Before there was Lesbian Spider-Queens of Mars, there was Wizard of Wor, but nobody remembers that game, so instead we all get to smirk about what may end up being the best game title of year. It's hard not to have a knee-jerk reaction to a title that includes the words "lesbian," and "spider-queens," but if you can gather whatever brain cells you have left out of the gutter and move along, you'll find a wholly enjoyable arcade game here.
Lesbian Spider-Queens of Mars is a tribute to Wizard of Wor, so don't get your nerd-panties entangled in your politically correct craw and start sounding off in the comments just yet. Created by Anna Anthrophy, LSQM is a 2D arcade game that mashes up Pac-Man with shooty-tying-bondagey mechanics and sends it off into space. You play as the eight-legged (and presumably lesbian) monarch as she tries to stave off a slave rebellion by tying up slaves and turning them into diamonds.
There are fourteen mazes in total, each having a set number of enemies that get progressively quicker and more overwhelming as the game moves onward. You'll only need the arrow keys to get around; the silk-shooting is done automatically, so all you have to spend your time worrying about is the billions enemies rushing you. If you stink at these types of things, don't worry too much -- you'll be able to continue as long as you damn well please, the only caveat being you won't be able to post your final score.
The sound effects and music are all fitting to the subject at hand. Amon26's score would work perfectly in an arcade cabinet in 1985 and the voices are delightfully bit-crunched into oblivion to sound exactly like the poorly conceived attempts of the '80s to add voice into games.
The S&M tones, retro look and sound and the pure absurdity of it all make sure it's a good fit in Anthrophy's repertoire, but the shooting, challenge and strangeness ensure it'll appeal to a wider audience. It manages to be clever, intuitive and enjoyable, all while never breaking from the retro clichés. It doesn't sound like much, but making a game that earnestly and honestly feels old, not just old-school, is harder than it seems.
It probably sounds very NSFW, but get your head out of the internet bubble -- it's perfectly safe for play by all ages. Capture those slaves here.
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