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Review: Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor - Hottest Games of 2009 We Missed

January 5, 2010



Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor is a unique type of platformer where you play as a Spider trying to survive. You go from room to room in an abandoned mansion making webs and collecting bugs. Make webs through out in all kinds of shapes to trap many different types of bugs. Spider_secret Bryce Manor has an underlying story of the former residents, and what happened to them. Clues abound in the tiny spaces only a Spider can reach.


Four gameplay modes are included with the main adventure, feeding frenzy eating as much as you can in three minutes, hunger mode where you’re always on the brink of death, and precision mode which is the adventure with less silk and shorter thread. 28 levels are included in the adventure mode, and 10 more were added with the recent director’s cut update. To control your spider tap and hold your finger for it to walk to that point. You tap to start a web and swipe for the spider to jump in that direction, and you build webs by making any kind of shapes from triangles to decagons. Spider_achievements Multiple insect types are included which require different strategies. You need to tackle hornets, herd mosquitos, and knock dragon flies into your webs to name a few. Facebook connect is included which provides online high scores for each of the gameplay modes. Also 24 achievements were included at launch with 24 more with the recent update.

The Good

Spider: SOBM has a lot going for it beginning with the amazing gameplay. This truly is an experience like no other on any platform. Just a simple flick, and the spider is shooting a thread. Spider_web Who would have ever though that being a spider could be so easy, and such an immersive experience. The main adventure is great, and then you’ll want to play the timed feeding frenzy, and the more difficult precision mode to truly be a spider master. Clearing a level is an entirely different challenge than simply eating enough bugs to advance. Also throughout the mansion there are secret areas to unlock to find the last remaining bugs. The game is score based, with online high scores, adding an extra challenge to maintain multipliers by staying on webs as you move through the room. A really great aspect is that the objective is always moving as the bugs never stay in the same spot. Also with eight different insects each requires a different tactic keeping you engaged in the game. Spider_image The game is extremely well designed just simply seen by the spider, insects, and webs. The best looking aspect though is the beautiful room designs with so many intricacies in every part of Bryce Manor. Then there are the animations of tackling hornets or bugs being shriveled up on the webs. The included soundtrack is extremely deluxe, and is really nice listening. There are multiple tracks included that vary throughout the levels so none of them ever feel repetitive. There are a few insect noises, but that could definitely be enhanced. Spider_tackle The game is so easy to use with everything working perfectly. The four gameplay modes give you plenty to do, and worth way more than the the relatively small price. The online high scores and all of the achievements add even more reason to stay inside Bryce Manor.

The Bad

Spider is an extremely well executed game. The only concern is that the game may be a bit too easy. Every level can be completed without much of a challenge, and it just takes time. This is rectified by the alternate more difficult gameplay modes. Another problem is that the game can get a little bit repetitive as every level presents the same task of making webs, and collecting all the insects. Nothing ever changes the main gameplay mechanic.

The Verdict

Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor is easily one of the best games in the App Store. It’s a unique iPhone experience that is unseen on any other device. The ability to be a spider, with everything so easy to do, and it looking so good combine to make a game everyone should play. Spider: SOBM is an absolute must for only a mere $2.99, and you’ll love every minute of playing it.

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