The Amazing Spider-Man (Amiga)

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The Amazing Spider-Man

In my days of Amiga gaming this was the game I played the most once released. The Amazing Spider-Man was released in 1990 and could be played on multiple systems including the Atari St and the Commodore 64. It was a multi-screen platform game where you controlled everyone favorite web-headed hero on his quest to save Mary Jane from the evil Mysterio.

amazing_spider-man_amiga

Now the first thing that grabbed me was its theme song. I must have watched the info a million times just to hear it, seriously it’s almost intoxicating. I will admit that after that the game did let me down slightly.

The graphics were not that good compared to other games on the Amiga and the in game sound effects were just as behind the times, but the variance in game-play is what made this game addictive. Unlike many of the Spider-Man games of today which is mainly fighting, ASM was a puzzle solving game where your goal was to navigate Rockwell film studios to get to Mysterio’s lair.

the amazing spiderman - Amiga - gameplay screenshot

The controls were pretty simple, the Amiga used the same one button joystick as the Atari, but there were keyboard controls as well, but they were mainly for pausing or quitting the game. You could make spidey walk or climb up walls and even walk on ceilings in some cases. You could also fire your web to swing from place to place.

The game might look and sound simple, but believe me it was not. Here is the layout. Within the studio is a series of rooms that spidey must make it through to get to Mary Jane. Each room has walls and trapsand enemies to deal with in order to move on to the next. The way you progress is to hit a switch or a series of switches to open the way to the next room. This is easier said than done as there are many obstacles in your way including, robots, poison gas, reverse gravity, illusory, magnetic and slippery walls.

The Amazing Spider-Man - Amiga - Gameplay Screenshot - 2

What made this game addicting is pretty much what made Portal so much fun. Some of the traps were well thought out and took time to fight out how to overcome them. The puzzles made you think and sometimes pissed you off, but when you solved them it was pretty cool. You really never fought against anyone. Even the robots you encountered were there for you to avoid or stun with your web and then avoid.

amazing_spider-man_amiga, cover

One thing that freaked me out was the health meter on the Amiga display. It showed a picture of Spider-Man on the side standing tall in his costume. When you would take damage his body would slowly fade away revealing his skeleton beneath. So as you are playing and losing health you see yourself turning into a skeleton which to me added a really creepy element.

The game was far from perfect and suffered from some quirky controls at time as well as programming issues where walls would not work the way they should or you would randomly die for no reason. Also, sometimes the save would not work correctly which almost cost me an Amiga one day when I lost a ton of progress and almost smashed it.

A game like this would never make it today. It took time to play. Sometimes you would be in a room for an hour trying to figure it out. I understand that a game can’t be to frustrating, but the difficulty in puzzle solving and trap navigating was refreshing. Sure the graphics and sound were not that great, but the overall package was worth my time.

You can check it out yourself by finding an Amiga emulator and getting the ROM of the game, but I warn you if you can’t handle slow progress, difficult puzzles and little action then don’t put yourself though the trouble. If you are truly a old school player and want a challenge give this game a shot and let us know what you think.

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J.A. Laraque

J.A. Laraque is a freelance writer and novelist. His passion for writing mixed with a comedic style and intelligent commentary has brought him success in his various endeavors. Whatever the subject, J.A. has an opinion on it and will present it in writing with an insight and flair that is both refreshing and informative.