Games to avoid for insectphobes/arachnophobes
January 18, 2011 10:13 AM   Subscribe

OK, this is sort of weird but... what major well known games should a insectphobe and arachnophobe avoid?

I have a deep deep phobia of insects and spiders, especially close up and/or oversized. I closed my eyes for pretty much the whole Shelob scene in ROTK, and Starship Troopers was pretty rough.

With games it's not just insects and spiders but also insectoid type things. I've played through a chunk of Half-Life 2, and the tentacley things that drop from the ceilings was already pretty bad, but the headcrabs really freaked me the fuck out and I'm not sure I can continue in the game. Had to stop playing Limbo once I got to the spider. The Lego Indy games were OK though, since the spiders were so tiny.

Jump scares + insects/spiders is especially bad. Jump scares by themselves I'm willing to work through.

I already know I don't want to play anything like EDF2017. What about the Gears of War games? Dead Space? Others I'm not thinking of?

For context, I'm mostly an XBox gamer (at least once I finally replace it), but I play some stuff on PC too.
posted by kmz to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (32 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My World of Warcraft arachnophobe guildmate only managed to survive spider-infested areas by getting her character really drunk so the screen blurred. (And avoiding as many as possible, of course.) Most fantasy MMOs use the spider as a go-to monster, actually.
posted by restless_nomad at 10:16 AM on January 18, 2011 [3 favorites]

Oh god avoid Dead Space.
posted by naju at 10:21 AM on January 18, 2011 [2 favorites]

Don't ever play The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time or The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. Just don't. To be on the safe side, don't play any Zelda games, as even those without hideously scary spiders have crablike one-eyed monsters or insect like centipede things and just losts of general grossness.
posted by iconomy at 10:23 AM on January 18, 2011 [2 favorites]

Avoid Fallout 3. There are an awful lot of mutated ginormous cockroaches and scorpions, and killing them can be pretty disgusting.
posted by mostlybecky at 10:24 AM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

By which I mean in Dead Space, almost all of the characters have insectile or arachnoid tendencies; some resemble pregnant insects which burst forth many tiny little babies; and there are also vicious spiders. And plenty of head hugger types. And horrible noises. Gah. (Love the game though, personally!)
posted by naju at 10:25 AM on January 18, 2011

Response by poster: And oh, I guess I should add that if the rest of the game is good enough, I can power through small sections of badness. Fighting the Rachni in Mass Effect involved quite a bit of raised blood pressure, but the rest of the game made it worth it to me. (Interestingly, the thresher maws didn't really bother me, I think because you mostly fight them long range.)

Thanks for all the answer so far!
posted by kmz at 10:28 AM on January 18, 2011

I guess you're going to have to avoid Cootie House as well.
posted by Wylie Kyoto at 10:30 AM on January 18, 2011

Neverwinter Nights has spiders, but in NWN 1 the graphics are unrealistic enough that they aren't very scary. There's only one cutscene in the "Hordes of the Underdark" expansion that I have to close my eyes for. No jump scares.

NWN2 also has spiders, but no jump scares.

These are PC games.
posted by Pallas Athena at 10:31 AM on January 18, 2011

Seconding avoiding Fallout 3, particularly any sewer parts. If you're set on playing a Fallout game, New Vegas is much less insect-y, although there are still scorpions out in the desert. I also used to hate - like, had to play with my eyes closed - the sewer section of Resident Evil II with the giant spiders, but that game's so old that it's hopefully not an issue.
posted by timetoevolve at 10:34 AM on January 18, 2011

posted by empath at 10:35 AM on January 18, 2011 [2 favorites]

this should go without saying - but stay far, far away from earth defense force 2017. insects are the go to beginning bad guy in marvel ultimate alliance as well.
posted by nadawi at 10:38 AM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

If I were you, I'd certainly avoid Dragon Age: Origins. Giant spiders are an exceedingly common enemy.
posted by divide_by_cucumber at 10:40 AM on January 18, 2011

Also, starcraft, because of the zerg.
posted by empath at 10:42 AM on January 18, 2011

Deadly Creatures.
posted by rbf1138 at 10:51 AM on January 18, 2011

If you hate jump scares and the headcrabs in HL2 are already freaking you out then don't proceed any further as later on there's a poisonous black spider enemy that jumps at you (after conveniently warning you with a creepy sound effect that it's somewhere in the vicinity and ready to attack) and drains your lifebar instantly to 1% with one bite.

Gears of War also had some sort of giant-spider enemy, if I recall correctly.
posted by Bangaioh at 10:54 AM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

Half Life II and sequels, sadly, which is your loss, big time...

Ant Lions, Headcrabs, venom-spitting giant spiders (and their larvae or whatever) and all manner of alien creepy-legged beasties.

