Don’t be a slug when you can be a snail.
I understand the urge to find new success if you are involved in the company that published both Angry Birds, and Cut the Rope. Those are some huge shoes to fill, and every week there seems to be a new attempt at it. I think that Chillingo has had games published featured more or less every cute animal available, and now they have to go hunting in the Amazonas to find something fresh. For this particular game however we get something a bit less exotic, a snail. As snail goes Bob is a good example of the species. He can’t attack, jump or do anything to avoid getting killed but hiding in his shell. For the game at hand this is excellent, and especially the pace is suitable for the slow slimy movement of a snail.
Snail Bob is a physics puzzle where you have to guide Bob to the exit of each level. Bob can move straight forward, and does so automatically. Tapping him allows him to hide in his shell, which gives you time to assess the situation. It is also an excellent defence against birds of prey, and other lethal enemies. Tapping him again get him in motion. There is also a speed button that speeds up Bob only. At first I thought it was a speed up the game button, but alas it is for Bob only. This gives him the chance to actually outrun some obstacles, and by outrun I mean slowly outslime obstacles.
The level design is really good, and I never felt tired starting a new level. This is in part due to the design, and puzzles being varied and part due to the brilliant star system. Instead of being awarded one to three stars upon how well you complete a puzzle you have to find them in the level. Kind of like a mini hidden object game, and it really works. Pulling levers, poking at the sun or completing a sequence in the right order reveals stars. When entering a level I have to both assess the puzzle, and probable placements of stars. Fresh, fun and a great evolution of the casual puzzler. And also worth mentioning is the fact that there is zero reliance on IAP built in, awesome.
Snail Bob has great polished presentation with bright colourful graphics, lovely characters and great attention to detail. The music on the other hand is boring casual stuff that I rather turn off. I would have loved some snail sung pop music, or something with character.
Snail Bob is one of the best casual puzzle games in the App Store today. It manages to redefine the chase for three stars without sacrificing the integrity of the puzzles. There are some of the best hours of gameplay available for both young, and old to be found in Snail Bob. As with all of these puzzlers it ends too soon however, and I really hope that promised level packs make it to the game quickly. I totally recommend Snail Bob.
Snail Bob $0.99 Universal for iPad/iPhone/iPod
Seller: Chillingo Ltd.