This is Atari’s second modernized version of one of its arcade titles, but sadly it does pale in comparison to the game it follows – the excellent Centipede: Recharged.

A twin-stick shooter, it’s not unkind to say that Black Widow isn’t the first, second, or even tenth game most people would name when asked to list classic titles from the eighties.

You control a spider around a web shooting enemies that approach from all angles. There’s a range of power ups to use and foes swamp the screen until you die.

And that’s pretty much it in terms of the basics (besides some challenge stages which mix your objectives up). Strings that block you appear on the web from time to time and the centre can’t be traversed – but other than that it’s your standard one-screen twin-stick shooter.

The shooting mechanics are fairly simple but not without their charms. Collecting the dollar signs (nope, no idea why they’re dollar signs either) that enemies drop adds to your weapon meter – and you can unleash a super web blast that covers a huge area once it’s filled.

The range of power ups that turn up on occasion are the same as the ones in Centipede: Recharged, but – in a problem that keeps cropping up – they’re somehow not as satisfying as they were in that game.

It’s not hard to quantify why Black Widow doesn’t work as well – there’s simply no real escalation with the action. In Centipede: Recharged there a moderately slow build towards the screen crawling with enemies, and the action is paced in a way that always feel you can escape or grab a last minute reprieve.

In Black Widow the screen is filled with foes in mere seconds, and although playing in co-op (where you can revive your partner if a certain pick-up appears) helps a tad your turns still won’t last long. It just never feels as satisfying.

This increased focus on shorter and more intense play sessions may appeal to some, but it makes Black Widow: Recharged feel a less welcoming experience to Centipede: Recharged. Add in some minor problems such as the occasional bug and annoying screen decoration (that can block enemies approaching you) and you have a title that’s well presented but perhaps a tad overpriced.