Snake Pass Reviews

Titanium Dragon
Titanium Dragon
TSA Score for this game: 777
Posted on 13 February 18 at 06:31
This review has 2 positive votes and 0 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Snake Pass is a highly unique 3D platforming game. You play as Noodle the Snake, and the twist of this game is that you need to move like a snake – slithering around, wrapping yourself around stuff to climb, and, most importantly, completely lacking the ability to jump. Assisting you is Doodle the Hummingbird, whose contribution is primarily lifting your tail on command.

This is a very unique game – the lack of ability to jump and the ability to slither around obstacles is very interesting, but it is also something which comes with a bit of a learning curve. Rather than the left joystick controlling your direction of movement, instead it controls the direction your head is turning, with a shoulder button used to push yourself forward. This is unintuitive at first, but is necessary for overcoming the various challenges in the game. You have the ability to lift your head (gravity will lower it on its own, though there is a dedicated dive button for the obligatory water sections), grip more tightly to what you’re clinging to (slowing your movement speed and helping you slither more tightly around the many thin poles strewing the levels), and the ability to have your hummingbird companion lift your tail when it is dangling off inconveniently into space. Being a snake, rather than moving in a straight line on the ground (or in the water), you instead move at the highest rate of speed by slithering your head back and forth.

Despite the novel control scheme, the game itself is pretty straightforward – it starts out simple in terms of obstacles, but then adds increasingly more complex and dangerous obstacles along the way, ranging from switches and moving platforms to blowing wind and ever more difficult to slither around platforming sections. There are no living enemies in any of the levels; it is only the environment, and the many bottomless pits, pits of coal, and spikes that can “kill” you. However, death is only a minor setback, putting you back at the last checkpoint, which you can manually run over to re-activate – a handy thing, considering that collectibles grabbed since the last checkpoint go away, to prevent kamikaze runs on collectibles – you have to collect that coin hanging way out in empty air and *survive* to keep it.

The primary objective in each level is to collect three colored crystals, which unlock the gate, each of which is located in some prominent but hard-to-reach location, with a convenient colored skybeam indicating what direction you’re supposed to go in. There are also secondary collectibles in each level, in the form of 20 blue orbs (mostly in pretty obvious locations) and 5 much more hidden coins (which are sometimes hard to see, and other times simply very hard to get to safely). Navigating the levels is the lowest level of challenge, with collecting all the collectibles the thing that will really tax your skills.

It isn’t a terribly long game – 15 levels in all, with the whole game taking perhaps six hours to beat, or twice that to 100% the game. The core gameplay isn’t hugely difficult at first, but it ramps up over time, with the final level being much, much harder than the first. However, because you are learning the control scheme early on, the early parts will seem harder than they actually are, while the later levels, despite their added difficulty, won’t feel too bad. The biggest hump in the game is mastering the control scheme – once you understand how to control Noodle, the game becomes much less frustrating, and is much more of a set up for some fairly unique 3D platforming.

Aesthetically, this game reminds me very heavily of the N64 era – while the graphics are much higher fidelity, the characters are cute animals and the levels have music reminiscent of that era. While the background music was passable, it wasn’t anything particularly memorable, and I’d say that about the aesthetics in general – it feels like many other games Rare made, even though it wasn’t made by Rare. The game’s levels are split up by a level select screen rather than a hubworld, which gives the game a slightly barebones feel – something reinforced by the very bare bones story, which is essentially nonexistent and anticlimactic. But let’s face it – your real goal in this game is to collect the shinies, not to care about the plot.

This is not a game for everyone. But it is a game for people who are interested in 3D platformers, but who would like to see something very different out of one of them. This is a very unique game, and the control scheme is likely unlike anything you’ve ever played before. As such, I’d say this is worth playing if you’re into 3D platformer games, but it isn’t really something that people who aren’t already into that genre are likely to appreciate.
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