Spider: Bryce Manor HD

App review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
Spider: Bryce Manor HD App Poster Image
Stunning, original game with a creepy background story.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

The game gets increasingly difficult as you progress, but not at a frustrating rate. The controls work very smoothly.

Violence

As a spider, you will eat -- with a crunch -- the bugs you catch in your webs. Also, while unrelated to the gameplay, there is a deeper mystery to Bryce Manor that can be uncovered through visual clues in the scenery. SPOILER ALERT: The background mystery reveals a tragedy that occurred at the mysterious mansion.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that on its surface, Spider: Bryce Manor HD is a game about being a spider, spinning webs, and eating bugs to stay alive. The app works on two levels, though, as there is also a background mystery -- the secret behind the abandoned, decrepit look of Bryce Manor, the mansion you will be crawling and web-spinning through. That story, revealed through visual clues in the scenery, is a dark one that (SPOILER) reveals a family tragedy in the last room of the game. That ending might shock or spook younger players, even if they can't piece together the entire background story (much of which is open to interpretation, anyway).

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Is it any good?

SPIDER: BRYCE MANOR HD works -- and succeeds -- on multiple levels. Its absolutely gorgeous storybook-style illustrations are a wonder to behold. Its spider-on-the-prowl gameplay concept is utterly original, offering up new forms of B play and loads of exciting exploration opportunities. And its eerie background mystery -- revealed bit by bit in small clues like a photo, a locket, a tombstone, etc. -- adds extra layers of enticement. Even if you ignore all its beautifully mysterious trappings, though, the game is just plain fun. Crawling around and looking for just the right place to spin your webs is a blast. Spider is a game that feels like a work of art, and should (rightfully) inspire a slew of copycat games in the months to come.

App details

  • Device: iPad
  • Price: $4.99
  • Release date: July 15, 2010
  • Category: Strategy Games
  • Publisher: Tiger Style
  • Version: 2.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 3.2 or later

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