Snake Pass is a puzzle game, but not an average puzzler. You play as Noodle the snake, and that’s pretty much all I got. I’m sure there is a story, but it wasn’t engaging enough to care. Snake Pass is a collectathon more than an epic tale of Noodle the snake.
Each level has 20 bubbles that are scattered around and hidden in the level, as well as 5 coins that are more difficult to find than the bubbles. But the most important and main items to collect are the 3 different colored gems. You need to find these gems to unlock the portal to the next level.
The challenge comes in when you try to control Noodle. Think like a snake, Snake Pass loading screen reminds you, and that is solid advice. Moving is not just as simple as pressing forward. As a snake you need to slither to the left and swing back to the right to get momentum going forward. This is where the game starts getting slightly frustrating. Sometimes you know exactly where you need to go, but maneuvering Noodle gets annoying. The controls feel sluggish at times, or Noodle won’t do what I want him to. It reminds me of QWOP or Surgeon Simulator. In those games the frustration was part of the experience, but not once did I feel like Snake Pass was trying to replicate that. The movement could get aggravating on certain levels. An example would be the late game “wind” levels which have some extremely difficult to navigate areas.
The game doesn’t really add any different game play mechanics throughout Snake Pass’s 15 levels. Certain groups of levels will add new obstacles, like the fire levels have hot coals that hurt if you slither over them, or the wind levels where your bird friend can help carry you up updrafts. Snake Pass is more about mastering the control of Noodle and learning how to coil and wrap around objects to climb up a bamboo ladder or get through a jungle gym of random bamboo poles.
Each level is beautiful, I’ve played on my switch in docked mode most of the time. The colors are vibrant and the animations are smooth. Snake Pass runs clean and crisp on the Unreal 4 engine. Its biggest technical hiccups come in the switch’s handheld mode. The game then becomes a pixelated mess. Not to say the game runs poorly, it just looks noticeably worse in handheld mode. Though that would be something only people on the switch would notice. Sadly I was planning on playing more in handheld mode, but the awful quality in that mode detoured me. If you’re playing on the ps4, pc, or xbox one you won’t run into any of these issues, or if you have the switch in the dock during your Snake Pass sessions.
The game’s 15 levels are an enjoyable length, and it will take you a good amount of time if you want to collect every bubble and coin on each level. Sadly, trying to find every item in every level can get extremely mind numbing. I’ve spent about 10 hours trying to 100% the game, and have yet to find everything. If you play for just “beating” the game, Snake Pass could take you almost not time at all. The levels are never too difficult to figure out what to do, just sometimes controlling your body gets in the way. Snake Pass reminds me a little of Angry birds, or those types of mobile games. The levels can be quick, but trying to “3 star” or find all the collectibles can be an enjoyable time sink. Snake Pass was a great time waster game for me, something to play between the intermissions of a hockey game, but not something that I’ll probably ever go back to. Maybe I’m not the target audience. Snake Pass would be a great baby’s first collectathon, something to get for your kids that you can play with them. Snake Pass is a quick, fun, and frustrating game.
Note: GameOctane purchased a code for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for reviews is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience.
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+ Simple Gameplay
+ Hundreds of collectibles
+ Fast and Fun levels
+ Vibrant and colorful
- Controls take a while to get used to
- 15 levels