When it comes to 2D platformers California developer WayForward are quickly becoming our go-to developer, as they have be creating banger after banger in their signature Saturday morning art style. We are talking the Shantae series, River City Girls, The Mummy Demastered and the DuckTales: Remastered to name but a few, and their latest title is no different with Spidersaurs. A run and gun platformer that started life on Apple Arcade, but has now made the jump to the consoles. The game has an over the top tale that sees nightmarish dinosaur-spider hybrids – known as Spidersaurs – running amok and its up to you and a buddy (if you can find one) to stop these Jurassic Park inspired mishaps.
Created by InGest Corp when they were trying to solve world hunger, but something went wrong and the Spidersaurs got loose. It’s a tale built on pure pulp B-movie fair, but it’s enough to pull you through its adventure. You choose to play as officer-in-training Adrian or punk-rocker Victoria, an unlikely pair who survived an InGest incident, and who are armed to the teeth with some truly awesome firepower they must use over six stages of ferocious run-‘n’-gun action. You will find yourself blasting through a jungle, an infested laboratory and the heart of a live volcano meaning you never really know where you’ll be heading next on your globetrotting beast blasting journey.
Gameplay has a real Contra vibe, as you run through levels blasting monsters and grabbing power-ups to give you the upper hand in the next boss battle. What starts as a nice bit of basic platforming thrown in the mix soon changes, and beware that the further into the game you get, the more complex and frustrating the platforming becomes. When teamed with the high level of enemy spawns it starts to lose that fun vibe extremely quickly. This is a real shame as it starts out so well, but things just start to degrade over time and what may have been a good idea on paper in reality, becomes overly frustrating. Even as you evolve (getting a new skill) after each boss you defeat, like double jump or infinite wall climbing – it never loses the feeling of an enforced difficulty being push on you. It’s also worth saying that on top of all of these, the camera is out to get you too, as there are a number of sections where if you fall off screen, you lose a life and that happens way too often.
Visually WayForward do what they do best and it’s a treat for the eyes that fans will love and newcomers will be attracted to. Sound is OK and does the job, but never really hits a high. Spidersaurs is a strange title as it has all the elements you would expect from its developer, but also a lot of issues that really impact the title. This is a real shame as with a little bit of tweaking, you could easily turn it around.
An Xbox review copy of Spidersaurs was provided by WayForward’s PR team, and the game is out now on PlayStation, PC, Switch and Xbox for around £20.