I'm not the biggest fan of spiders or anything, but within a few minutes of starting Tiger Style's newest exploration and web-making adventure, I had unlocked a new and grudging sort of appreciation for the little fellas. Diligent, graceful and curious, spiders just want to keep pests out of your mansion and solve mysteries.
2009's Spider: Secret of Bryce Manor was a big hit, and Rite of the Shrouded Moon is its long-awaited follow-up. You play as a little spider, crawling along the edges of a fine old mansion and its furnishings; you can jump with a brisk swipe of the finger, and, gossamer trailing from your spinnaret, you can build webs that catch flies and moths and other things.
This idle physical objective is engrossing on its own, a continual puzzle of how to best use your environment, how to draw ideal geometry. But you, the tiniest interloper, are also unveiling more and more of Blackbird mansion as you snare its snakeflies and swing from its chandeliers. Along the way you start to find little clues, the story of the vast place and the people in it.
The exciting thing that sets Rite of the Shrouded Moon apart from its predecessor is that it depends on the weather where you are. If you enable location services, the world of the game will reflect the climate you're in and the time of day it is, which might mean you encounter different insects, or that you can access some areas on a sunny day that you can't reach in the rain (go over "the itsy bitsy spider" in your head).
I think this game can appeal to all types of players; it deftly weaves together (ha ha ha a spider joke) elements of adventure, puzzle and even the warmly-ornate and atmospheric hidden-object genre. A bright, peppy electronic soundtrack is a surprising but fun accompaniment—the music and the lively item descriptions keep the experience from feeling gothic or dour.
You can get Spider: Rite of the Shrouded Moon for $4.99 on iOS. It's slated to come to Android & the PlayStation Vita imminently, too.