Developer: Sumo Digital
Publisher: Sumo Digital
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4, Switch
Tested on: Switch
Snake Pass – Review
Admittedly, the Switch has one of the poorest starting lineups a console has ever seen, because Nintendo wanted to surf the hype train the Breath of the Wild was providing them, but if you didn’t get a copy of the game with your Switch, or if you have grown tired of it already, the console simply doesn’t have any decent titles to offer solo players. We were surprised to see Snake Pass also release on the Switch, as not many ‘bigger’ third party games have been developing for the platform, or some have also had a late start. We were pleased to see Sumo Digital gave this odd console a chance and brought their slithery physics game to Nintendo’s Switch.
You know things aren’t going to get too heavy when the protagonists are named Noodle and Doodle, the hummingbird, but the story feels a bit bland and lackluster, simply because at the beginning of the game it’s rather unclear if there’s a story present at all. Nonetheless, you, Noodle, a snake, notice an intruder in your otherwise charming world, which at the moment seems very void of life. For some reason you’ll have to uncover the intruder, as he’s messing up the balance of the otherwise perfect world. Truth be told, we even had to look this up, as during the first few levels of the game there simply isn’t that much info. It’s clear this game only received a notion of a story, as it could easily do without, but the addition of the ‘story’ does make it a bit more personal and appealing.
Two words could easily describe our experience of the Switch version of Snake Pass, namely: Colorful bliss. This game is so attractive, adorable and detailed you simply want to press on to see what you can discover next. While many worlds feel a bit alike, there are small details that spice things up, or the addition of water in which you can slither your way to the bottom, that will truly make this a very joyous experience, visually.
The characters are also very bright and likeable, making this game a delight for both young and old, and in many ways it does remind us of the color palette of the soon-to-be-reviewed Yooka-Laylee, and many other older games from the PlayStation 1 and Nintendo 64 era.
While the overall atmosphere of this game is pretty much picture perfect, the music is a bit more ambient, even though it’s quite upbeat. Nonetheless, the rather joyful soundtrack is overshadowed by environmental noises, the slithering of Noodle, and it’s actually quite nice to enjoy the noises that are generated by the landscapes, with only a fairly subtle soundtrack in the background. When standing still, the tunes will have an increased volume, allowing you to enjoy the music.
Snake Pass is a mix of adventure and puzzles, but perhaps more the latter, as you’ll have to put your gray matter to work in order to complete many of the levels this game throws at you. Seeing you’ll be playing as a snake, your moves are quite limited, but your friend Doodle also has a few tricks up his… wings.
You’ll have to move like a snake to gain some speed in this title, and this is done by wiggling the joystick to the left and right, as you’ll otherwise hardly move forward. While this is certainly a fun mechanic, it gets a bit tedious at times, and it would have been easier if the game automatically made Noodle slither when pressing the button to propel him forward. Other than that, he’ll also be able to lift his head up, in order to climb on things, and he’ll also be able to grab onto items tightly, making sure he doesn’t fall off as easily. The latter becomes very important the further you progress in the game, as you can’t storm your way through levels. You’ll have to play this game in a rather calm and focused fashion, seeing you’ll otherwise have a lot of difficulty completing levels, collecting items or even making it past a few tricky obstacles.
Truth be told, that’s pretty much all there is to the game, with an increasing difficulty as you go. Of course Doodle can also aid you by carrying your tail, which often proves to be more useless than you think, as the pick-up command doesn’t properly respond when you’re already slipping away from a bar or other climbable objects.
While this game only has fifteen levels, you’ll have a hard time beating them in one sitting, or in a few hours for that matter. A lot of the levels can easily take up to twenty lminutes simply to reach the end goal, and if you want to collect all the collectibles, we reckon it will take a lot longer than that, as many items are placed in very tricky spots.
The creepy crawler Snake Pass slithered its way successfully onto the Switch and we simply loved the game, even though it’s not that long, and has a few rather big difficulty spikes. If you own a Switch, and you’re still looking to fill the current gap of games with something fun, albeit a little bit frustrating at times, Snake Pass certainly gets a pass in our books. This game made us feel rather young again thanks to its vibrant visuals, updated with modern mechanics and gameplay.