Spider: The Secret Of Bryce Manor was one of the most creative puzzle games I’d played on my iPod Touch at the time, and it’s still one of my favorites. Arachnadoodle is like the Cartoon Network version of Spider. You’re still trying to build webs, but the goal here is to connect all the pins in a given room. It really doesn’t quite have the same flair that Spider does, but it’s still a lot of fun and certainly more accessible to the younger set (or older gamers with not quite so much skill).
In Arachnadoodle you play a cute little doodle spider, and your mission is to travel through 32 rooms, connecting pins and capturing flies. The main goal of each room is to pass over each pin at least once. You must do this in order to pass the level and unlock the next room. The secondary goal is to build a strong web. The more strands you have connecting the pegs, the stronger your web will be. The stronger your web, the more flies you’ll catch at the end, and the higher your score will be. Even if you don’t connect all the pegs you’ll still be able to catch flies at the end of the level, but your game will be over. You only get a certain number of jumps to connect all the pegs, so you must use your jumps wisely.
To jump you simply drag your finger in the direction you want to jump and let go. The further you are from the spider the more powerful the jump will be. If you hit a wall you’ll bounce back, and as you make your descent you can hit more pegs. There are several obstacles you have to be wary of. Yellow pegs are elastic and will alter your trajectory. Death’s Head Bugs explode on contact, taking away an extra jump and destroying any threads within a certain proximity of the bug when it explodes. You stick to furniture, which can make a jump less profitable. Lamps and certain kinds of bugs will give you a bit of a shock should you collide with them. On the plus side there are bugs that will give you bonus score should you collide with them, and blue bugs will give you an extra throw.
The aesthetics are all about cute. The backgrounds look like drawings from a kid’s book and are rendered in pleasant pastel colors. The characters are cartoony, though I don’t think it’s fair to label this game in the “doodle” category, because the graphics still look better and more detailed than most doodle games. The sound effects are great. I especially love it when the spider hollers “yeah”. It really sounds more like a mouse than a spider, but it cracks me up every time. The music is nice and light, and very bouncy. The theme played when you’re capturing flies at the end of each level is some well known classical piece, though my utter lack of culture prohibits me from actually recalling the name. You’ll recognize it immediately when you hear it, though.
The biggest hurdle this game will have for serious puzzle gamers is its child like exterior. Don’t let that fool you, however. Some of the levels in this game are very challenging. If you’re a fan of The Secret Of Bryce Manor you’ll appreciate Arachnadoodle for when you want somewhat similar gameplay but a much more jovial atmosphere. Overall this is a fun little game and deserves more recognition than it is probably getting.
Final Verdict: Recommended