Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor

Developer: Tiger Style Games
Publisher: Apple
Release Date: Aug. 10, 2009
System: iPhone/iPod Touch
ESRB Rating: N/A

In a nutshell: The secret is that there are games this good on the iPhone!

0:00 I've lost count of the number of sources I've seen in the past week hailing this one as a groundbreaking, important, essential addition to iPhone gaming, so $3 sounds like a small price to pay to try it out.

0:01 Zoom in on a tiny spider standing in a hand-drawn forest backdrop. The title quickly gives way to the first instruction: "To walk, hold your finger on the screen." Pleasant, upbeat synth music propels me along.

0:02 Spider can stick to walls and even the underside of the forest mushrooms. A quick swipe leads to a quick, extremely satisfying jump across the expanse.

0:03 Tap Spider, then jump to create a thread. Create a polygon between threads to make a web, which can act as a platform for more jumping/web-making.

0:04 "Six months later..." The music is now light electric guitar. "Eat bugs to survive. Eating bugs gives you silk and scores points." OK ... so where are these bugs?

0:06 Oh... I thought those tiny floating green things were leaves, but it turns out they're actually the bugs I'm supposed to be eating. I make a quick triangular web with three jumps, then gobble 'em up nice and easy. I jump in a spiraling purple portal to move on, and the camera zooms out to show the entirety of the porch area I've been jumping around. Seeing it from a wide perspective after spending so much time zoomed-in close on Spider is interesting, to say the least.



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