Classic Retro Video Game Reviews

Parker Brothers Spider-Man -Atari 2600
Retro Gaming Review

Atari 2600 VCS console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game ReviewParker Brothers Spider-Man for Atari 2600 Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Title: Spider-Man
Manufacturer: Parker Brothers
Platform: Atari 2600
Release Date: 1982
Part #: PB5900
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
ESRB Rating: N/A

Rating: Parker Brothers Spider-Man Classic Retro Video Game Review Rating
Parker Brothers Spider-Man Screenshot:
Parker Brothers Spider-Man for Atari 2600 screenshot Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review Spider-Man screen shot 2

I've played countless super hero games across a variety of platforms and recall several GameCube and Wii titles. I was surprised and delighted to discover that Spider-Man made his video game debut on the Atari 2600!

You might think that the intricacies of being Spiderman would tax the abilities of an early 8-bit game console. Strangely, this game plays quite well and Spiderman really looks quite good in all his pixelated glory. I wouldn't say a jagged black line adequately represents his web, but that's part of a good 8-bit game - one's imagination fills in the gaps. This is a fun game!

Spider-Man Story Arc

In New York City, at the mercy of the GREEN GOBLIN, Spiderman must battle this enemy and save the city from a series of bombs used to booby-trap the city's skyscrapers with SUPER BOMBS! He must save the city as the GOBLIN tries to stop his every move. Criminals and bombs - even the GREEN GOBLIN himself - stand between Spiderman and the city's future! Can he save the city in time?

Parker Brothers Spider-Man for Atari 2600 screenshot Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review

Spider-Man Game Play

The object of this 1 or 2-player game is to defuse as many Super Bombs as possible and score the most points along the way. You begin with 3 lives as you ascend the first skyscraper by shooting your web. You can shoot up, down or diagonally to move Spiderman up the building. The length of the web is determined by how long you hold the fire button. Your web must land on part of the building - not a window.

If the web lands on the window (or if an enemy cuts it) Spiderman will fall. A cool aspect of the game is the ability to shoot another web as you fall. This may well save your life. for a game in 1982, the ability to swing on the web to defeat bombs and enemies was pretty cool, but to shoot a web in free-fall was epic!

Holy shit! Check this out...
Spider-Man is both the first video game to feature Spider-Man and the first video game based on a Marvel Comics character. Parker Brothers was founded in 1883 in Salem, MA. In the back of the manual, there are two 800 phone numbers for reaching the Electronic Service Department.
One of the numbers is for Massachusetts residents - suggesting they still had offices in MA. There is also an address listed in Beverly, MA. It would seem that Parker Bros still had offices near Salem 100 years later!

You have a limited supply of web fluid. There is a bar graph at the bottom of the screen showing how much remains. If you run out you fall and lose a life. You can gain more fluid by defusing bombs and capturing criminals.

Moving over a criminal is all it takes to defeat him. This can be done via climbing or swinging. You'll get 30 points and more web fluid. Be careful! If a criminal appears in a window and Spiderman's web crosses him, the criminal will cut the web and our hero will plummet... unless he can shoot another web and regain his climb.

You'll get an extra life every 10,000 points and varied points for the various bombs you diffuse and captured criminals. There are 6 game options in total, but 3 are single-player and the rest for 2-players. Each of the 3 options vary the difficulty from easy to hard. From what I can tell the Difficulty Switches have no effect.

Atari 2600 VCS console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Final Judgement:

Parker Brothers Spider-Man

is a pretty cool 8-bit game. For it's era, it has a lot of tricks up it's sleeve. From web slinging and swinging to capturing criminals and diffusing bombs, Spiderman is remarkably well rendered and moves quite well. He has more than enough of the super hero look to make this a fun game.

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