I plan on writing a lengthy post explaining my absence and how iOS devices and apps, as always, got me through a rough time, but for now suffice it to say that The Stay at Home GeekMom has some medical issues, and they flared up rather severely in the last weeks. But I’m back and raring to review so let’s go. I have a great action-puzzler for anyone in your home ages 5-105.
And, to make up for my absence, I am bringing you a special giveaway of a Gift Copy of Spider Jack or Spider Jack HD. Read the review below for details on how YOU can win!
- By: Maxnick.com / clickgamer.com / Chillingo / EA
- Genre: puzzle game, casual game, addictive game, family game
- Platform: iPad & iPhone iPod touch sold seprately
- Price: $1.99 and $.99
- SAHGeekMom Rating: 4.5 Stars
- Pump gives it 5 Pump’s up!
- Recommended Age: 5-105
Spider Jack and Spider Jack HD, by Maxnick, and distributed by clickgamer.com (AKA Chillingo) is a new physics puzzlers that bears not just a passing resemblance to the same publisher’s hit title Cut the Rope by Zeptolab.
The game initially apes Cut the Rope so much, it’s easy to be dismissive and call it derivative. But play a few levels before you leave a snarky App Store comment. Spider Jack actually has more than enough variation in gameplay and even audience, to stand on its own merits.
After a cute opening intro cartoon, the game begins like Cut the Rope in reverse. You are a spider intent on your next meal. The goal is to cast your web so it leads you up to (and later down and around to) your ensnared fly-feast. Simple enough, right?
But unexpected, clever elements come into play quickly. You have to float in bubbles, dodge electric currents, even use a hairdryer to propel you towards your goal. Some stars are time sensitive adding to the action-component of the game and time-warps come into play in the last of the three included worlds adding unpredictable mayhem.
This game is as much about timing, jumping, swinging and quick reflexes as it is about planning ahead. A straight drop may solve what all the well-planned drifts won’t.
Like other games of this genre, you can earn up to three stars per level. And while successful completion unlocks the next, Spider Jack has a nice “skip level” option if you get stumped.
There are 75 boards included with the promise of more to come, spread across three environments: a barn, a bathroom and a laboratory.
Check out the trailer:
Cute ain’t it?
An interesting, if not totally welcome, twist is that Chillingo or EA (who acquired Chillingo and recently took over their Crystal gaming network) has it set up so there are unlockable “gift levels”. If you invite (read spam) five of your social network contacts to join Crystal or play Spider Jack, (I didn’t check which, just shamefacedly deleted the offending Facebook posts and hoped for forgiveness), you can unlock five bonus levels per environment. That’s 15 invites for 15 extra levels.
I confess, this isn’t the first time I’ve spammed my friends for in-game rewards, but never on iOS, unless it was for Zynga’s Facebook game, Farmville, via the iOS companion apps. And at least those were other players.
I’m not sure it’s fair play for a paid game, but that said, you don’t have to get the gift levels either. Just know they are an option and they are a lot of fun, allowing up to five stars for successful completion. And getting them will annoy your friends.
While we’re playing true confessions, I have to admit, I don’t like Cut the Rope. Pump adores it, and in theory I see it’s a great game, but it’s a pure puzzler and I’m not the biggest fan of the genre. I don’t want to think too hard when I recreate; call me lazy, but I game to unwind. Thinking is for real life…
But, I do love quick-play action-puzzlers and where Cut the Rope often leaves me in knots, no level of Spider Jack is so hard, nor so time consuming, that you need to beat your head against the wall or Google for cheats.
Pump’s Point: “I really like this the best of all my new games better than Cut the Rope and Burn the Rope and Angry Birds. As fun as Burn it All at least! It’s faster and more fun and it’s easier for kids but it still makes you think a lot. I like the bathroom area the best.”
As usual my seven-year-old son and co-reviewer is better than me at the game already, despite my playing for hours while waiting for doctors. And even his younger friend, Kaitlyn, aged five, was able to play through many levels without any assistance.
If you love Cut the Rope, Spider Jack is a no-brainer. But even if you shy away from traditional puzzlers, this games serves up enough action, with great graphics, replay value and unexpected twists to be well worth the small price. Grab it and start spinning.
Want to win a copy?
All you have to to is tweet this review (and include @sahgeekmom so I can find it) or leave a relevant comment. Don’t forget to let me know which version you want. A winner will be chosen at random, You can enter once by each method, and check out my contest page to see how you can ern extra entries as well. Because this is a gift app from me to you, not a promo code, it is limited to the US and CND app stores, and US prize may take some time to deliver. The details are on the contest page too. For easy tweeting and sharing click on the “share” button at the bottom of this post.
Contest Closes Sunday May 22, 9:00pm EDT Good Luck!
Here are the screenshots for you:
I have a ton of giveaways for you coming in the next weeks including exclusive previews of a new 10Ton game, a great email notifier and a slew of contests including a chance to win up to $50 in iTunes gift cards, and all new app lists, reviews, and giveaways so don’t forget to subscribe or add my RSS feed to your favourite feed reader.
I will make up for lost time, but in the meantime here of some of my more recent reviews and most popular lists to keep you busy. Check out the all new Best Art Apps for iPad on Appadvice.com!
- Best Apps For Artists and Photographers on iPad including the new trio of Adobe CS 5 companion apps. iPad and iPad 2 tested!
- Crates Night Shift HD Makes Working Overnight Fun.
- Stay At Home GeekMom Weekend Edition: Best Apps for News Junkies Part One – iPhone (Most Free!)
- Burn it All is Smoking Hot!
- Hack-N-Slash Meets Tower Defence In Chillingo’s Vampire Rush And Vampire Rush HD
- BookYap: Good Book Suggestions, But Where’s The Yap?
- Enjoy Kaleidoscopic “I-Spy” With Chillingo’s Play Kalei And Play Kalei HD
- Get AutoTalent With AutoPainter, AutoPainter HD and AutoPainter Express – Giveaway Coming Soon!
- The Stay at Home GeekMom Special Earth Day Weekend Edition: Green Apps for All Devices
- You Mean You Don’t Know Jack HD?
- If It Walks Like A Lemming and Talks Like a Lemming It Must Be Caveman HD
- Stay At Home GeekMom Weekend Edition: Best Puzzlers For Teens and Everyone Else Part 1
- Stay at Home GeekMom Weekend Edition: Best Puzzler’s For Teens and Everyone Else Part
- Stay at Home GeekMom Weekend Edition: Best iPad and iPhone games for kids 5-12 part one (3/19)
- Stay at Home GeekMom Weekend Edition: Best ipad and iPhone Games for kids 5-12 part two (3/20)
- Easter Magic Without The Broken Eggs
- Stay at Home GeekMom Weekend Edition: Best iPad Books for Toddlers through Grade 3 part one (2/5)
- Stay at Home GeekMom Weekend Edition: Best iPad Books for Toddlers through Grade 3 part two (2/6)