Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor - iOS review

   04/10/2010 at 10:35       Drew Bower       7 COMMENTS. - Score 5/5
 - Tiger Style, Spider, Bryce Manor, iOS, Arachnophobia

Often a simple idea is the best. Take Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor from Tiger Style for example. It’s a really simple idea: as a spider, create webs of complete geometric shapes to catch bugs; catching bugs replaces silk thus enabling you to catch more bugs. Simple, right? Well it is. But this simple gameplay mechanic is merely the metaphorical coat of varnish on a modern masterpiece. Because underneath are many layers of intrigue meaning there is so much more to Spider than catching bugs…

Playing as a spider who ambles upon the seemingly abandoned Bryce mansion, you explore by jumping, crawling and spinning webs. The controls work perfectly and intuitively from the beginning. Touching the screen left or right takes care of walking movement, whilst a swipe from the spider in the direction you wish to jump performs a powerful leap. Tapping the spider followed by a swipe begins the action of spinning a web. Repeating the process in a closed geometric pattern will produce a fine silk web perfect for catching bugs. Once the bugs are trapped and at your mercy, you simply crawl over them whence they become a lovely meal. This part of the game is very reminiscentof early 80’s classic Qix.

You have a limited amount of silk with which to spin webs. Eating bugs replenish your silk. Once a certain target of bugs has been consumed, a portal opens to the next area.

This all still sounds pretty simple right? Jumping, catching bugs – what more could there be?

Amongst the quite almost hauntingly beautiful hand drawn areas to explore are many secrets and clues to the mystery of the Bryce’s and Bryce Manor. Often these clues are on display in the form of pictures or trophies, but these are merely the surface. To discover the true secrets you must explore hidden areas from inside cupboards or above ceilings whilst keeping a close eye on clues hidden amongst the scenery.

Piecing together these clues draws you in to the Bryce history. The fact there is no narrative means you will be using your own deductions. This is a great way of telling and exploring a story, as your imagination runs wild pondering what occurred in the mansion without it ever being spelt out to you.

Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor is truly a game that should be installed on everyone’s iOS device - even arachnopobes. It looks beautiful, plays wonderful and is thoroughly deserving of a 5/5 score.

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