Spider Fighter [Atari 2600] – Review

The first of two games that new hire Larry Miller would design for Activision.
The first of two games that new hire Larry Miller would design for Activision.

It’s time to harvest the backyard garden and all the neighborhood pests know it! Larry Miller’s Spider Fighter for the Atari 2600 has players spraying various pests with repellent in order to protect a burgeoning fruit orchard. This game was a vibrant, fast-paced shoot ‘em up that put the Atari 2600, and players, to task.

Each stage begins with the fruit on the right side of the screen and the pests to the left. The pests begin buzzing and crawling about the screen trying to get closer to what they desire. With ample bug blasters, players dart around the screen and launch poison pellets at the critters in what can only be described at a machine gun rate of fire. It’s necessary though as the game’s difficulty ramps up after some time. Spider Fighter plays like a well-oiled machine and looks and sounds fantastic; utterly top-notch!

What starts out breezy, does not remain easy.
What starts out breezy, does not remain easy.

If anyone can last 180 and 300 seconds, they’re rewarded with a gameplay mode and a patch in Activision Anthology. Originally, the patch was awarded to players who mailed in a photo of a score of 40,000 points or more – a much tougher feat.

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