Arcade Spiders title screen shot.

Developers: Sigma Ent. Inc. (arcade)
Entex (handheld)
Emerson Radio Corp.

(Arcadia 2001)

Publishers: Sigma Ent. Inc. (arcade)
Entex (handheld)
Emerson Radio Corp.

(Arcadia 2001)

Genre: Shooter
Release date(s): 1981 (arcade)
1982 (handheld)
? (Arcadia 2001)
Number of players 1-2 alternating turns (all?)
Input methods 2-way Joystick, 1 Button
Platforms Arcade Game, Handheld game, Arcadia 2001

Original arcade versionEdit


Players used their gun to fend off enemy spiders and various other targets as they constantly made their way towards the bottom of the screen, endangering players.

There were various different targets that posed a threat to players, as onscreen webs were constantly growing, which give birth to Cocoons, Spider Eggs, etc. Denizens of the game also had various mannerisms, as regular spiders floated down to the player’s[s’] area at a moderate pace, whereas the White Spider at the end of a wave quickly moved up and down the screen vertically, the Super Web was the fastest of all projectiles, shooting towards players’ guns at a very fast rate, etc.

If a player’s gun came into contact with anything (an enemy or any of its projectiles), the gun would be lost, the level would start over and the game would end when all guns were lost, along with if 16 spiders were to get past a player’s gun during a game (which is marked by a green meter bar at the bottom of the screen).

Handheld versionEdit


This was programmed by Jack Luepke at Advanced Microcomputer Systems, Pomona, CA, and released by Entex in 1982. The gameplay was changed a bit, making the White Spider a bit more prominent, as they started off from the very beginning of a game, and players had to shoot several of them before getting to the main part of the game where Cocoons and such were added later. The game also had two selectable skill levels.

Arcadia 2001 versionEdit

The gameplay follows the original pretty closely, although the web growth speed was increased, and the White Spider was turned yellow.


Although Spiders was not a big hit in the arcades, it still received a handheld port by Entex, along with a version for the Arcadia 2001 console.

Also, decades later, in 2011, the Vectrex homebrew of Zantis was released, which was "loosely" based on Spiders. The reasons for this was that Zantis programmer George Pelonis, at the time, was looking to "moving toward the idea of doing arcade games and remakes" and he felt that Spiders had "so much potential"[1] in regards to being a good game (as it was not well-received). The two games were not very similar due to many changes, such as the player being able to move their gun around the bottom portion of the screen (similar to Centipede), rather than just left and right, the game was simplified, with not as many entities onscreen at any given time (such as no Spider Eggs, web segments or Seeds), the game mainly consisted of Zantis creatures rapidly emerging from cells in a faster manner than with Spiders emerging from Cocoons, etc.


Occasionally the "Space Mona Lisa"[2] would appear after a wave and wink at the player on the arcade game. The current scoring table was also briefly shown before the beginning of every new wave.



  1. E-mails from Pelonis.
  2. Spiders manual.

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