a character if I have no idea what he's up to. The game is not really bad, but don't expect anything like Scott Adams' real classics.

Comments (1) [Post comment]

Mr Creosote:
Cheers to everyone who came here from Google searching for 'spiderman walkthrough' :P