Webbed: Become a Spider and Web Your Way to Victory!

Webbed the indie game

Here we have Webbed from Aussie indie team Sbug in Queensland. In this one, you take control of an adorable spider! NO arachnophobia here. Promise.

In fact, this one is more like a pixel art version of Ori and the Will of the Wisps. Which is something to celebrate. Hurray!

Make Friends With Ants in Webbed

Webbed is one of those life-affirming 2D platformers that puts a spring in your step. Kind of like Yoshi’s Story (1998), minus the brain melting cute overload.

Officially, it’s a puzzle platformer. This is where it stands out from other games in its genre, as there’s a big emphasis on solving various environmental things you come across. There’s a non-linear structure to the game, plus an inventive web gameplay mechanic that sees you hurtling around all over the place.

There’s a big interconnected map you need to explore, which reminds us a bit of the glorious Yoku’s Island Express (2018).

With five unique areas to explore, each one populated by an insect colony.

As for you, player person, you star as Buddy. She’s a female jumping peacock spider. Armed with her webbing abilities (and a kind of laser gun thing), you can catapult yourself around the map and reach high up, or low down, areas. Behold!

So, yes, in the plot your boyfriend is kidnapped by a Satin Bowerbird. And you have to go off to rescue him (that’s a bit of a play on the original Super Mario Bros. game from 1985, where you have to rescue the kidnapped Princess Peach).

This involves getting help from friendly local wildlife, including some ants, with a big focus on talking to characters to understand what needs fixing (the ant colony has a bunch of tanks and stuff). All of which helps you to progress to new areas of the map.

Webbed’s non-linear approach is one of its greatest assets, but also a bit of a problem. We didn’t find it very accessible. It’s not a platformer you just pick up and play as you almost immediately start encountering blockades to your progress.

You get a brief intro to the controls, then immediately you’re up against puzzles. And we can imagine some gamers getting baffled by that and abandoning the thing.

Plus, at times we found working the webbed control system a chore. It’s a fiddly game—at one point you have to rescue a stuck ant by laboriously webbing him up onto a platform.

That bit… total pain in the arse.

Intuitive the controls are not and it can be a frustrating experience just shifting something like, for example, a cog around (which you have to do a lot early on).

However, issues aside we think Webbed is largely a charming adventure. The personality it bestows into every single creature you meet is brilliant. Alongside its charming look, you also get an upbeat and playful soundtrack by Dutch composer Stijnvan Wakeren.

Getting to play as a cute little spider is a delight, too, but we still can’t shake a little bit of disappointment from the Webbed experience.

Sharpening up the controls a bit would have helped. Otherwise we can’t say we think this is a modern platforming classic. Instead, it’s just good. But we were hoping it’d be excellent.

Full credit to Sbug for trying something different here, though.

The indie team may have fallen a little short of greatness here, but the Webbed result is still a short, but sweet, adventure puzzle fans can have a fun old time with.


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