Reviews

Space Snake Review

When I think of cell phone games the first type of game I think of is snake. Back in the day when we all had colorless nokia phones, snake was preinstalled on all of them. I loved playing some old school snake and in fact sometimes ill pull out an old phone and get a nice little throw back.

As we have seen on the iphone, there is no shortage of snake games available. Space Snake is just one of these in the pile, and unfortunately it really doesn’t do anything to separate itself from the pack.

On the off chance that you have lived under a rock for your whole life and you don’t know what snake is, allow me to explain. You are a snake and you eat food to make your snake longer. As you get longer it becomes that much easier for you to run into yourself or an enemy. This game plays just like that, except you can move in any direction, not just 90 degree turns.

Where the game really falters is in the controls. In order to start a game you a required to put your iPhone parallel to the floor. I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t generally game with my head leaning over the phone. This makes the base position for playing the game rather uncomfortable. Once you get passed that the tilt controls actually work very well, but none of that matters because playing the game is just uncomfortable. I’ve seen plenty of motion controlled games where it calibrates your starting position and makes that the center for tilt. Seems to me that this would be easy enough to implement and would make the game actually fun.

The game looks pretty decent, but the space theme is kind of lackluster. Its basically just a black screen with white dots for the stars.

Space snake had potential, but the poorly implemented controls keep the game from being recommendable.

Presentation & Graphics
2pt5-stars_sm
The space theme is underwhelming at best, really doesn’t add anything to the game, just a black screen with dots, but it’s not horrible graphically.

Sound
2pt5-stars_sm
No music, and the only real sound is the popping sound when you eat a food pellet. There isn’t even a sound when you die.

Gameplay
1pt5-stars_sm
Could be fun if the controls worked at all. Forcing the player to start in a certain position is just annoying.

Gamelife
2pt5-stars_sm
There is really only one stage, and while playing just a simple one stage game of snake worked back in 1996, it just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Game Rating

2pt5-stars
The game is not very good, unless you like getting a neck cramp from playing a game, I would pass on space snake.

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  • http://www.shiftingmind.com Pablo Gomez

    Hi there,
    I’m the developer of Space Snake, and I just wanted to chip in as to why there’s no calibration option in the game. The bottom-line is that information from a single accelerometer is simply not enough to do proper calibration. I did implement a calibration feature before release but ended up scraping it because it was just not good enough; Space Snake is all about precision and “calibrating” the iPhone to any position other than “parallel to the ground” makes it lose precision. In fact, when holding the iPhone parallel to the wall there’s no difference in accelerometer values when you move the iPhone sideways. You can go ahead and try “calibrating” your iPhone to this position in any of the games that offer calibration and you’ll see how everything breaks apart. Most games can get away with the inaccuracy produced by calibration because they don’t need that much precision in the first place, but with Space Snake losing precision means making hard turns becomes unpredictable and the speed control doesn’t work properly.

    That said, since this is a common complaint with Space Snake I’ll consider adding the calibration feature in a future update for those of you who would rather play in a slightly more comfortable position even at the loss of precision.

  • Nathan Mustafa, USA

    Oddly enough I have never desired to play a game with arms outstretched and iPhone parallel to the wall. I would think the most comfortable way to play is reclined with the device at a 60 degree angle to the horizontal, an angle at which most of my tilt games happen to work fine without any noticeable loss of precision. I am sure being able to zero out when parallel to the ground does make it convenient to not have to alter your accelerometer data in software, but hey everything has error anyways right?

  • legend.inc

    lol agreed.

  • http://www.shiftingmind.com Pablo Gomez

    The “parallel to the wall” argument was just to show how the extreme case works. The precision you get actually decreases the more you tilt until you get to the upright position where there’s no precision at all. Anyway, since I actually already have this feature implemented I’ll just add it to the next update and let the users decide if they care about precision or not. However I honestly don’t think that you can get to the top places of the high scores with any position other than the parallel to the floor one.

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