If you don’t follow the GayGamer’s blog, you probably should, or else you may miss hearing about cool games like Lesbian Spider-Queens of Mars. The titillating title screen caught my attention, and positive comparisons to the classic Wizard of Wor made me try it out at Adult Swim Games.
You’re the spider queen, and you’ve been dethroned by a mysterious challenger. Topless girls run wild, basking in their new-found freedom from your arachnoid clutches. The goal is simple: skulk through the star-lit mazes and snare the love slaves with your webbing to reclaim them. The controls are also simple: use the arrow keys to move. Your “gun” is always turned on, which is a disappointing simplification (but not surprising, since this is a Flash game). Mastering Spider-Queens isn’t so simple, though, as the slaves run fast, they swarm, and they possess a variety of abilities.
Some slaves merely run around with brandished knives — snare them before they stab you. Others carry web-repellent shields, so they need to be approached from the rear. Priestesses leave trails of flame in their wake, and the Princess just moves really quickly (like the Worluk!) while emitting space-age sounds. Capture them all — or let them escape — to end a stage. The levels all have evocative names like “the dungeon” and “the bathhouse”, but they’re all visually similar: walls, starfield backdrop, and topless lady sprites.
After a slave has been shot and entangled, she needs to be claimed. This blatant objectification adds a shade of strategy to the game; aim to the left to halt a mohawk chick, then turn to the right and hunt down that knife-throwing assassin who’s hiding behing the wall. Hunt for too long and the entrapped mohawk girl will break free from her bonds, but she’ll become ENRAGED and transform into a double-speed Berserker for a limited time. It’s all about learning how the game works and prioritizing. Spider-Queens does become silly near the end, with legions of topless ladies blazing around the screen, but simple games increase the difficulty through simple means.
This fancy Flash title is a sultry but worthy take on Wor. It’s even got the vocal taunts down, although lacking the source material’s two-player mode that kept my brother and I awake at night. Lesbian Spider-Queens of Mars may not have the complexity of fellow Wor-like Crosstown, but after spending a few hours to master all the stages and beat the final boss, I felt mentally pumped. That’s how I like to feel when a game ends.