Ready for dinner
Your first instincts when seeing Spider Jack will possibly be to call it Cut The Rope With Spiders. It's true that MaxNick's game is quite similar to publisher Chillingo's other title, but there are some important differences here.
The first thing you'll notice is that Jack, our Spider hero, climbs up the strand of webbing as it swings. This adds a whole new mechanic to the mix. Yes, you'll still need to cut the threads to let him drop on to his prey, but the game is made all the more tricky by the constantly moving spider.
Secondly, the webs have to be made in the first place, allowing for more thought to go into solving the later levels. While the first few levels gently ease you into the game, by the time you near the 75 initial stages you'll be ready to hurl your iDevice across the room. But a few more attempts and the answer will become clear, allowing you to move forward with a sense of achievement.
The new mechanics do cause the odd issue, though. Some levels seem needlessly difficult and being stuck on the same stage for a dozen attempts doesn't aid the fun factor. Those who relish a challenge will simply see it as a bonus over Cut The Rope's fairly easy campaign, others may be turned off by the need to repeat a level many times.
By the time you get to the electrical gates that zap your poor spider friend, the game has you in its grip and only the strong will survive through to the end. Another 25 levels have also been added since the game arrived on the App Store, bringing chewing gum and trampolines to add to an already exciting mix of objects that can help or hinder your progress.
Graphically there are more similarities with Chillingo's other physics game, Spider Jack certainly looks a lot like Cut The Rope in artistic design, but the graphics are given a slightly more pencil sketched look which adds to their charm. Other than this, the two games aren't all that different in the visual department.
Some may argue that Spider Jack is playing on the popularity of Chillingo's other title. I would agree, but at the same time Spider Jack offers enough new ideas to make it a worthy addition to your collection, especially if you've completed all of Cut The Rope and are looking for something else to play until new upates arrive.
With a harder (some may say more unfair) difficulty level and some interesting new ideas, Spider Jack succeeds in being more than just another clone of a popular game. If you're after a challenge and you can forgive some of the design flaws, the game is well worth the entry fee.
- Sound: 7
- Graphics: 8
- Gameplay: 8
- Longevity: 8
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