August 15, 2022
Spider on Apple Arcade is a family-friendly game to get through lockdown

Apple’s subscription-based gaming service started off with a bang in September 2019 with the promise of regular game releases to keep the platform fresh and engaging. Things have slowed down a bit, with only a few launches each month in 2020. The platform, which costs Rs. 99 per month in India, still excellent value with a good collection of attractive premium-grade games. For those stuck at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing and the global lockdown, Apple Arcade is keeping things going with its latest release, Spyder, from developer Sumo Digital Ltd.

spider Puts you in the role of Agent 8, a robotic spider serving the fictional British spy agency EP-8. Set in a retro-themed world, Spider places the player in different environments to solve puzzles and problems, diffuse different situations, and save the world from the evil organization SIN. This is a family-friendly game that is suitable for anyone over the age of four. We try this new Apple Arcade game amid the India-wide lockdown for some much needed rest and relaxation.

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The protagonist in Spider is Agent 8, a robotic spider.

A Robot Spy? the inspection

The game starts with an interesting premise; You’re a spy, but not the James Bond kind. Instead, you’re a robotic, life-sized, rather cute little spider named Agent 8, working for the fictional British detective agency EP-8. Your shape and form naturally make you suitable for covert missions like sabotaging bomber aircraft and repairing damaged space capsules. SIN, the game’s faceless antagonist, relies on all sorts of diabolical antics, which it is up to you and Agent 8 to stop.

As a robotic spider, you have more mobility and abilities than a real spider, including the ability to walk on surfaces facing in any direction. Your size lets you squeeze into even the tiniest of spaces, and the fact that you’re a robot means you can operate even in environments unfavorable to humans, such as outer space.

You also have a variety of gadgets and tools at your disposal, including web splatters, a grappling hook, and a laser cutter, which are used to interact with the environment. It gives the game a retro spy thriller feel, while retaining the cuteness and child-friendly feel of being a robotic spider with giant eyes and authentic expressions. The art design is eye-catching with bright colors and pastel shades dominating, giving a cheerful look to the proceedings.

fiddly control

The game is not a flat two-dimensional platformer; Your spider abilities mean you can face any direction on the surface. This means that in addition to moving and interacting with objects, you also have to control the camera to see where you’re going. It’s a bit tricky, as the camera constantly adjusts itself depending on the direction you’re headed. Draging your finger or thumb anywhere on the screen moves the Agent 8, while adjusting the camera requires a two-finger swipe.

Unfortunately, having two thumbs on either end of the screen doesn’t work very well; You need your index and middle fingers to adjust the scene properly. On a larger device like the iPad mini (2019), this was sometimes a hassle, and meant we had to keep adjusting our grip on the tablet.

Moving around is fairly easy, and interacting with objects usually requires a short or long tap, followed by rotating the Agent 8 or moving your finger across the screen to adjust the sliders or turn the knob . However, the game is a test of patience, as you’re moving slowly and working with a constantly adjusted scene. On some occasions, these random visual changes meant that we accidentally went into harmful situations, which was a little frustrating.

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Agent 8 can move like a real spider on surfaces facing in any direction

Puzzles and Physics Combined

While you might think of Spider as a role-playing game, the main experience is exploration and puzzle solving; This is what makes this game so appealing to players of all ages. We loved the challenges the game threw at us; They were neither too easy nor too difficult, and each level presents unique challenges depending on the environment. We particularly liked the second mission, after the tutorial, in which we had to fix fuel lines and other components on a sabotaged space capsule hurtling toward Earth through interesting puzzles.

Each level of the game takes about 20-30 minutes to finish, depending on how busy you are. The tutorial gives you a good idea of ​​the basic controls and premise, but later levels present completely unique challenges that will take some effort and effort to solve. While most levels are not timed, a few challenges emerged that required us to think fast due to an implemented timer; One such situation was to detonate a bomb in the air while it was already moving towards its target.

It’s Like a ’60s Bond Movie Starring Wall-E

Unlike typical espionage thrillers that tend to make things look more sinister, Spider keeps things family-friendly by skipping the violence. However, it does so while retaining the typical feel of a classic spy thriller; The retro look has been nicely captured by the developer Sumo Digital Ltd. Agent 8 itself is a visual combination of Wall-E-Meets-Steampunk, which will play well with users of all ages.

The environments are visually beautiful, with lots of color and detail, which gives it a generally console-game feel. Each level is usually represented by a large vehicle of some sort, such as an airplane, space capsule, and submarine. The game is best played on the big screen of an iPad or on your Apple TV, considering that Spider is one of the best looking games on Apple Arcade right now.

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Puzzle solving is the main gameplay experience

should you play it?

Apple Arcade’s initial blitz at launch came with some impressive titles, including What the Golf?, Sayonara Wild Hearts, and Sneaky Sasquatch. However, the subscription service hasn’t produced as many high-quality titles since then. This is what makes Spyder such a refreshing new release; It is a blaze of sunshine for the stage at a time when we are battling an alarming pandemic of global proportions, forced to stay at home, and need it the most.

Suitable for ages four and up, Spider is a single-player game, but can be played together with your family. If you have an Apple Arcade subscription, check it out already. And if you don’t have an Apple Arcade subscription but do have an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV, you really should consider getting one.

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