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Miss Spider's Tea Party (PlayStation) artwork

Miss Spider's Tea Party (PlayStation) review

"Video games for the younger generation. Thatís what the world needs more of. Games like this one here. Games like Miss Spiderís Tea Party. Educational games that teach youngsters a few bits of basic education, yet providing some wholesome fun while doing it. Okay, so they might be a little educational and beneficial to little kids. But how is it as a video game? You know, howís its ďwholesome funĒ part? Well . . . . . . "

Video games for the younger generation. Thatís what the world needs more of. Games like this one here. Games like Miss Spiderís Tea Party. Educational games that teach youngsters a few bits of basic education, yet providing some wholesome fun while doing it. Okay, so they might be a little educational and beneficial to little kids. But how is it as a video game? You know, howís its ďwholesome funĒ part? Well . . . . . .

Hereís the entire plot of the game: (SPOILERS, I guess,) Miss Spider is planning a tea party, and she wants all of her insect friends to come to her bash. But she hasnít sent out any of the invitations yet. When she invites each friend of hers, they give an excuse as why they canít come at the moment. Your job is to help her friends so they can come to the party. Whoa. I feel the excitement rushing through my veins as Iím typing this.

There are eight different friends that you must help throughout the game. These include the Beetle, Grampy Spider, the Fireflies, the Butterflies, the Moth and the Caterpillar, the Crickets, the Bees, and the Ant. So this means that there are eight different tasks you must complete. Thereís no particular order that you have to follow, so youíre free to choose anyone you want to invite first.

The Beetles are a classic rock ní roll band that revolutionized Ė oh wait, weíre not talking about those beetles. Well, the Beetles in this game are not anywhere as great as those musical legends. The task that these guys have you do is get them across a river, Frogger-style. You have to hop on moving objects that are drifting down the stream to get across. Wait. Canít beetles fly? Weird. But imagine the first level of Frogger. Thatís what this is like. (And if you canít, then you need to go brush up on your classic video games, fooí!)

Ah. Itís time to relax with Grampy Spider. Whether heís related to Miss Spider is yet to be determined. Those blasted paternity tests take forever to receive! Oops. Sorry, I forgot this was a childrenís game. Anyhow, Grampyís dilemma is that heís too busy to attend the big bash because he has to reorganize his picture album. And you all thought you had too much to do. We have to help him out by matching the captions with the pictures. For example, the caption will say, ďTwo Red Butterflies,Ē and then youíre given three different pictures of various insects. You better pick the right picture, you heartless rapscallion. Win this game, and youíll win a handsome prize! Show them what theyíll win, Pat!

Okay, you wonít win anything at all. But you will be one step closer to completing the game! And thatís what everyone wants, right?

So whoís next on the list? Hey, itís the Fireflies! And you want to know their excuse for not coming to the party? They say they canít come to the party unless they find their exact match. You guessed it. Itís a matching game. Just like those classic ďMemoryĒ games. Sixteen cards are set up on 4x4 grid, each of them placed facedown. On the front side of each is a picture of multi-colored firefly. You pick two cards at a time, trying to get matches. Find all eight pairs of fireflies, and youíre done! Hooray!

Next up are those pesky butterflies. Theyíre too shy to come alone, so youíll have to find a whole gang of them. And theyíre not going to be so easily found. Itís a game of typical ďHide-and-Seek.Ē Find the camouflaged butterflies in a wild array of flowers and trees. Can you say headache? Playing this game is a real strain on your eyes. Maybe this was the intent the developers had. To damage the vision of young children, so they can profit from their Lenscrafters stock. Those cynical developers. And they probably thought they could get away with it too. What has the world become?

Weíre halfway there. Mrs. Moth and Mr. Caterpillar are next in line. This is pretty much a simple racing game where you have to dodge various obstacles in the path. Youíre not really racing anyone, but you have to make it down the hill in the allotted amount of time. You have to do this twice too, both for Mrs. Moth and Mr. Caterpillar. This game is by far the easiest, but also the least educational. Coincidence? Maybe. Oh, and I donít know whatís the deal between those two either, so donít ask me. And personally, I donít want to know.

Why if it isnít the Crickets! These guys really know how to liven up the party, so you HAVE to get them there! (Well, you technically have to get everyone there, but especially these guys!) The task they have you do is match various sounds to their instruments. Sounds vary from triangles to bass drums, from clarinets to cellos. Iím not really sure how kids are supposed to know these things, unless youíre some kind of kid genius. In that case, you should be playing more advanced video games, like Virtual Harvard or Who Wants To Be The President Of Papua New Guinea? Win this game and youíll receive a 2% discount at you local gas station! (See local gas station for more details. And by the way, Iím kidding. There is no 2% discount. I apologize for any inconvenience. Just donít sue me!)

You also have to invite some bees to the party. Why anyone would want buzzing, stinging bees at their party is beyond me. But youíre forced to, so thereís no getting past it. This game can be a little tough, even for older gamers. Youíre shown a picture of a flower for about five seconds, and then the image disappears. Then you have to choose that exact flower you just saw from a lineup of three flowers. It sounds easy, but it really isnít. You have to pay attention to the smallest details on the flower, such as the number and location of leaves, the number of thorns, and the shape of the stem. But you still have a one-in-three chance of being right, so donít be scared. Itís only a game buddy. Games canít hurt you. But then again, youíve never played JUMANJI!!!

Last, and certainly least, is the lone green ant. In this little event, you need to guide the ant through some giant underground maze. The maze itself is fairly easy. The problem is that the camera angle is too far zoomed in on the ant, and you really canít plan your route. Add to this the dumb remarks that the ant makes while roaming through the maze, and youíre in for a little bit of pain. Youíll cringe when you hear, ĒMiss Spider will be so disappointed if I am late!Ē over and over again. Either that, or youíll go deaf. Both ways, itís a lose-lose situation.

Finally, youíre done. Congratulations. You have just beaten a game intended for five-year olds. Upon beating the game, youíll be rewarded with a ten-second movie of the party. Enjoy it while it lasts. No seriously, enjoy it.

But those thousand words only describe the gameís content. What about the gameís other departments? Well, The graphics are pretty nice. Upon meeting with each insect, youíre greeted with a short CG movie. Although these movies may be a little blurry, theyíre good enough for an educational game. All of the other graphics are bright, colorful, and just plain nice, (except for that wretched Butterfly game. Ouch!)

The gameís audio is just as good. The music is cheerful, light, and childish. What else would you expect? An added plus is the well-done voice acting of each of the characters. I didnít expect them to be so good, but I was definitely surprised. And the sound effects are exceptional as well. Those clicks and beeps are just outstanding!

But what about the longevity of the game? Well, this game lasts as long as an M&M lasts in your mouth. After you complete the game once, there is absolutely no point in ever playing it again. There are three different difficulties, but all of them can be beaten in less than 45 minutes. So after completing the game, just simply sell it. The game is past the point of a ďuse it as a coasterĒ joke. Seriously.

Well, that about wraps it up. Miss Spiderís Tea Party is obviously a game intended for children way younger than you. But if you need to brush up on your short-term memory skills, or you just want to seriously kill a little time, you might want to check this game out. Itís better than you think.

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Community review by cdbavg400 (November 14, 2004)

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