Arachnophilia: The Spider Web Game is an arcade-style simulation of a night in the life of a spider. The name of the game means "love of spiders". You play as a spider and the goal is to survive as long as possible by maintaining the spiderweb which provide your food. You must trap and devour the hapless insects and other flying creatures who blunder into your web.
You control the spider protagonist with the mouse. To move it around, simply click on the web where you want him to go and it will scurry there using the shortest available path. To spin new strands of webbing, just draw a line between two existing web strands the mouse. You can also attach strands to the branches that outlines the game area. You can design your web any way you like, but you have a limited amount of web materials available, indicated by a gauge on the right. In order to replenish it, you must eat insects and bugs which fly into your net. The bugs will appear more or less randomly from the background. Click on the insects that get caught in your web to eat them. The bigger critter types will strain your web more and be more likely to damage it, so the web must be constructed to withstand heavy impacts or it will get damaged. This will earn you points, add to your spider's web supply, and add to your life meter which is constantly depleting. If the spider’s life meter reaches zero, he dies and the game is over. You may queue up commands by giving the spider multiple marching orders. If you screw up queueing up commands or simply need to adapt to events in the level, you can easily clear the queue by pressing the Space bar.
There are ten different species of critters, all of them edible. Flies are your staple diet, reliable and unlikely to damage your web unless you don't eat them and they pile up in one spot. Most of the others are larger and stronger, more nutritious if you can catch them, but requiring a stronger weave to hold them back. The first time you encounter a stag beetle, for example, he is likely to shred your web pretty handily, and you can hardly afford to have your source of nutrition destroyed. If you manage to catch and eat one, you'll be rewarded temporarily with extra-strong golden webbing. Each type of flying creature is balanced nicely between threat and reward, except for the bees, who will cause heavy impacts but not really gain much in nutrition or web materials.
The game features an Art Mode, where you have unlimited webbing and full control over insect spawns. This mode is a form of sandbox mode where you can play around and test out your web design.