I like webs, even if spiders scare me
Sorry if you have friends who are spiders, I’m sure they’re nice enough, but they sure made me feel sick for a lot of my life.
Most creatures with extra legs freaked me out. And anything with extra legs that flies. Cockroaches are the bane of my existence. However, over the years I have noticed that spiders still have a bad reputation. That being said, spiders in Australia are much more likely to do damage than anywhere else. But alas, more recently I found that my arachnophobia was fading, or at least becoming more selective.
The representation of spiders nowadays has become more cutesy than before. Lucas The Spider, a short series of videos about a curious little jumping spider, made me smile and say “awww”. Previously, I would have felt sick watching content like this, but it was so sweet that I felt like I was melting. After that, after reading John’s thread on Webbed and getting my hands on a copy for the Nintendo Switch, I decided to see how my fear of creepy robots would take it.
Webbed is a 2D adventure platformer created by Brisbane-based studio Sbug Games and follows the story of a little spider on an adventure to save her boyfriend from a bird. As a spider, you weave webs and traverse areas to solve puzzles and help other insects you encounter on your travels. The game was recently released on Nintendo Switch and Xbox, and I got my hands on the former. It takes a quick second to get used to a controller’s commands, but once you get the hang of it, you’re ready for the rest of the game.
An interesting thing about Webbed is that there is actually an arachnophobic setting, where all spiders in the game are displayed as round blobs instead. This can be great for those with a more severe case of arachnophobia, but I ultimately decided to forgo this option as I felt I had to go into spider mode to really understand.
I guess it was fate that when I started playing Webbed, a hunter spider egg decided to hatch in my kitchen, resulting in many baby spiders everywhere. It took me back to a moment in Webbed where you are tasked with finding another spider’s little babies, scattered all around the bee area. Despite the size of adult hunter spiders, their babies are very small. In semi-Webbed fashion, I found myself taking the little babies I found scattered around my bedroom and bathroom, and putting them outside because I couldn’t find their mother and didn’t feel like looking for her.
While it’s irrational to link animal behaviors to human nature, it helps to think, “These weird little guys are just trying to live their lives, kind of like me.” They probably have a job and eat like me. Sometimes it’s easier to overcome our fears if we put ourselves in the place of what scares us. So I did.
Webbed plays great on Switch so far. When I started playing the tutorial, I faced a random crash while trying to press the minus button, but after that crash, it never happened again. As mentioned earlier, the controls take a bit of getting used to, but nothing too difficult. While flying through the air while slinging webs is a treat, I succumbed to the fact that creating web paths through areas was a safer option for getting around most of the time.
The art style is beautifully detailed pixel art, and it takes a lot of the toll out of having to stare at bugs all the time. In my opinion, it’s pretty hard to make bugs look cute on someone who thinks they’re mean and rude. Alas, here I am as a bug-hating virgin, slowly rising to the level of a chad bug lover. Except for cockroaches. They can still fuck off.
Am I no longer arachnophobic? Not really. I can tolerate little baby spiders and allow a hunter to hang around my house. I’d like to meet one of the big-eyed spiders that do the funny little dance. Redbacks though? Funnel webs? bird eater spiders? They’re on my list of guys I don’t want to see in my life, thank you.
That being said, Webbed is a fantastic game for everyone, even those who think spiders are out of whack. You can be a spider or a blob. You can fly around the place and be a little silly. You solve problems the same way a spider does, giving you insight into how a spider would do things like build a hot air balloon or save a boyfriend from a bird. While I’m not going to take a spider out to dinner or let it live in my mouth, I at least decided their existence was perfect and had fun in the process. No shit here!