Wednesday, 14 April 2010

PC Game Review - Snakeworlds

One of the things that indie game developers do really well is either come up with innovative game ideas, or take old ideas and turn them on their heads. Snakeworlds is an example of the latter; updating Snake (if I remember rightly the first version of this type of game was Nibbles way back on the Vic 20?) and putting it in a 3D environment. Now before you run off screaming and decrying the awfulness of it all, it's not simply a 3D snake - I've played some attempts at that and they all miss the mark - instead, it's snake on a globe.

That's right - instead of a box arena, you have a globe. This affects the game in a couple of key ways - it means that remembering where hazards are is quite important as you go round, and also the geometrical features of a circle can subtly affect your movement. These changes actually make it feel like a whole new challenge. The graphics are nicely presented, not particularly detailed but the 3D looks solid and animation is pretty smooth. You can control the speed of your snake to an extent too.

There are several worlds to play on, with three main zones. The various planets aren't startlingly different, but enough to make them feel sufficiently unique to know you're not just playing on the same area again and again. Advancing through different areas is a good design move - no matter how good Snake was, playing repeatedly in the same unchanging area gets boring after a while.

Another feature I like is the power-ups - more to the point, the fact that they're random. This adds a nice extra element of uncertainty to the game.  For those of you (okay, those of us) that like stats, there are few different things to keep an eye on, as you can see at the top of the screenshot:


There's not a great deal more be said about Snakeworlds - it takes a simple concept, twists it around a bit and creates an enjoyable game that's still simple but  muchmore flexible than the old snake games. Oh, and the music is fantastic - it's almost worth buying the game just to listen to it. Online high-score tables add to the fun.  It's the sort of game that you'll keep coming back to if you have a few minutes here and there, rather than one you'll play for hours on end - but you'll keep coming back to it, convinced that you can beat that high score this time!

At just under 5 euros / 7 dollars, Snakeworlds is a worthwhile purchase. If you want to buy it, head over to:

www.snakeworldsgame.com


My rating: 6/10


CaptainD's PC Gaming Blog

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