#965: Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor

Posted: 12th May 2014 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , ,

331th played so far

Spider_-The-Secret-of-Bryce-ManorGenre: Action
Platform: iPhone
Year of Release: 2009
Developer: Tiger Style
Publisher: Tiger Style

Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor has been on our list of games to write about for a while now. Within weeks of getting an iPad and getting the iOS games, Peter had started playing it – and playing it a lot. Today, then, is mostly about writing down what we’ve seen before, now I’ve had a chance to play as well.

Our Thoughts

My initial association when I saw Spider was that of Qix, which in my mind had taken on a spider-related connection to explain what’s going on. And the basic idea – fencing off parts of the playing field, in this case with webs, is there. Here, your goal is to use your webs to catch bugs (partially by chasing after them) and eating them for nourishments – allowing you to create more webs and to help you stay alive. Getting enough of them allows you to advance to the next level.

The different bugs, each with their own tactics on how to catch them – some just fly into your web, others need to be chased or even caught by yourself before you have them. It adds a fair amount of strategy to the game – do you go for the easy catches, even if it means racing around the level, or do you go for the harder ones that can at least be done fairly quickly. Of course, grabbing all of them is marked as well, so you’ll want to consider that.

Several of the levels you travel through also include their own additional interactions, from surfaces too shiny to web to to switches that change the level, lights that attract moths and beehives with more bees to catch. Even so, the environments are impressive, with large hand-painted rooms of the titular manor that you make your webs in. While it’s never explicitly asked, you wonder who lived in the house, what they did and why it seems abandoned.  It’s an environment where you expect cobwebs, and it’s clear why you’d make them.

Many different theories have emerged as to what actually happened in the Bryce Manor. As a human playing the role of a spider completely webbing up a house we are going to make some form of human connection where a spider is unable to.There are a number of clues which hint at the fate of the family (as well as a fairly obvious ‘hint’ at one person’s fate… spoilers) which makes this all the more intriguing with its glowing clocks and the repeating time of 9:00.

Final Thoughts

The game is surprisingly deep for most comparable iOS games. As much as the gameplay is simple and straight forward, the amount it plays around with it is quite major. Further, the background elements – both graphically and in the story the game tells – are amazing and add to the game. You’re exploring just as much, but at the same time you know you’re just a spider. You’re there, but you don’t really care. You’re just the observer as you try to feed.

  1. […] some reason, I kept thinking Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor would be more like this game, not knowing we’d be playing the proper game a few weeks […]