Back in the day when Spider-man still had a wife, Venom was not beign played by a That Seventeen´s Show actor and Broadway laughed at the idea of even considering making a musical about Spidey, there was an arcade game that made the little old me web my pants in excitement everytime i hitted the arcades shop.

Created by Sega on 1991, the game incorporated very stylized graphics to achieve a comic book art-style, everything looked suave, except for the hunched walk animation of our hero, he looks more like  a spider drunk. Shure should have listened to Aunt May:

-Posture Peter, posture!-

Even some dialogue balloons appear from time to time to accompany the recorded voices, specially when you are getting hurt, i thank the all powerful Jack Kirby in the sky for the lack of profanity, which on a second tought would have been hilarious.

You can go from an one player adventure up to a four player co-opperation which Could be a double edged weapon on a game where you can hurt your pals by throwing an enemy at them..

I personally miss that experience  of playing with three other people on the arcade, they didn´t even had to be my buddies, it was totally different from playing on line and even playing at home with some friends on a console.

 While you were right there you had no pause buttons, no bathroom breaks and only a few quarters, there is a sense of special camaradery when you are in that type of situations…that is you don´t have a jackass right beside you that gets the life icon when he has ony been but scratched and you are dying after an intense beating, and while there is a very limited amount of healing help through the game, i can only say hate is too small of a word next to the feeling my soul exuded when that happen. 

The cast of selectable characters was peculiar to say the least, accompanying the webhead was the Black Cat; Marvel´s answer to Batman´s Catwoman who was an usual ally and lover of Parker on the comic books, Avenger´s Hawkeye, man of action and archer extraordinaire who i guess collaborated a couple times with Spider-man during the Secret Wars. Last but not least was Namor the Submariner who….uhm, yeah, the king of the ocean and speedos is cool and all except for the fact that he has absolutely nothing to do with the webhead!

Well, it could be worse, at least he is not a raccoon shooting rockets is he?. Now THAT would be completely random.

Each one of the heroes has a special move which depletes your life represented by numbers on the bottom of the screen instead of a lifebar. Why on hell shooting a web line would kill Spider-man is beyond me, unless of course you go with the Tobey Maguire version of the story and he is shooting some fluid from who knows what gland of his body which he forces so much that his heart stops. Each time i think of a bad guy getting covered on that thing i get more and more convinced that Tobey´s version is indeed a pervert.

But i digress, the classic cast of archenemies appears in the game as well, everyone is here: The Scorpion, Electro, The Lizard and the then totally Extreme dude, Venom. on the other hand came the common soldiers, a bunch of guys who i can only describe as grown up versions of Super Mario 2 Shy Guys.

Yeah i know. Cool right?… and some had Jedi sabers to boot!, Also note worthy was the fact that their scream of HYUMMMM or HIIIIIIIIII, never, ever stopped!.  

The gameplay consists of a classic side scrolling beat em up except for a few times when the camera zooms out and turns it into a platform adventure when you have to climb up buildings or pursue a baddie.

The story is Basic. Doctor Doom grasped the Sorcerer´s Stone, a powerful artifact that can boost his powers, living him to finally reach his dream of world domination. Its a bit disappointing to see a villain outsider of Spiderman inner circle get the main role on a Spider-man game but hey that just me.  

The lack of variety on the moves of the characters prove to be the only drawback i can think of but  is in fact a big one, casual players could get pretty tired of it rather quickly unless they are big fan of the characters themselves.  I know most of the games at the time holded the same issue, even some present titles share this drawback, but with The Simpsons arcade and Double Dragon befote that allowing the release of different techniques by combining different characters i can but imagine what possibilities could have been used  with the Marvel Universe.

At the end of each level you get  the chance to see who was the MVP of the level killing the more shyguys and bosses and finally seeing a victory animation of your favorite hero.

With the recent releases as downloadable content of other arcade games of the time such as the X-Men and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I as a fan can only hope  for a future release of this classic and sincerely recommend it to any Spider-man and beat-em up fans out there.


The Unsung Pro & Contra`s, and the Rating


Pro & Contra



+ Comic book action in videogame form

– Not so great music

+ Great Graphics

– Weird sound effects, sometimes voices get unintelligible

+ Cooperative Gameplay

– At times as any other game of the genre it can get repeatitive  

+ Two different styles of gaming: beat em up and Platform styles


+ Fan favorite cast of enemies





The Different Factors





The fun of this game come from playing with friends as a team, to fans of the comic it will remain fun from beginning to end

Graphics & Character design


This is how a comic based videogame should look like, the visual part of the game setted it apart from the rest in the arcades.



The music isn´t as inspired as the rest of the game, and the producers where shameless enough to reuse music from previously released titles.

Soundeffects &Voices


Even tough they are cheesy and sometimes filled with bugs, the voice recordings of this game remain fun pieces of memorabilia to date, all except for the enemy shrieks which  remain unnerving at times.



Replay Value is scarce as any other game of the genre once, dosen´t matter with which character o end the game, the ending is the same. However due to is short legth, crash play trough with friends can still  be a blast



The controls felt smooth for the main part of the game however, whenever the game went to a platform mode, the jumping up and down dynamic gets clogged leading to a fare share of unjustified deaths beign devoured by a non stopping camera.

Features & Unique Content


I don’t remember many beat´em ups that were able to transform in other genre of games, the Platform parts help to keep it fresh



Ok lets face it, story wasn’t the strongest part of the game, and coming from a game that had years of source material that’s an unforgettable thing. Its mainly a crusade to stop every bad guy on the city but for a beat´em up that’s exactly what you would want.



Spider-Man the Arcade Game remain a cult favorite to this day along some other cooperative titles such as The Simpsons, X-Men and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles