Full disclosure– Spider: Bryce Manor HD is a game we went into expecting to give our highest rating. After the masterpiece that was and still is the iPhone version, there was little doubt in our mind that it would be even better on the larger screen. Suffice to say, our predictions turned out to be true. It doesn’t get much better than using swipes and taps to jump around the surfaces of the manor, spinning webs and eating insects.
Content-wise, Spider: Bryce Manor HD is nearly identical to the iPhone version. You get all 38 rooms (or levels), achievements, online leaderboards, and four game modes. These include the classic version of the game and a timed bug-eating minigame, plus two hard modes. In one hard mode, the amount of silk you can use for your webs is limited. In the other, you have to eat bugs faster and faster, or else you perish.
Tiger Style Games did add a new single-device co-op mode where you and a friend both have a spider to control and help each other progress through each level. In order to avoid splitting the screen, the developers made it so that the spider closest to your finger will activate. This generally works, although it can be slightly annoying when both spiders are next to each other.
You can also now play the game in portrait mode. We still prefer landscape, but this offers a nice new perspective on the beautifully drawn game world. At any time you can switch between orientations, so as Apple would say, there is no wrong way to hold the iPad while playing Spider.
Oddly enough, that really fits into the game’s mentality. At least in the classic adventure mode, there really isn’t a wrong way to play the game. It’s a very natural, engaging experience that fits the larger screen of the iPad very well. It isn’t hard to recommend this version of Spider to just about anybody with an iPad.