Snakes on a phone: classic mobile time sink is back

JC Torres - May 13, 2015, 9:30 pm CDT
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Snakes on a phone: classic mobile time sink is back

Today, hundreds if not thousands of games proliferate our mobile markets, but the one game that really started it all seemingly never made it to the 21 century. That is, until today. Taneli Armanto, who claims to have created not “a”, but “the” snake game on the early Nokia handsets, are taking you back to your youth with Snake Rewind. Of course, not it comes with all the trappings of a modern visual design, a mesmerizing soundtrack, ambiguous touchscreen controls, and, of course, in-app purchases.

Anyone who has had a cellphone in the past 20 years or so, which meant mostly a Nokia, would probably remember having witnessed or even experienced themselves the addictive lure of Snake. You’d see people frantically pushing keys, yes, they still had those back then, in an effort not to let their infinitely growing snake die while they hunt down for morsels of pixels imagined as food. The name Taneli Armanto probably doesn’t ring a bell, since back then there were no mobile game developer superstars yet, but the designer claims to have been the hand behind the snake. And now he’s back to wreak vengeance on your productivity.

The gameplay of snake stays the same. You have a long winding “snake”, represented simply as a sequence of boxes, that moves continuously without pause. Your goal is to guide it towards “food” while, at the same time, trying to avoid crashing into walls or into itself. Sounds simple enough, but this is one of those games that are easy to learn but hard to master.

Naturally, Snake Rewind has brought updated graphics to the classic, but with a slight twist. It pays homage to the original game by employing simple 8-bit visuals, instead of the real snake representation that more modern Snake games use. But there’s still a dash of modern visual flair, however, particularly with the use of lights and shadows. The original Snake games were mostly played in silence aside from the “ping” of successfully eating a box. This time however, you have a particular soundtrack to keep your ears similarly entertained. Controls are a bit wanting, however. There are two types available, tap and swipe. Tap might be more familiar with those who grew up using keypads but the behavior is sometimes unpredictable. Swipe, on the other hand, is reported to be a bit buggy.

The game does have the potential to still be as addicting as its predecessor, which probably bodes well for its creators’ wallets. Yes, while the game itself is free, there are in-app purchases. For what, you may ask. For unlocking levels instantly, for one. You can, however, patiently wait for them to unlock by playing through all the levels first. There are also purchases for boosts and perks, the usual stuff. Snake Rewind is available on Android, iOS, and, quite surprisingly, Windows Phone, too.

SOURCE: Rumilus Design


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