Shame, it's still by far the best game of its type.
posted by Decani at 10:56 AM on January 18, 2011

Is it scary games you want to avoid, or just games with insects? If the former, definitely don't play Penumbra: Overture. I don't even know if there are spiders in it, because I couldn't get far enough through it without screaming like a little girl. One of the main mechanics is that if you see something scary, you have to hide and NOT LOOK at it. Which means you don't know if it saw you or is coming your way until your heartbeat slows down, or you are attacked. Absolutely terrifying.
posted by Grither at 10:59 AM on January 18, 2011

You might just want to avoid everything listed on this TVTropes entry. [Warning: TVTropes will consume your life, also there is a picture of a truck with big spiders on it at the top but you can scroll past it and there aren't any more spider pictures.] There's some on this one too under the spiders/insects heading.

Dragon Age Origins has a lot of spiders but someone made a mod that turns them all into bears. You might find other mods like that for other PC games.
posted by NoraReed at 11:05 AM on January 18, 2011

Penumbra: Overture does, in fact, have spiders. So many spiders.
posted by Zozo at 11:09 AM on January 18, 2011

An old one, but I justed played through Tomb Raider 2 again a week or two ago, and there are quite a few spiders in there. One level set in a giant with two or three giant spiders to kill, and several places where Lara's ambushed by small spiders.
posted by chazlarson at 11:10 AM on January 18, 2011

On the oldie but goodie scene, avoid System Shock 2 at all costs.
posted by Dmenet at 11:18 AM on January 18, 2011

To expand on empath's brevity, Minecraft's combat system is not terribly accurate and spiders are creepy jumping squeaking bastards who can climb walls now oh god Notch why.

But! You can turn off all the monsters by playing in Peaceful mode and just run around digging and mining and building without any of that god damned squeaking jumping eight-legged bullshit oh my god.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 11:20 AM on January 18, 2011 [2 favorites]

The first Resident Evil had some big mother spiders, and many of the other games have had giant creepy insect-like creatures, too. I think you're going to run into arachnoid-types in a lot of the survival horror genre. The game Kuon had evil silkworms, which, you know, points for being different.

Okami has a giant spider boss that you have to fight multiple times. A very stylized cell-shaded spider boss, but a spider boss nonetheless. Shame, because it's an amazing game!
posted by whitneyarner at 11:36 AM on January 18, 2011

In Limbo the main character is stalked by a giant spider and frequently winds up impaled on the sharp, pointy end of the spider's leg.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 11:45 AM on January 18, 2011

Yeah, stay the hell away from Limbo.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:58 AM on January 18, 2011

Oh and the Mass Effect series. Giant ear-wiggy scorpiony things feature pretty prominently in several missions.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:00 PM on January 18, 2011

Ooops- missed that you had played Mass Effect. Good for you!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:01 PM on January 18, 2011

World of Warcraft just added a whole new level of creepiness to the spiders such that even after years of working on not jumping, the way some of them move now is just too much for me.
posted by Zophi at 12:02 PM on January 18, 2011

seconding Half life 2.

This whole post reads like a list of my favorite games.
posted by Felex at 1:52 PM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

Made by the company that made Penumbra: Overture is Amnesia: The Dark Descent. A similar game. I'd recommend it but for the creepy insect things that crawl across your screen as a signal that you're beginning to go too insane. You should try to work through it, though the game is overall absolutely terrifying.
posted by DisreputableDog at 2:17 PM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

On a lighter note, as a fellow aranchnophobe, I kind of seized up when I saw Spiderants in the trophy list of Borderlands. It turns out they aren't really spidery or anty. Just kind of, well, Borderlandsish. Nothing overtly scary, though some creatures do jump a lot. Just run over them in your car. Makes everything better.
posted by Ghidorah at 3:31 PM on January 18, 2011

City of Heroes/Villains has a villain group called Arachnos, so you can just imagine. (No actual spiders, but plenty of spideresque robots and cyborgs, some of which are quite large; the Tarantula Mistresses, in particular, are quite disturbing.) Players can also put together bug- and spider-themed characters. Also avoid Diablo II (although it's pretty old anyway), as it has both giant spiders and giant earwig/maggot mobs; the latter has a nest in the second part of the game that you have to go through to get something necessary for progressing that features a mother/queen about the size of a minibus.

In terms of MMOs in general, Star Trek Online seems to have very few insectoid/arachnoid races of any kind (the wiki mentions a "Talarian hook spider" in one mission), one of the advantages of having an MMO derived from a franchise in which most of the aliens were either Rubber Forehead Aliens or incorporeal energy beings. (Probably the most unhumanoid race that you're likely to encounter are the Undine, formerly known as Species 8472, from one of the later seasons of Voyager in which the producers had access to inexpensive and quick-to-produce CGI.)

I'm pretty sure that Rachni aren't in Mass Effect 2, although I haven't played all the way through yet.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:52 AM on January 19, 2011

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