Snake vs Snake (2018)
Updated: Jan 25, 2019
Disclaimer: I received this game from the developer.
I think it's safe to say we all experienced playing the reliable, classic Snake at some point in our childhoods. You can't really go wrong with Snake. I spent one summer vacation as a pre-teen with a "brick" Nokia phone that had little functions other than essential phone calls and being unbreakable. However, on this small phone I discovered Snake, and I was good for the rest of the trip. Playing Snake always brings back positive memories and does not fail to entertain for hours. Anyway, personal stories aside, today I'll be reviewing Snake vs Snake, a recent release on the Nintendo Switch and a re-imagining of the original Snake game.
Snake vs Snake was developed by CasualGames.nu, a small team from Sweden. CasualGames has had several games released prior, but Snake vs Snake is the first to make it on to the Switch. Snake vs. Snake includes several different modes and varieties of the classic game, but you can choose to play the good old classic where your stage doesn't change while your tail grows. You can choose to use joystick or buttons to move (which is all the controls you need in single-player), but for me it just feels right to use the buttons to make the movements in this game.
I gave Snake vs Snake a go on single-player mode first, playing both a classic mode and a stage mode where each stage gets progressively more difficult due to added obstacles. The stages actually got fairly challenging, however, you do not have to start over if you fail one of them; the game just continues to add to your timer, and therefore lowers your final score. Each mode includes a leaderboard so you can see how you rank against other players. This game is still pretty fresh, so you can make it to a decent spot on the list if you give it a good shot.
Over the holiday break, I also had a chance to play Snake vs Snake multiplayer mode with my partner. It's definitely worth grabbing one or a couple friends to play this game with you if you're wanting to get the full experience. Multiplayer allows for up to 4 players, and of course, gets more intense and chaotic the more people you add. Battle Arena was probably our favorite of the multiplayer modes for its variety of outcomes and twists. Each apple your snake scoops up gives you an item at random, Mario Kart roulette-style, to use against your opponent or to boost yourself. For example, using the speed booster gives you an advantage to get the next apple, but also gives you hard-to-control speed that leads you to crash and burn (at least for me). This game mode was the most creative and the one I'd recommend to try out. "Pew Pew" mode was an extra little surprise I didn't expect - it basically turns Snake into a mini shoot-out. It's silly and exciting, because you have to land a headshot on the opposing player's snake in order to win, but every shot fired makes players jump due to the unexpected intensity of the rumble feature. I'll definitely plan going back and trying four-player mode to see how it changes the games.
I respect a game that keeps it down-to-basics simple as long as it is still fun. However, I think with this game missed an opportunity to be a little special with some better in-game aesthetics. The logo looks excellent and quickly drew my attention; however, the rest of the game doesn't align with the its bright look and feel. Navigating through the menu and different modes would be more effective if it included a small description of each game mode as well as game opt-in selections, instead of separating modes into "Pew Pew" and "Pew Pew Tail-less". Overall, I recommend Snake vs Snake if you're wanting to play some classic Snake on your Switch, and especially if you're looking for a retro competitive game that you can play with any skill-type group of friends. It makes for a fun, score-building time, but it could have been more memorable and long-lasting of a game with a few extra touches of creativity.
Snake vs Snake is available for on PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch
Played on: Nintendo Switch
Played: 12/22/2018 - 01/02/2019
Playtime: 2.5 hrs
How I heard about this game: Developer requested