This is not the spider you’re looking for.
How do you begin to describe a game that is so novel in concept, style and play mechanics? This game has garnered so many accolades and game of the year awards it’s a shame you’ll never hear anyone mentioning it among the slew of games out there.
The protagonist is a common house hold spider who is coming to grips with what the life of an arachnid entails and has you at the helm teaching him the ropes to forage for food, protect from hazardous surroundings and becoming aware of its natural predators, in this case hornets. That’s not the half of it; the overarching story is one of intrigue and mystery.
After the initial tutorial you jump six months into the story, something ghastly has taken place at Bryce manor, it’s abandoned now and is a former remnant of its glory days. As you chart your journey through this beautifully created art world that’s laden with at times cheery summer days to morose spooky interiors right out of a Tim Burton sketchbook; the secret will reveal itself as you go along leading to a conclusion coming out of your on deductive reasoning. The only way one can sum up the experience is to take the initial 25 minutes of WALL-E with no dialogue, a sense of abandonment with an ominous sense of forbidding, replace it with a six legged freak on an adventure set within a stately manor from The Corpse’ Bride and you end up with “Spider”.
The artwork, mind you not graphics, is what reels you from the get go. The artists, if given funding, should really go into animation; if not of movies then at least a line of children’s story books with an edge that stems clear from the Peter Rabbit’s & Winnie the Pooh’s of the world, purely so we can have offspring with creative streaks and dark brooding underlay like Wednesday (from Adams Family) minus her morbidness.
The music is unlike any you’ve heard, a very fresh mix of electric piano, guitar, drums and some sampling but softer and mood driven, it’s like throwing Jamie Cullum on the piano, Joe Perry on the guitar and drums let’s take Adam Clayton all performing before dignitaries at a banquet, like the hired band of the evening toning down things a notch.
The controls are really responsive, I reckon the designers must have observed frantic hand gestures of corporate monkeys flicking and swiping their fingers rummaging for emails, because this spider can do whatever a spider can. You can toss him across the screen, make web-traps to ensnare lil’ bugs to munch on, trail your finger around to mosey along surfaces and leap head-on into hornets to slay them.
I only wish that the unheard of indie developers keep making games like these for our Apple range because it adds to endless hours of joy coming from a rectangular contraption initially meant for making calls, but now has become my personal Arcadia. So go ahead and grab our iPhone 4 Game of the Week – Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor.