Overall Score 75%
Snakes eh, they get everywhere. You can find them in pits (ask Indy), on planes (ask Sam), on phones (thanks Nokia!) and now we have giant world-sized snakes bumbling around 3D globes in Snakeworlds. Most game genres have now been pushed from their 2D roots to the newer, cooler 3rd dimension but this is the first time I've seen the humble snake game transformed in such a way. It makes a BIG difference to gameplay!
If you don't know about Snake games, it's a very simple game style to understand. You play a hungry snake and you are often trapped in some sort of maze, tasked with the simple premise of finding and eating food. Controls are usually very basic - move up, down, left and right, and progress through the game often depends simply on collecting enough food and not running into walls, obstacles and yourself.
Snakeworlds doesn't deviate from this plan too much. After being taught the basics in a tutorial, level 1 is exactly what you would expect, albeit from a very different perspective. You start on a sand world and must move around the globe collecting food whilst avoiding rocks, sandcastles and other obstacles. Play though the levels and you encounter powerups and new types of world but you won't find too many other differences.
However, this isn't an ordinary snake game. The 3D aspect does add a whole new spin on the classic game style. Movement around the world is basically made in straight lines but you will find that moving near to the poles of each world changes movement to match the curvature of the sphere. Help with movement is available with guide lines that show where your snake will move as you change direction.
This visual change in direction, whilst novel, doesn't work as well as I'd hoped. It could just be me, but for what is essentially meant as a simple, fast arcade game, I found myself getting disorientated too often. Even with the helpful in-game pointers to food and powerups, it felt like a chore to reach them and continue through the game. Progress wasn't made easier by the needlessly annoying collision detection which really isn't happy to let you brush past any obstacles, you absolutely must give them a wide berth!
Unfortunately, I personally never managed to progress beyond the initial batch of beach levels, a combination of my impatience and two computers which seemed incapable of running the game at its intended full speed (both dual core machines with decent DX9 graphics cards!). From what I've seen in gallery images and a YouTube video, there is plenty of variety on offer to keep determined players pushing further, and if you do keep playing, you might find your highscore on the Snakeworldsgame.com website!
Special mention should be given to the in-game audio. I really liked it and at one point simply left my snake circling the globe whilst the happy music played on in the background. Actually, presentation in general is very good, and graphics, whilst not spectacular, are perfectly suited to the game. Sound effects could be a little better but that's a minor gripe.
With all that said, should you buy the game? I would try the demo first and see how you get on. There is fun to be had here and the game definitely poses a challenge but the change to the third dimension might not work for you, as it didn't me. Kudos to the developer for trying something different and if Snakeworlds 2 is ever developed, lets see an AI opponent!
Keywords: snakeworlds review, patrick kooman reviews, patrick kooman games, snakeworlds scores, pc game reviews, indie game reviews, independent gaming.