Snake Pass (Review)
With its bright, colorful graphics, upbeat soundtrack composed by David Wise, and cartoonish animal protagonists, Sumo Digital’s Snake Pass immediately calls to mind classic 3D platformers. However, while Snake Pass is a puzzle platform game, its gameplay is quite different from most entries in the genre because the main character can’t jump.
The game stars a snake named Noodle and his hummingbird friend Doodle. They’re on a quest to save their home, although a bare minimum of story details are given to send the duo on their quest. Doodle can give Noodle a tiny boost, but for the most part, you’ll be slithering and winding your way through various obstacles and hazards.
The left stick controls Noodle’s head, and when you hold down the right trigger, he moves in the direction his head is pointing. Holding down the left trigger causes him to slow down and grip more tightly to surfaces, allowing you to wrap yourself around poles and other objects. Along with a few other simple commands, such as lifting Noodle’s head or diving in water, this puts you in control of Noodle’s movements.
Because of this unusual system, Snake Pass players are likely to fall into one of two categories: those who love the way it makes them plan out their actions to carefully maneuver Noodle to safety, and those who find it utterly tedious, especially in later levels. Snake Pass has some puzzles, but most of its puzzle gameplay is simply figuring out how to get Noodle across increasingly precarious platforms.
The game is relatively short, with 15 levels, each of which follows the same basic template. Depending on how skilled you are at maneuvering Noodle past dangerous areas, these levels can be either very short or take a lot of trial and error, although checkpoints are generally well-placed. Later levels add trickier elements, such as lava and wind. Each level also contains optional collectibles, which will significantly increase the play time for completionists, and there is also a bonus Time Trial mode to try.
Overall, Snake Pass is a difficult game to pass a solid verdict on. If you’re the sort of player who loves mastering unusual control schemes and thinking in all dimensions to solve physics-based puzzles, this colorful platform game is definitely worth a look. But if you’re not that sort of player, Snake Pass might leave you with more frustration than fun.