Black Widow

Black Widow

Free
A freeware remake of the 1982 Atari arcade game that retains its retro graphics.
 
License type: Freeware

Black Widow is a challenging arena shooter game originally created by Atari as a standalone arcade game in 1982, adapted for the Mac in this faithfully vectortastic remake. Gameplay appears to remain unchanged from the original while a number of features have been added, such as an online high score list, browsable instructions, an original soundtrack, and a number of graphical options. Truly self-brutalizing players can also choose to start out from a higher level.

The player controls a spider which is, ironically, being hunted down by a variety of insects on its web. To defeat the insects the spider can fire projectiles in any joystick-friendly direction while moving around the web independently. There are restrictions to both actions though: only a few projectiles can be present on the screen if more are to be fired, and each level may contain some uncrossable web strands.

It's fairly easy to pick the game up without even looking at the instructions (although it is helpful to know in advance which bugs are and are not harmful to the player). However, the rapidly increasing difficulty and lack of a cohesive backstory will dissuade most from continuing beyond a few attempts.

Sam Lloyd
Editor rating:

Review summary

Pros

  • A quality free game remake that will appeal to nostalgic baby boomers

Cons

  • Difficulty curve that doesn't necessarily appeal to modern audiences
  • Controls don't translate well to a keyboard
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