Arachnophobes should skip to the next review, entomologists should read on, and budding etymologists should rush to the dictionary to find out what arachnophobes and entomologists are, because in Apple Cider Spider, you take the role of the eponymous octoped.
Your night-time adventures have kept you out a little too late and you must make your way to your web at the top of the cider factory.
However, production has started for the day so you have to dodge all the apples, slicers, crushers, bottlers and cappers.
Also, hygiene isn't too good in the factory because, as well as your web in the rafters, the factory is also populated by frogs, birds and wasps.
Strangely enough, all of them seem to have amended their dietary habits to include spiders. I'm not sure what David Bellamy would make of it, but it makes an interesting game scenario.
The game has three screens and you need to work your way through each of them to get to your web. There are seven levels of difficulty numbered from 0 to 6, with difficulty being a function of speed and number of predators.
If you select level 0 (the "Teddy Bear" level - a phrase which On-Line seems to like), then you stay on level 0 throughout the game. However, if you select any of the other levels and make it to your web, the level is incremented.
There is a "hall of fame" of the top ten scores, with an option to wipe it clean.
I must admit this is a useful facility because after I've been hammering the game for review purposes, it's nice to let the children loose on it with the bonus of getting a high score.
There are various control keys to toggle the sounds off, change level during the game, restart the game and so forth. The movement keys can be selected, and the game also supports a Mockingboard.
There is a fair amount of skill involved in negotiating the moving belts and jumping onto the drop-lines. But once you have worked out the route for a particular screen it then becomes a matter of practice. Even the predators move in predictable patterns.
Any new game from Sierra On-Line is worth investigating and Apple Cider Spider is well written and well animated. I think it is most a game for children, because they didn't seem to tire of it at all. I enjoyed it until I had mastered it, and if it had more screens or levels and some randomness, I'd be playing it still.