The Snake Game: An Inspiring Evolution in Mobile Gaming

The Snake Game: An Inspiring Evolution in Mobile Gaming

How old were you when you first played Snake? And was it on an Android/Apple mobile device or on a Nokia phone?

As you can see, we didn’t ask ‘if you played Snake’ because you’d have to be living under a boulder this whole time to not have played it! The Snake game is one of the most popular mobile games of all times and it is considered the ancestor of the mobile gaming industry as we know it today.

So, in honor of the Snake game, we will shortly review its history and describe its evolution in time.

The Birth of the Mobile Gaming Industry

The concept of guiding a line of pixels across the screen and make it bigger as it consumes other pixels and avoids obstacles first appeared in 1976, in the arcade game Blockade which was developed by Gremlin.

In Blockade, players also had to navigate a line of pixels that left a trail behind, until it gets big enough to block the other player. However, this game was designed for two players, and couldn’t be played alone since the second snake, left uncontrolled, would just ram into a wall thus ending the session.

The concept was borrowed and perfected by Nokia in 1988 when they created the first version of the Snake game, which could be played alone. They also added the individual pixels which could be used to get the line bigger.

Starting this moment, people had access to video games on their mobile, which led the game to get viral in 2000, when Nokia hit the jackpot with their best-selling unit, Nokia 3310. The phone came with a second version of the game, with better graphics and new features.

Side note: The Nokia 3310 model was revived in 2017 and it comes with Snake as a built-in feature.

The Evolution of Snake

From the moment it became viral, the game caught the world’s attention and motivated Nokia to continue developing it. As hardware and software for mobile devices improved, so did the game offering a better-looking snake that would hunt for bugs (instead of pixels) and would even open its mouth.

However, the game lost its touch when Nokia tried to launch the N-Gage mobile gaming platform that offered several 3D games, among which players could find Snake. Sadly, the new design offered a different experience compared to the original version and this left many players disappointed.

After this version, and supported by the growth of their Symbian platforms (the SO that ran on modern Nokia mobile phones), there came better games such as Snake III and Snake Subsonic. These received better reviews and people got hooked up again.

Snake in the Present

With the downfall of Nokia, the game got released into the world of Android and iOS smartphones. At this point, developers let their imagination fly and this is how we got to enjoy all sorts of Snake versions that only remotely look like the original.

If you’re interested in trying something new, you can play here some of the most interesting and challenging versions. You’ll notice that we are far away from the monochromatic design that featured a line eating dots!

In fact, one of the most popular indie games in recent history,, is based on the concept of Snake. While you’re no longer navigating a line that gets bigger, you are navigating a colorful blob that needs to eat smaller blobs on the board to get bigger. Furthermore, besides avoiding obstacles, you also must avoid being eaten by other players who navigate bigger blobs.

In conclusion, what started as a simple method to pass time, it became a world phenomenon that inspires developers and players even today!

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Aspiring ninja.

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