Every once in awhile an Indie game will come along to remind us why some Indie games are worthwhile getting. Journey, Ori and the Blind Forest for example. Snakepass, along with Overcooked and Yooka-Laylee, were some of the best examples at EGX 2016 of the up and coming indie games. Finally Snakepass, the full game is here and we have our Snakepass review for you to help that buying decision.
Snakepass is a colourful physics based puzzle platformer. You play as a snake called “Noodle” who has to slither, slide, grip, climb, and swim his/her way around a bamboo filled level collecting, keystones and other collectables along the way to then unlock the next level. To move Noodle around you can lift his head with A and move forward with RT. If you slither from side to side, you can actually speed up to. Pressing Y also gets a bird to lift your tail as well.
As you do this you can get Noodle, with practice to climb to higher and higher heights, with grip, skill and coiling yourself around poles for grim death to reach those tantalizing collectables. In a nutshell that’s the game as a whole.
The graphics of the game are very colourful, bright and crisp. The environments are lush jungle worlds that really help convey the world of where a snake would indeed live. It’s all a bit Banjo Kazooie!
The music is excellent also, with some superb jungle style music accompanying Noodle with some great little sound effects of running water and slider too.
Don’t let the child like colours, and friendliness of this game fool you, deep down this is a rock solid hard platformer that had me swearing out loud more times than a Call of Duty MP match!
It’s brilliant and frustrating all at the same time, but disappointingly, frustrating in some cases for the wrong reasons. Those reasons being, 3 fold.
First off, the depth perception is, i found a little off. There is a tiny shadow of where Noodle is over the ground he is covering, and it’s almost non existent when climbing bamboo. The problem with this is, if you can’t see that Noodles head has gone to far or too short, when the level’s get tough, this slight error of placement can mean the last 5 minutes of getting there are lost as he falls.
To add to this, the camera angle was frankly, fighting me all the way! Again if you’re making for higher ground and then the camera moves to an angle directly behind Noodle, he can and will be in the wrong place, so that by the time you swing it around and again to where you need to get a side view, you are already too late.
The third minor gripe i had with the game was you try to coil Noodle up and over items, and to do that you need to be precise. BUT because you are moving forward and turning this then increases his speed more than just the moving forward speed. Because of this silly mechanic, when he then moved he was then travelling faster in a wider turning circle than i wanted to coil and often meant i missed spots i was aiming for as he was going too fast, too wide than i was expecting him to go.
On the simpler levels you can get away with these things and complete the level, but not so when the difficulty ramps up around level 4, and you HAVE to reach that point up on high to proceed. The harder the game got, the more it showed me just how the camera and the little details just weren’t quite there.
Be that as it may, this is still an excellent, challenging, fun, (yes indeed fun despite the swearing) game. Slight improvements to help the player instead of hindering them would have made this superb. Perhaps a patch later will address this, as my gripes are eminently fixable, but as it stands it’s a still a superb reason why Indie developers have more fun than triple A ones !
Snakepass was provided for Review on Xbox One by Sumo Digital. Snakepass is also available on Windows 10, PS4, Steam and Nintendo Switch.
Game : Snakepass
Developer : Sumo Digital
Genre : Physics Puzzle Platformer
Release Date : 28/3/17