Mangahigh.com // August 2011 – December 2011
Without a doubt, A Tangled Web was the most epic of all Mangahigh’s games. Spanning six graphically-distinct ‘worlds’ and more than 140 levels, it’s an absolute monster.
But then, the game does cover pretty much the whole of the angles curriculum, taking players from basic ‘angles on a line add to 180 degrees’ problems right up to circle theorems, so such heft is appropriate.
Moreover, A Tangled Web proved so successful in its pedagogical aims that EdExcel agreed to endorse it, making it the first maths game in the world to be recommended by an official awarding body – high praise indeed!
Like most Mangahigh games the path to glory wasn’t a smooth one, and I’d been trying to come up with some sort of angles-based game for ages, without much luck.
For the longest time I laboured on a design that had the player solving angle problems to make a frog hop from lily pad to lily pad in search of tasty dragonflies, but ultimately it never quite gelled.
Eventually (and partly inspired by Spin The Black Circle 2) I came up with the idea of a tiny robotic spider trapped inside a series of freely-rotatable mazes.
Each maze is built from criss-crossing strands of web that together form unique angle problems; by finding the missing angles the player unlocks new pathways, enabling the spider to be rolled to the exit.
In addition, the player needs to collect flies to activate the exit, avoid laser walls, conveyor belts and spikey balls, and unlock a myriad of secrets.
Seriously, A Tangled Web is a genuinely amazing game: if you only play one Mangahigh game, play this one!