Spider: Rite of the Shrouded Moon might be the most “game” game I’ve played in my iPhone in recent memory. What I mean is that this is a fully fledged game, with a deep dark story, great gameplay mechanics and a long lasting appeal whereas most of the iOS games are built around a gimmicky one input control quick cash grab.
You play as a spider roaming around an abandoned mansion with a simple mission, leap, tackle and form webs to catch and feed on other bugs such as ants, butterflies, flies etc. Traversing is intuitive and a lot of fun. As a spider you pretty much stick to any surface, later that changes, so if you can see something, you can reach it. Or you can simply swipe in the direction you want to go and the spider will fling quickly tackling and eating specific bugs. Another thing you can do as the spider is forming webs. Tapping the spider and then swiping will form a line, connect three or more lines and you’ve got yourself a web which will capture any bug that’s brave enough to venture into it. Then all that remains is feeding on it.
However things aren’t always that simple. As the game progresses, new bugs are introduced which require different strategies to capture and eat. Some will just venture into the web, some will shoot at you, some will destroy your web, some require you to trick them into the web, some will require bigger and stronger webs. All of these combined with the limited number of lines the spider can make and the environment gameplay mechanics make for some interesting sessions. So the game will keep you occupied for a while, on your first run.
Then you might have to go back into a level at night or maybe during a windy day or a thunderstorm cause surprise, surprise, the game changes depending on the weather in your location or the developer’s one. How does it change? Well, apart from the visual and sound effects like the change in lighting day&night cycle, wind moving objects, other visual cues, there’s an effect on gameplay too. Some of the bugs come out during the day and some during the night. Other things might change, I don’t know, the weather has been pretty much clear and great in my location. But it is an interesting mechanic nonetheless that increases the lasting appeal of the game.
However, I didn’t really feel compelled to do that, going back to the levels to see what I missed, what other secrets I might uncover and solve with the different weather conditions. The same can be said about the story. In broad strokes, you’re just a spider on a “feeding rampage”, but the story goes as deep as you are willing to. While leaping and feeding through the levels you will see photographs, newspaper headlines and many other visual cues that tell a really compelling and dark story. What happened here in the mansion, where is everybody etc. are some of the questions raised which are answered through picking up these visual cues or by finding clues to solve the big mysteries puzzle style. Say you will find a piano or organ with musical keys to press and if you were careful before you might have found a piece of paper with the notes which if you play, a new secret path opens filling in gaps in the story. But again, why would you even bother with that? I mean, we all know when we play iPhone games, am I right? And most of the time I played it like Hungry Shark Evolution style. However if you play it on Steam, that might change, but in iOS, I don’t know.
So should you get Spider: Rite of the Shrouded Moon? Simple answer, yes. For it’s asking premium price, it offers a lot of hours which can be spent both casually by just webbing and eating everything in your path or hardcore-ish where you uncover what really happened. The visual style is beautiful and the sound design is exceptionally fantastic, creating a dark creepy and intriguing atmosphere. Oh and if you are afraid of spiders, don’t you worry, you can play as a walrus. Thanks for reading!