Published on April 10th, 2014 | by Jen Schiller0
Spider Webz Review
Spider Webz could have been fun with a few tweaks to the game. It takes the concept of Cut The Rope and subverts it in an interesting way, but it’s not programmed well enough for success. Spider Webz and Cut the Rope both have cutesy animation and an adorable main character, but that’s where the similarities end. While the latter uses physics, elemental obstacles, and both positive and negative game elements, the former has much less motion and only requires that players understand one thing: directional arrows. The aim of Spider Webz is to help a spider complete a web by twisting “beacons” with arrows on them. As the web hits each beacon it follows the arrow across the screen. If any of the strings shoot off-screen, you lose the level. You win when you twist all the beacons to return the loose strings back to the spider. In total there are 90 levels of the game, each with a more complicated directional puzzle–but there are no new elements or added challenges from start to finish. On some levels there are beacons that you must avoid. These beacons have an “X” on them and will make you automatically lose the level. Most levels have at least one beacon with more than one arrow on it, which splits the string into two to four more strings. That is the extent of the added complexity from start to finish.
There were several problems with Spider Webz, not the least of which being that the beacons were too difficult to navigate successfully. Much of the resulting frustration may be eliminated if the beacons locked into a variety of positions instead of spinning 180 degrees. The precision needed to beat levels, even early on, is so specific that it makes some levels impossible to win. I tried it out on an HTC 1X Plus, which has a relatively large screen for phones, and I still had a hard time navigating the beacons. I still haven’t been able to unlock level five–but I haven’t had problems with other levels both above and below it. When you get into the higher levels, having to start over and reset up to 10 beacons with perfect precision just because one was decimals of a degree off is so incredibly frustrating that it drove me crazy. This process takes so long that it runs the risk of turning some players off the game completely.
Another problem with Spider Webz is that it does not save your progress in-game. When you leave and come back, you have to guess what level you last played in order to proceed. What makes this more difficult to determine is that all 90 levels are unlocked as soon as you download the game. While this of course means you get all 90 without having to pay for any in-app purchases, it also makes it hard to figure out where you left off. In this way, Spider Webz turns a positive into a negative. The levels are split into five different worlds, but without any variety between worlds I have to wonder why developers bothered with them in the first place. Perhaps if Spider Webz had a wider variety of play options, it could be more enjoyable. While Cut the Rope adds multiple challenges, and variety between worlds, Spider Webz sticks to the same convention throughout all 90 levels and five worlds. Without adding timed challenges, new obstacles, and more types of game play, I am hard-pressed to recommend a game that quickly becomes repetitive and boring.
Summary: A Cut The Rope clone that could have been good if it weren't bogged down by undue repetition and poor design decisions.