Reviews

Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor Review

Spider: the Secret of Bryce Manor is a beautiful game. Most people are referring to the art style and graphics when they call a game beautiful, and while spider has these things going for it, I’m actually speaking to the beautifully simple concept of the game.

In this game you play as a spider, which is fairly obvious. Where the game is so brilliant is that you are not some kind of super evil
spider trying to take over the world or something like that. You are just a generic run of the mill house spider, trying to get some dinner. It seems like such a no brainer, but yet it’s such an untapped market, taking an everyday animal and putting you in it’s “shoes.”

The overall objective is to trap little bugs in your web and eat them. Once you eat enough bugs you beat the level. However, to actually end a level you have to find the exit portal. Once you complete a level the camera zooms out and shows you the whole stage, giving you a nice view of the webs that you have laid out.

The game plays very nicely with simple touch based controls. You tap either to the left or right of the spider to have him move, tap left, move left, and right moves right. To jump you swipe the screen in the direction you want your spider to move. To lay a web you tap on the spider to get him and web slinging mode, then you swipe the screen to have him jump and lay the web to the nearest object. In order for a web to be complete and ready to trap bugs you must string up a geometric shape. Once you have some tasty critters trapped you simply jump on the web and walk over them to feast. It’s a very natural and intuitive way to control the game. I never found myself frustrated with the controls, and it really helps to add to the relaxing way that the game was designed. In a game of this nature, having over complicated controls would break the game and add to much tension, and developers really nailed the balance of challenge, without crossing into frustration.

I hope to never see my house look like this.

I hope to never see my house look like this.

There is really no “failing” in Spider, it’s more about how well can you score on the level, and not about whether or not you fail. If you get a good score of course you will be happy, but you can breeze through the game doing to minimum and never be reprimanded. There is the possibility of running out of web, but I never had that happen in the my time with game. (Maybe I’m just that awesome.) Sure you won’t get 100 percent completion, but the beauty of Spider is that it doesn’t really matter. You can have just as much fun exploring the world and eating even if you just do the minimum to get by. However, for the completionists out there, there is plenty of replay value in trying to get every bug in every level.

There are different game modes in Spider to keep you coming back for more. Feeding Frenzy is a race against the clock, while Precision mode has you solving various puzzles and Hunger mode is a super fast paced mode. There is also the main story mode where you have to eat a certain percent of the bugs on the level in order to advance to the next one. There is a ton of stuff to do here, and it would take a long time for most players to get bored with game, easily making it worth it’s $2.99 price tag.

As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, Spider is beautiful in it’s simple concept and intuitive gameplay, but it is also very beautiful to look at and listen to. The art style is silky smooth and very well polished. Even when lots of little critters are flying around the screen in the later levels, the framerate always looks smooth and clean. The sound is awesome as well, with a great, relaxing soundtrack and very fitting sound effects that are not overly repeated or annoying.

Overall, if you like games, buy Spider. It’s a super fun game with lots of replay value. If you are looking for something that takes a very unique approach to gaming then I can’t recommend it enough.

Presentation & Graphics
4-stars_sm

The graphics are really great, but they could pop a little bit more. There are some spots where it looks a little flat, but still, all in all  the game is beautiful.

Sound
4-stars_sm

Very good sound direction went in to Spider. The music is very well suited to the theme in each level. There is also the ability to listen to your own iPod music, but I don’t see why anyone would want to.

Gameplay
4-stars_sm

Spider has a really simple and fun mechanic and solid well thought out controls. It is just a genuinely fun game. The only thing that keeps it from being perfect is that it could have a little more variety in the types of things you do, but still, it’s just damn good fun.

Gamelife
4pt5-stars_sm

Tons of modes, Facebook score sharing, 28 stages, addicting gameplay, do I need to say more?

Game Rating

4pt5-stars

Spider is a must have game if you own an iPhone, period, end of story.

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  • Dan

    I agree completely. Had this game for a few weeks and have really enjoyed it.

  • Torbjorn Kamblad, Sweden

    It is a brilliant game!

  • BBK357

    Wow Dave, good review. Hard to believe you can be so annoying on the podcast when you write decent reviews.

  • Nathan Mustafa, USA

    What a backhanded compliment that was.

  • legend.inc

    He isn’t that anoying in the podcast. Anyway i will definetly get it for 2.99.

  • nizy

    A few things Dave missed: Many levels have secret areas to find, with bonus points (and kills) to be had for finding them. And if you explore enough and discover the secrets of bryce manor, there is even a secret room to unlock! And there a story too, unravelled via the objects in the levels.

  • Nathan Mustafa, USA

    See, they aren’t secret any more nizy.

  • Rock $ Rolla

    Not Bad

  • http://www.pyrosmile.org Matt Dunn, USA

    great review. if i wasn’t so bogged down with other games i would check this out.

  • Kid A

    @BBK357 Dude, that’s not very kind. Have some class huh.

  • Dave aka bbk’s hero

    Haha that’s kid a, but it’s ok, it’s just cause he loves me secretly lol.

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