Published on April 22nd, 2017 | by Zorbz
REVIEW: Snake Pass
Summary: Think like a snake, move like a snake…be a snake!
Concept: Snake Pass from Sumo Digital is a very unique game in which you take control of Noodle the snake, accompanied by his best friend Doodle, the hummingbird. Now anyone looking for a deep engrossing story, this isn’t the game for you, the story is basically a means to tie all the levels together, when really the main focus of the game is all about gameplay. Gameplay like you’ve never experienced might I add.
The things you do for that $$$
Graphics: Vibrant, colourful worlds is what immediately comes to mind when I think about Snake Pass. Each level is filled with beautiful scenery with some quite impressive visuals, both in the environment and Noodle himself, with his animation being a thing of beauty as you traverse him through the levels, sliding along the ground and coiling yourself around obstacles to reach your goals. When looking at Snake Pass, especially on the Nintendo Switch, you wouldn’t question that this wasn’t a full blown Nintendo developed game as it very much fits with their gorgeous albeit cartoony characters and worlds. So Sumo Digital definitely found a perfect home bringing this to Nintendo’s latest console.
Gameplay: I’ve played many puzzle platformers and physics based games in the past, but never have I experienced playing as a snake in a way that felt authentic. Snake Pass uses several buttons to get Noodle moving the way you need him to with essentially the right trigger acting as the acceleration button and the joystick used to wriggle around to get momentum going. Holding forward on the joystick will result in a slow slither, so you really need to think like a snake and alternate going left and right to get Noodle to pick up speed. That’s just movement, then comes climbing. Climbing involves knowing how to wrap yourself around bamboo and posts by using a button designated to lifting Noodles’ head, along with the right trigger to accelerate and the left trigger to grip, whilst wriggling your way up and under and around the environment. Sound cumbersome? It is, but in a very natural, yet challenging and rewarding way. Snake Pass is not an easy game by any stretch and can become quite frustrating when constantly failing to climb across chasms or over pits filled with spikes, trying to collect the three stones required to beating a level. Falling into pits and the like results in losing all your hard earned collectibles that you had accrued after your last checkpoint, which are few and far between and becomes Snake Pass’s biggest detriment as it can turn a lot of players off having to redo things that might have taken them quite a bit of time to accomplish, only to have it taken away by a slight mistake. Sticking with it though you will find however that you will naturally start getting better at understanding what you need to do, making you a much better player, so there is that risk/reward mentality when playing, however it isn’t for everyone.
He so happy
Sound: DAVID WISE! The man is back to bring his amazing talents of audio wizardry to Snake Pass! David Wise is known for his amazing work over the years, most notably the Donkey Kong Country series and his work on Snake Pass is nothing short of great. Wise really understands what it means to create music to fit the tone of a game and to create scores that really fit with the settings in which you are placed it. Whether it’s the sounds of insects buzzing or birds chirping in the background to the sounds of tribal instruments creating a soundtrack fit for a rain forest backdrop to the more Caribbean music when playing in a tropical island location, everything just fits so well.
Awesomeness: The innovative way in which you control Noodle is something I have never experienced and I am so glad that dev teams are out there trying to create these new experiences of gameplay. Looking at Snake Pass I thought this would be a more child friendly easy run of the mill game, but what I got was a very intricate and heavily nuanced experience that focuses heavily on risk and reward taking the characters physics and animation to a new level. It really is unlike anything you may have played before.
“Doodle you idiot! SAVE ME!!”
Final Word: There is always a risk creating something new, and not just in terms of new IP, but in innovating new gameplay experiences. I commend Sumo Digital for creating such a unique experience and putting the love and care, along with polish into Snake Pass and at the bargain price it is sold at, I can easily recommend all Switch owners give this game a shot.
Score out of 5 bugs