The spiders in Grounded are gorgeous but they're an absolute menace

Please be warned that there are images of spiders in this article.

My dad had a spider in his shower for months and he named it Boris, and when one day the spider was no longer there, he seemed genuinely upset. It seems they’d formed quite a bond. I must have inherited his befriend-a-spider gene because I rather like them, like having them around the house. They’re my household security against other pests. When I see occupied corners and windowsills I consider the room well fortified because nothing stands a chance against them. They’re beautifully efficient, wonderfully designed.

But not everyone likes them, you might be surprised to hear. When I try to tell my girlfriend it’s good to have them around she doesn’t seem to understand. “Can you get rid of it? Don’t pick it up!” She doesn’t even care if it’s a house spider and it’s supposed to live here! She wants it evicted, how heartless. Mind you, one did crawl across the duvet onto her neck so I suppose that’s a contributing factor.

At least the spiders have me, their friend, around to displace them kindly. I hear horror stories of people vacuuming them or stamping on them, tearing around their houses causing spider genocide just because these things tried to make a home there. What a nightmare for spiders we must be. If only the roles were reversed, then we’d see!

Well what a coincidence, now they are. Welcome to Grounded, a Honey I Shrunk the Kids backyard world where you are the size of a paperclip, struggling to keep yourself fed, watered and alive among an ecosystem of things you never really noticed before: gnats, mites, aphids, all of which are now the relative size of a cat.

It’s a base-building game like Minecraft where you gather materials from the tiny-big environment around you, felling blades of grass the size of trees for example, and then turn them into a wide array of different things. The more materials you analyse at a research station, the more options you unlock, and there seem to be a lot, from stuffed mite pillows to slime sconces and mushroom gardens.