Spider-Man: Return of the Sinister Six

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Spider-Man: Return of the Sinister Six
Spiderman return of the sinister six NES.jpg
NES cover art
Developer(s) Bits Studios
Publisher(s) LJN (NES)
Flying Edge (Master System, Game Gear)
Platform(s) NES
Master System
Game Gear
Release date(s) October 1992 (NES, Master System)
1993 (Game Gear)
Genre(s) Action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player

Spider-Man: Return of the Sinister Six is a video game released for the Nintendo Entertainment System developed by Bits Studios and published by LJN in 1992. Versions of the game were also released for the Sega Master System and Game Gear by the Flying Edge division of Acclaim. The game is loosely based on a Marvel Comics mini-series that featured Spider-Man and the Sinister Six in the early 1990s.


Doctor Octopus is setting his master plan into action to take over the world with the help of the Sinister Six. Spider-Man manages to defeat all of them and save the world.


In the game the player controls Spider-Man through six side-scrolling levels, with a member of the Sinister Six at the end of each level as a boss. The famous super-hero could jump, punch, kick, climb certain walls, shoot unlimited webs to swing on and collect web fluid to shoot square, web projectiles. Players can also duck, and perform a jump kick.

The levels were generally pretty straight forward side-scrolling action, although occasionally a particular item such as key or a detonator would have to be found. Each level started out with a graphic illustration of Spider-Man battling the supervillain that the player would fight as a boss.

  • Level One: New York City Streets and Power Plant with the boss being Electro.
  • Level Two: New York City Sewers with the boss being the Sandman.
  • Level Three: New York City Secret Laboratory with the boss being Mysterio.
  • Level Four: New York City Streets and Rooftops with the boss being the Vulture.
  • Level Five: New York City Park with the boss being the Hobgoblin.
  • Level Six: New York City Castle with the final boss being Doctor Octopus.

After successfully completing each level, the ending is a scene of all the supervillains sitting together in a large jail cell, with the on-screen message, ""VICTORY! Spider-Man triumphs over the Sinister Six..."

Spider-Man has only one life (in the NES version), although you do receive one continue. While there are web cartridge icons scattered throughout certain levels, (allowing Spider-Man to shoot ten web projectiles) there are no icons available to restore energy. However, defeating several enemies can restore Spider-Man's power bar.[1]

Version Differences[edit]

In comparison to the NES version, the Sega Master System version has significantly better graphics. Also, the game seems to have been made quite a bit easier as certain items were moved (typically to easier places to find), some enemies are taken out, some jumps are redesigned to be easier, and Doctor Octopus and Mysterio now only have one health bar (versus the NES version where they would regenerate a few times before being defeated), among a few other changes.

The Game Gear version is 100% identical to the Sega Master System version except that the screen is more zoomed in (due to it being on a handheld) which ends up making the game more difficult as it is harder to see incoming projectiles.


Review scores
Publication Score
NES SGG Master System
GamePro 3/5 N/A N/A
Publication Award
Nintendo Power Award '92 Best Overall Game[2]

Most video game critics felt that the game seemed underdeveloped and overly difficult. Also, for one of the last of the 8-bit games it did not demonstrate how far the system had come in terms of graphics or sound. The game has been described as typical of many early Spider-Man games, with them being "unreasonably hard due to poor level design, difficult controls, cheap or unbalanced enemies, or a combination of problems."[3]

The NES version of the game was given a rating of 3/5 by GamePro Magazine in their November 1994 issue.


  1. ^ "Spider-Man: Return of the Sinister Six for NES". Moby Games. Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
  2. ^ "Nintendo Power Awards" (46). March 1993. p. 99. Retrieved November 12, 2015. 
  3. ^ "1UP Vs. Spider-Man". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2010-01-01.