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Space Oddity: Lesbian Spider-Queens of Mars

No, no nipples for you today

Anna Anthropy / Auntie Pixelante (of Mighty Jill Off and Redder fame) takes a big old swing at a proper mainstream audience, with this playful b-movieesque, 8-bitesque web game for the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. Are you all titillated by the title? Are you? You’re a very silly boy/girl/spider-queen, aren’t you?

It’s a twitchy maze-shooter, a little in the Pac-Man vein but with a more openly aggressive player character. You are a Spider-Queen (I can only presume a lesbian one) and you’re attempting to stop a slave revolt with the help of a constantly firing laser beam (aka ‘bondage ray’) that imprisons the now armed and angry slaves on contact. Meantime, increasingly heavily-armed slaves are trying to hunt you down, so it’s game of chasing whilst being chased. The exact nature and purpose of the lady slaves is perhaps not explicitly described, but I think you can probably work it out.

It’s very simple, very knowingly silly, but very tight – an accurate evocation of the unflinchingly absolute control systems of the era of games it’s homaging/mocking, I’d say. Initially slow-paced and apparently heavily weighted in the player’s favour, it quickly becomes high-speed and intense.

The retro aesthetic and gentle (and less gently ironic) S&M themes might mean it’s very much a part of the Anthrophy oeuvre, but the strangeness of the always-on weapon means it’s an interestingly strange and challenging wee thing in its own right. There’s a little more about its genesis and inspirations (primarily Wizard of Wor, which I confess I’ve never played) here.

Play it in your browser, for free, now. No, there is no graphic nudity. Do grow up, lad.

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Alec Meer

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