My first thought upon playing auntie pixelante's latest creation--a twitchy, throwback of a game called Lesbian Spider-Queens of Mars--was that it could confidently and comfortably sit alongside such classic quartermunchers as Robotron and Sinistar.
Of course, pixelante was inspired by Midway's Wizard of Wor while creating Lesbian Spider-Queens of Mars--she even goes so far as to call the latter a "reinvention" of the former in a recent blog post--so it's likely she expected or at least hoped for such a reaction.
Regardless, her creation is a more-than-reasonable reproduction of those stress-filled games so many of us relished as kids. Calling Lesbian Spider-Queens of Mars a simple facsimile of its predecessors, though, does both it and pixelante a disservice.
Sure, Lesbian Spider-Queens of Mars looks and sounds a lot like the aforementioned games that inspired it--what with its sparse backdrops and pixelated baddies (who the titular protagonist taunts with appropriately lo-fi barbs like "I'm not finished yet!" and "Kneel before your queen!")--but it blazes a few trails, too.
Case in point: Lesbian Spider-Queens of Mars, like many of today's Flash-based games, is a one-handed affair. The titular Spider-Queen's "bondage ray" is always on, so all gamers have to do is aim said ray at one of her highness' escaped slaves in order to wrap them up and rope them in.
If you think that might sap the game of the tension that's typical of the genre, think again. Even without a shoot button there's plenty to stress out about while playing Lesbian Spider-Queens of Mars--especially when the attackable-only-from-certain-angles Armors, fiery Alchemists and slippery Assassins (all of whom are topless, by the way) start to fill the screen.
Thankfully, the tension never ratchets up so high that the game becomes unenjoyable or unplayable. Oh, you'll die--a lot, especially on the later boards--but if you're anything like me you'll have a blast right up until your last breath.
Play: Lesbian Spider-Queens of Mars