Reviews by Matt Dunn
Come with me now… back to the 90s… to the days when all we had in phone gaming was our trusty Nokia and the best phone game of all time: that’s right, SNAKE. Since then, Snake has been duplicated, reloaded, revamped, copied, and everything in-between. There are currently 10 Snake renditions/look-a-likes/wannabes in the App Store. How do they all stack up? Come in and get your Snake fill like it’s MGS2!
I’m going to assume you already are familiar with how Snake works, but just in case you don’t, here’s the breakdown. You’re a snake that can move up, down, left, or right. Your goal is to collect food of some sort. For every snack you touch (eat), you become longer. The idea is to eat as much as you can without running into the wall/obstacles/yourself. Simple? It is, but there are currently ten different ways to accomplish this on the App Store, and I’m going to plow through every single one!
It’s quite a feat reviewing 10 games with the same general idea, so to make things fair, the following rules will be followed:
- Each game is being reviewed independantly, NOT in comparison to the others
- Reviews are posted in alphabetical order
- Each game will only receive one overall star score
- One paragraph per review (so this doesn’t go on for pages, and so I don’t die of Snake poisoning…)
At the bottom of the reviews, I will post a summary of which games I think are the best of the bunch! Here we go…
Animation is smooth, but the graphics are a bit too simple. You can change your background, but it kinda looks a bit cheesy (I recommend just using the black background). Touch anywhere on the screen and the snake will go in that direction. Sadly, it’s tough to pull off quick turns, as it seems this game doesn’t support multi-touch (or it doesn’t do it well). This can be really frustrating. Both a worldwide and local leaderboard are included, which is pretty sweet.
iSnake is very impressive in it’s visual presentation. In this version of Snake, you eat lemons and avoid fire. It takes the daring risk of using the accelorometer as it’s only control option, but it controls much better than expected. However, the control seems to fail at random quick turns, which is a vital move for Snake games. Strangly, it’s suprisingly easy to make U-turns. There are no other features other than a local leaderboard with lame letter entry. Still, this is one sexy Snake remake!
Great concept. Looks descent. Horrible control response. It’s a good thing this game is free, because it will entice you with it’s intruiging snake vs. snake concept, and then break you with it’s terrible tilt controls. The idea of two snakes going at it at once is awesome, especially if wi-fi play was used, but it’s virtually impossible to make your snake go where you want it to go. Gets 2 stars for being free, and for a good cnocept.
Best. Name. Ever. Oh, and by the way, this game completely nails the look, feel, and control of the original Snake game for Nokia cell phones - right down to the old black and white display! The on-screen control-pad is incredibly responsive, even on the hardest of the game’s three difficulty settings (although it’s still not perfect). Aside from the speed difficulty, you can choose the size of the playing field, and even how the game looks! Included are the classic skin, which looks like the front of an old phone, and a newer jungle theme. You can even enable or disable walls as an option. Unfortunately, the high score list sucks, and there’s no online leaderboard. But yeah, this game is GREAT. Definitely a surprise for me.
This is the most expensive Snake game, and for good reason! It’s pretty much Snake for the next generation of gamers. This is by far the best looking Snake game on the App Store. The graphics are awesome, particularly your python. As you slither around, you just feel so… snakey! This game throws in a health bar with lives, as well as a great selection of levels with various appropriate obstacles (meteors in space, smooth stones in the zen garden, etc). The goal is still the same, except in Python you have to fill your food bar to progress to the next level. The game completely nails tilt control, as I had almost no issues with it. Unfortuantely, there is no high score page, or online high scores (just the current highest score). There is also no continue, or a way to start at a level you’ve completed. Would have been 5 stars if it was a bit more rounded with features, but dang this game is fun!
Rattlesnake is a pretty straightforward Snake clone, with some nice retro arcade graphics. This is the only game that actually has you hunting for small furry creatures (although there is a veggie mode for those that prefer!). When you see a large brown rat fade into the background, eat the rats on the game board for extra points. Eat a grumpy toad for more points, but it causes your snake to veer off in a random direction! For 99 cents, this is a great looking little snake game. Only downside is that the touch controls aren’t as responsive as they should be – generally during quick turns – and it can get pretty frustrating to control. Also, it only keeps last and highest score.
This game looks and sounds like it would be released for the Nintendo DS! Hell, the music is better than most DS games I’ve played! The retro-styled graphics are also awesome, with some great fluid animation on your snake. Definitely the best looking classic snake version out there. Unfortunately, the touch controls feel delayed for some reason, making for plenty of “dammit-I-was-going-for-the-egg-against-the-wall-and-died-again” moments. The second I was getting used to this, it would happen again, which is frustrating. There is a local high score list, but that’s it. This game really begs for more content, like different levels, maybe different things to eat, etc. The problem is that this is a standard snake game, but it looks and feels like it should be something so much more, and thus could be a let down to some.
I’m not gonna lie, I enjoyed this game waaay more than I probably should. After looking at the worst loading screen in history, you’re treated to a very cool 3D snake, and some hilariously cheesy sounds. There are a bunch of different things to eat, and some of them could be considered powerups with the effects they have. The snacks are represented by floating pictures of the actual food/item, which is cheesy. The game is definitely entertaining, and good for a laugh, but lacks the polish and longevity of more professional games. Also, oddly enough, you have to hold the iPhone practically on it’s side (screen facing you) to control, which is a bit uncomfortable.
As basic as you can get for a Snake game on the iPhone. Not necessarily a bad thing. If you’re a Snake purist, and you want absolutely no bells and whistles, extremely basic graphics, and vibration/sound that you can’t turn off, this may not be that bad. There is a pretty long delay between touching the screen, and the snake moving, but if you get used to it, it’s not bad either. You can choose between 3 difficulty levels (although I don’t see much of a difference), and the game keeps your highest score.
This is much like the above Snake game, but even more basic. Amazingly, it allows you to play either by swiping or using the accelerometer. In fact, it even lets you adjust the sensitivity of the y and x axis in your iPhone settings! This is officially the only snake game to offer both touch and tilt control options, and it’s FREE! I hope the other developers are hearing this! For that, it goes from a 2.5 to a 3 in my book! Viva variety!
I have to give some props to these developers! Other than Nibbles (which is free), every game got at least a 3 star score! In fact, all 10 games averaged comes to a cool 3.5 stars overall. Not too shabby! I hope this guide helps you guys out in your Snake decision making, because quite frankly I don’t want to see another Snake game for a long time! If you liked this “review-a-thon” (or heck, if you’ve simply read this far), please leave a comment and let me know what you think! I’ll leave you with the two top picks out of the group:
Best Classic Snake Remake: OmNomNom
Best Snake 2.0 Game: Python