Android Amusements: Spider: Secret of Bryce Manor

Sections: 2D, Adventure, Android, Columns, Exclusives, Features, Genres, Handhelds, Originals

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There’s a hazard that comes from buying all of these Humble Bundles. Sometimes, you get a gem of a game and don’t realize how amazing it is until weeks or months after your purchase. That’s what happened to me with Spider: Secret of Bryce Manor. I bought the Humble Mobile Bundle 3 back in November 2013 because of Ridiculous Fishing, and didn’t really play any of the other games. I installed them on my Nexus 7, of course, but that was it.

Then, yesterday night, I was bored and couldn’t sleep. I was watching the snow fall, and decided to see what was on my tablet. I found the icon for Spider: Secret of Bryce Manor. I’d thought it was a hidden object game, installed it, then never touched it. I figured it could be a good way to unwind, and fired it up. It ended up being an experience that was simultaneously relaxing, enjoyable, and surprising.

Spider: Secret of Bryce Manor is the story of an ordinary spider. It starts out in the outdoors, walking and jumping around the environment and weaving webs to catch bugs for points. You get a certain amount of silk and there are a certain number of bugs in each area. Collecting X number of bugs opens up a portal to a new area, which eventually leads into what appears to be the abandoned Bryce Manor.

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The magic stems from what happens as you control the spider. You aren’t just helping it survive and racking up points by eating the bugs. You’re also exploring a mansion, seeing everything within and finding hidden areas. You could even say you’re decorating it, as after a level is completed, it zooms out so you can see how your webs look in the environment. It’s an experience that’s both soothing and engaging. You’re driven to see if you can catch every bug and find every secret.

Though, I also think much of the fun stems from how easy Spider: Secret of Bryce Manor is to play. This is a title anyone of any age can enjoy. Walking around the environment involves holding the right or left side of the screen. Swiping in a direction sends the spider leaping to the nearest surface it can stick to, perhaps even catching and eating a bug in mid-flight. Making a web is a science, handled by tapping a spider, then jumping, until a triangle is made. I especially enjoyed making adjacent webs after I’d caught all the bugs and had silk left over.

Spider: Secret of Bryce Manor is $1.99 and I wholeheartedly recommend you grab it for your phone or tablet. Actually, it’s probably better for tablet owners, because then you can really savor your surroundings as you play and explore. It’s an innovative title and helping a tiny spider survive, explore, and making an abandoned manor prettier with its webs. It’s entertaining and zen, and more people need to play it.

Product Page [Google Play]

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