Into the top five of my best-of list of 2021 and each game is unique from a gameplay perspective. For my #5 game, this is one that is short, but definitely sweet.
Webbed is a game that there really isn’t much to talk about with it, this is a game about swinging around as a spider. There are of course less “realistic” things you do in it, including puzzle solving and laser eyes, but the main draw of Webbed is in its movement tech. The game is simply a joy to move around in, with the level of control and physics of the web a delight. This is one of those games that I was just smiling the entire time I was playing the demo. This is also a great example of organic puzzle design, with many puzzles having a shorter solution by figuring out how to manipulate things with the physics of the webs.
What stops it from being higher on the list is also the downside when it comes to unique game systems: it is very short. Due to the depth of the movement and the control the player has, it’s very hard to come up with interesting, and progressively harder, challenges. Some of the puzzles that involve transporting an item from one spot to the next are more frustrating than fun. At times, Webbed feels more like the proof of concept of the system and mechanics rather than a fully-featured experience.
There are side quests and collectibles to go after, but they’re still just variations of the basic systems, not brand new mechanics or challenges. The skateboarding minigame is delightful and challenging, and a few more concepts like that to flesh it out would have been welcomed.
Of all the games on my top 10 list this year, Webbed is the one that I recommend above all else that everyone at least plays once. This is such a good example of how game feel can elevate an experience, and why the act of moving is so crucial to amazing gameplay.