The story

Black Widow was an old vector arcade game released by Atari Games way back in 1982. Use two joysticks to control a spider in this uncommon Atari vector classic.

The game

In Black Widow you have to move around a web using two joysticks to control the action. The left joystick moves, while the right joystick fires. Robotron 2084 players will feel right at home playing this game, as the controls are identical.

You have to defend your little vector spider around her vector web in order to keep out all the deadly bugs. Shoot down bugs and they turn into bonuses. Watch out for eggs, if you see any eggs, then you should quickly push them off the web before they hatch. Other enemies include mosquitos, beetles, and hornets.

All in all this is a pretty fun game, it is quite a bit like Robotron 2084, but differs with the vector graphics and the more varied gameplay.

The Machine

All Black Widow games were conversions of other Atari vector titles. Even the brand new ones were actually Gravitar games that Atari converted at the factory. In general this title shared a lot of common components with Gravitar and Space Duel, and Black Widow machines are often used to repair those titles.

Where to play

MAME supports this title perfectly, although you will need some sort of twin joystick setup if you plan on controlling it correctly. You can either purchase an I-Pac and some arcade controls and make your own, or purchase one of those little gamepads that have the dual analog controllers on them (I believe they are called "Dual Strike", or perhaps "Dual Shock").

You might want to consider adding this to your arcade game collection. It is quite a fun game, but games that use X-Y monitors tend to be very problematic, and not to mention expensive. Checking over various eBay auctions from the recent past, I have been able to determine that a non-working Black Widow machine is worth about $300, while a working one will not sell with an $800 price tag. So figure the value of a working one lies somewhere inbetween those two extremes.