In a rare happy accident, Apple approved Tiger Style’s recently lauded debut iPhone game Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor [App Store link] well before anyone had expected, which had the unintended side effect of putting the game in players’ hands even before the studio had finished their promotional trailer.
That wait, at least, is now over, as above, which gives you the best showcase yet of the game’s fantastically illustrative style (provided in part by Austin’s own Amanda Williams) and playful mix of action mechanics over top its underlying adventure.
On the latter part, designer Randy Smith has just published a post-mortem of the project at Edge, where he explains of the game’s interweaving of narrative goals:
One of our test levels had a shot glass and liquor bottle on a lonely table, which generated more response than we anticipated. Who was drinking here all alone? What were they depressed about? This grew into a decision that the story shouldn’t be the spider’s but the environment’s, whose history would be revealed through set dressing…
This is a dead story, one you cannot change but only discover through exploration. Often in games, stepping into your character’s shoes leaves you wishing you had the interface for countless actions you’d take in real life. As a spider, your lack of interest and ability to affect the story is natural, and you fill the role your character would in real life: you leave the house covered in cobwebs.
See my earlier review for more on just how well that worked, but really, there’s almost no excuse to not simply take the plunge. You will not regret it.