Miss Spider Harvest Time Hop and Fly (Nintendo DS) Review

By Adam Riley 01.11.2006

The world of Miss Spider may be unfamiliar to any of you out there, but she is infamous in the literary world, being the main star of a best-selling series that goes under her name. In fact, she has become so popular that she even has her own TV show called Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends. Now, though, Shin'en Multimedia (of Iridion and Nanostray fame) has taken up the license and decided to create a computer game spin-off for the Nintendo DS. However, the problem is that aiming as low as the six-year-old and under club means that the right balance needs to be struck. Can 'Harvest Time Hop & Fly' be simple yet entertaining?

Well, it all starts off with a cute little introductory screen with Miss Spider staring lovingly out of the screen at you whilst some very pleasant music plays in the background. The basis of the story is that down in the miniature wonderland of Sunny Patch, home to bugs of all shapes, sizes and colours, lives the warm, kind and gentle Miss Spider, along with her husband Holley (why 'Miss', then, if she is married?) and group of children. Amazingly, she has five children

Screenshot for Miss Spider Harvest Time Hop and Fly on Nintendo DS

The game is really quite ingenious in that Shin'en has managed to utilise the features of the Nintendo DS in a much better way than it did with Nanostray. Now, there ARE two very good reasons for this: one, Nanostray came out first and two, the publisher was forcing Shin'en's hand during the development of the space-shooting game. Whatever the case, the German team certainly have done a damn fine job with Miss Spider. The two screens are put to good use, with vital information being shown on one, whilst the main action takes place on the other. In addition, the touch-screen is the source of much fun as you traverse levels where touching is essential. And, finally, even the microphone comes into play for specific sections of the adventure. There really is something there to tickle everyone's fancy, with the exception of Wi-Fi gaming, since this is a one-player only game.

Screenshot for Miss Spider Harvest Time Hop and Fly on Nintendo DS

The gaming map is split up into twenty-four separate levels, each one reached by moving Miss Spider around the world map. However, in order to access the entire map, you will have to ensure you collect enough fruit and berries from the earlier levels, or else you will end up reaching sign posts that block your way until a certain amount has been collected. This means gamers are given the challenge of heading through each stage and trying to grab everything they can lay their eyes on. There are four different types of level to play through in Miss Spider, each one making use of a different DS feature.

First up there are the traditional platform levels, where you run, jump, bounce and bum-stomp the ground as you work your way around, trying to find out where all the fruit is. Most of these are pretty rudimentary in nature to start with, which is no surprise given the target audience, yet become surprisingly complex (comparatively, of course) and would probably have younger players scratching their heads as to where those final few pieces of fruit are hidden. In fact, trying to dodge the thorny obstacles with well-timed jumps can be a challenge in itself! Following these there are on-rails platform sections where you must use the touch-screen to help both on-screen characters reach the end safely. The aim is to quickly draw a circle around the fruit, which makes one character fly over and knock it out of the sky, whilst the other collect it. Simple, right? Well, the thing is leaves will come flying out at you, normally as you are just about to knock the fruit down...so as it requires a quick tap with the stylus to rid of it, your reactions must be very sharp to despatch it. The same goes for batches of thorns lay on the ground...

Screenshot for Miss Spider Harvest Time Hop and Fly on Nintendo DS

Next there are two ingenious flying level types

Screenshot for Miss Spider Harvest Time Hop and Fly on Nintendo DS

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Overall, Shin'en set out to complete a task and that was to make a damn fine game for young fans of the Miss Spider world to have fun with and enjoy. That task was indeed completed extremely successfully as Harvest Time Hop and Fly is a well-rounded game with enough variety to even bring a smile to older gamers' faces.


Shin'en Multimedia


The Game Factory





C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  2/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date None   


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