The Past and the Future of Spider-Man Games


Spider-Man fans have never had to look too far to find interactive entertainment related to their Marvel hero. Spider-Man has inspired numerous games, spanning home computers, consoles, smartphones, and tablets.

Few characters could boast a presence on Atari’s original 2600 console as well as the PlayStation 4, but Spider-Man is one of them. In this article, we take a look at the vast range of Spider-Man games, both past and future. 

The First Generation

Spider-Man’s first leap into gaming was on the primitive but much-loved Atari 2600 console, back in 1982. The game involved climbing skyscrapers and diffusing bombs, and is looked back on fondly by retro gamers, who describe it as “a good 8-bit game” where “one’s imagination fills in the gaps.”

Following Spider-Man’s console debut, he graced practically every console and home computer of both the 8-bit and 16-bit eras. His first portable outing was on Nintendo’s Gameboy in 1990. The Amazing Spider-Man was a side-scrolling game produced by Rare that boasts positive reviews to this day.

In 1991, nine years after his console debut, Spider-Man finally arrived in the arcade in the form of Spider-Man The Video Game. The game was produced by Sega and was a beat-em-up delivered in an upright cabinet format.

Moving into Present Day

As the new millennium arrived, Activision took over the Spider-Man license. The software house started off with a multi-format title (named simply Spider-Man), which was available on formats including PlayStation, Nintendo 64 and even Microsoft Windows. This “action adventure beat-em-up” won positive acclaim, and remains popular with Spider-Man fans who have left a number of positive IMDB reviews for it.

As the original PlayStation was replaced by the PS2 and then the PS3, and the Nintendo 64 was replaced by the GameCube and then the Wii, the Spider-Man games kept on coming. There were no less than 17 titles released across multiple formats between Spider-Man in 2000 and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in 2014. The majority of these titles were produced by Activision, with Gameloft taking the lead on mobile titles.

Mobile Games

Ever since The Amazing Spider-Man on the Gameboy back in 1990, Spider-Man has kept up a presence on portable consoles, with various game releases for Nintendo’s DS and 3DS range, as well as a few for Sony’s PSP and Vita options. In 2004, Nokia even ported Activision’s Spider-Man 2 to their ill-fated N-Gage, which was a hybrid mobile phone and portable console.

An unexpected side-effect of the release of Apple’s iPhone in 2007 was the sudden popularity of smartphone games. Unsurprisingly, Spider-Man spun his way onto the mobile gaming bandwagon, with a couple of dedicated games and two ports of console titles.

The most stand-out mobile Spider-Man title has to be Spider-Man Unlimited, an endless runner style game. It was released in 2013 and is still available for iOS, Android and Windows Phone. iTunes Store reviews average out at 4.5 Stars for the game, a significant achievement for a title that’s been out for so long.

Casino Games

Spider-Man also has a foothold in online casinos. Like many Marvel characters, Spidey has been the subject of bonus round slot machine games, including Spider-Man and Attack of the Green Goblin, both of which were produced by Playtech

However, it’s now impossible to find these titles live since Playtech switched to producing DC universe slots early in 2017. People who wish to play casino games with similar heroes can find plenty of slot games on the Sun Bingo website, including games featuring BeoWulf, Thor, and Wonder Woman. 

Thor’s Thunder, in particular, is very much like the Spider-Man slot games of old. The game features a progressive jackpot, known as the Thunder Jackpot, and there are various bonuses, including a hammer-based bonus round and multiple wild symbols.

The Future

After such a run of Spider-Man titles up until 2014, there’s been something of a lull in recent years. However, all eyes are now on Spider-Man PS4, which is scheduled for late 2017.

Spider-Man PS4 is the working title for a new epic console adventure being produced by Marvel and Insomniac Gamesthe developers behind the PlayStation’s popular Ratchet and Clank series. Spider-Man fans will no doubt be hoping for something special after such a long gaming hiatus for the superhero.

However, impatient fans needn’t despair. With approximately 40 previous Spider-Man titles out there, there’s sure to be something worth trying out on an older console – or even a smartphone. There’s never any need to feel deprived of Spider-Man gaming!

(5) Comments

  1. custom onesie adult

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  2. Bill

    My favorite is still "Spider-Man" for the PS1 (which is what I played it on), and it's sequel "Enter Electro". Both together were like one long excellent game. I probably played "Spider-Man" all the way through no less than 25 times. I liked it that much. It was the first Spidey game with alternate skins that aloud you to play in different costumes inside the actual game. The first time I put on the black symbiote suit I couldn't wipe the smile off my face for hours. And to make it ever cooler, each costume offered upgrades in your powers (like unlimited webbing with the black suit) or even downgrades (like only 2 web cartridges in the Peter Parker skin). Plus there were hidden Spider-Man comics throughout the game for the player to find, which unlocked more costumes and hidden levels, like the mind blowing "What-If" alternate version of the game (complete with an appearance by the Watcher). There was just so much fun to be had and so much replay value. And it was all 100% comic book based (no movie crap). It even had Stan Lee himself voicing the opening narration. What more could you want? To this day it's still the best , most fun, and most faithful Spider-Man experience you can get in a video game. At least IMO. It may be a bit crude by today's slick game standards, but at the time it practically changed my life.

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