A lot of times (and this is the case for us at Vita Player), the game press is driven by fans doing this for free (or very little). Of course, we get to work with developers and publishers we admire and it’s fantastic. But sometimes, real life interferes and prevents us from covering a game at launch; considering this is arguably the most important timeframe for a game and the most decisive for its success, it sucks. We wish we could cover all games at all times. Sometimes we can’t. And that was the case for me with “Spider: Rite of the Shrouded Moon”. I wanted to cover it at launch, but was unable to. Time has passed of course, but I wanted to do the game justice. I booted it up, not expecting much, and I was really blown away by the entertainment it provided and the thought that obviously went into making it. So, here’s my little triview (tribute-review).
The premise is devilishly simple: you’re a spider and you have to weave a net to catch insects in different areas. I know this sounds like a crappy mobile game, but believe me, there’s a lot more to “Spider: RotSM” than that.
First off, you have a limited number of times you can cast a line to create a web. A web needs to be made up of geometric shapes of 3 sides (a triangle) or more. There are areas in which different insects are at different heights, and there’s a limit to the length of web you can cast.
The type and amount of insects you can catch in each area is controlled by the weather. Your weather! And the time of day. The game asks for permission to look up your IP, and based on that information, it generates insects that are scientifically accurate for your region, your weather and the time of day.
I found this to be the most exciting feature of the game, providing an almost Zelda-esque depth to solving the puzzles and making me want to return to an area to catch different insects.
There are also leaderboards, time-based scores and a few other features that round up what is a full-fledged, very entertaining game play system.
The presentation is also very nice, with the backgrounds being a particular highlight for me. They have an almost hand-drawn aspect to them that reminds me a lot of mid-90s LucasArt adventure games. Sprites looked a little different in terms of design, though, with aliased edges which alieanted them a bit from the background, but not enough to break the illusion. Sound is basic and probably the weakest point of the game.
There really is no story to speak of, and that’s fine. It really isn’t that kind of a game. “Spider: Rite of the Shrouded Moon” is a clever, deep and featureful puzzle game that is endearing and quite easy to like. Thanks to the advance location system, it provides plenty of replay value, and it could even be considered educational thanks to the variety of insects and how they are presented (we even have scientific names!). The world of “Spider” is alive with different behavior for each creature and while the presentation is a bit on the budget side, I found the game to be fun and a blast to play in short bursts.
I just wish I’d gotten to it sooner. But alas, ‘tis but life.
At a Glance:
- Title: Spider: Rite of the Shrouded Moon
- Developer: Tiger Style
- Publisher: Tiger Style
- Format: PSN Download
- Multiplayer: No
- Memory Card Space Required:2.1Gb
- PlayStation TV Compatible: TBC