Snakenoid Deluxe (DSiWare)

Game Review

Snakenoid Deluxe Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Philip J Reed

In which the word "deluxe" is cheapened enormously

Last year, we reviewed Snakenoid, a Snake/Arkanoid hybrid from Cinemax that answered our question of how one could possibly combine the gameplay from those two games. That answer was, "pretty disappointingly, thanks for asking."

We felt it was a bit of a mess, at best, a complete waste of time and points at worst. It's finally available Stateside, which typically doesn't require another review, but since Snakenoid is now marketing itself as Snakenoid Deluxe, it's technically a different release and we have a chance to revisit the game and decide whether or not it's grown on us at all. It absolutely has not.

Read our Snakenoid review, because every word of it applies here. You'd be forgiven for believing that the "deluxe" added to the title reflects at least one additional feature. You'd be forgiven, but you'd be wrong.

Snakenoid Deluxe, as near as we can tell, is Snakenoid. Apart from slapping a "deluxe" beside the word Snakenoid in-game — which, amusingly, doesn't happen quite every time the title is seen — we can't discern much in the way of change at all. The game still plays atrociously, it doesn't contain any new gameplay modes or enemies and the graphics look identical. If there were any tweaks at all, they must have been pretty minor. That's a shame, because a game like Snakenoid could have done with a major overhaul.

You control the snake by dragging your stylus along the touch screen. Wherever you move, he moves. It's ostensibly your goal to bat the little red ball upward in order to destroy the blocks on the upper screen, but good luck with that. Games like Arkanoid understand the value of having a paddle that's... well... flat. Flat paddles give you the chance to plan your shots and predict where rebounding balls will go with a little bit of thought given to basic geometry. In Snakenoid you're bumping an awkwardly-shaped snake's head into a round object and there's absolutely no way of knowing where it's going to end up.

There's also no clear indication of how powerfully the ball will deflect. One would expect that a faster swipe would apply more force to the ball, but in practice there's no correlation at all between your speed with the stylus and the momentum behind the ball when it meanders aimlessly away. This is a huge problem which makes any kind of planning whatsoever impossible, and leaves you at the mercy of a game that doesn't seem much to respect your decisions as a player.

When you break blocks on the upper screen, power-ups, power-downs and points pick-ups are likely to fall out. The power-ups are all basic ball splitters and speed modifiers, and don't really shake up gameplay at all. Alternatively, an enemy could pop out and interfere with the movement of your ball, or even attack your snake. As you might imagine, introducing hordes of brainless enemies to the playing field only makes the game more frustrating, and deaths more cheap.

Arcade and Challenge Mode are unlocked from the start, and offer only slightly different variations on the above formula. Challenge Mode's gimmick is mainly that it's a gateway to unlocking Endless Mode, which provides the game with some additional urgency but ultimately offers no more satisfaction. The presentation is the same as ever: functional but dull graphics and a soundtrack that wouldn't leave an impression if you listened to it endlessly for a thousand years.


Snakenoid Deluxe is every bit as bad as Snakenoid, which is understandable, as it's practically the same game. We didn't enjoy it very much the first time, and this re-release for the sake of asking "do you like me yet?" gives us no reason to reconsider our stance. The controls are awful, the gameplay frustrating and unaddictive and the presentation is entirely forgettable. Join us again next year for our review of Snakenoid Deluxe Remastered.

From the web

User Comments (24)



Dodger said:

So, are you seriously telling me that they released a deluxe version and didn't add a new level mode or any new features? Even if they replaced the levels, that isn't a deluxe mode. That's a sequel. Lame.



BenAV said:

Good review.
I didn't get the original and I'm not getting this.
I look forward to your review of Snakenoid Deluxe Remastered.



cinemaxgames said:

Snakenoid was released in EU, Snakenoid Deluxe was released in US. So it's not sequel. It's same game with following improvements: improved physics and ball control, more type of background and few gameplay improved (Crab and Fire projectile). We didn't release same game again, but new version on different territory.



Undead_terror said:

did we really wanted to spend $5 on something like this anyway,theres more games cheaper then this and they are good.What im meaning is,is that dsiware is dead,3dsware and vc is pretty much the only thing you can buy now.



ueI said:

I've noticed that Philip is a very harsh reviewer! This game scored lower than the original snakenoid.



3dbrains said:

@uelThat's because this is the exact same game! Nintendo you should be ashamed of yourselfs for letting this release happen.BOOOOOOOO!



Philip_J_Reed said:

It's same game with following improvements: improved physics and ball control, more type of background and few gameplay improved (Crab and Fire projectile).

Thanks for the clarification on what the changes were. It's difficult to compare across territories, as we can't play the games side by side, but everything we've heard from Drake about the original version seemed to apply here as well, and vice versa.

The physics and ball control may well have been improved — there's no way I can know how much they've been improved — but judging them on their own merits in this release, I stand by my evaluation that they're not nearly as good or reliable as they need to be in this kind of game.

Thank you for your comments!



Dreadjaws said:

Whoa, did the developer actually answer to the game's review? Is he so desperate to find someone who likes it? And where is he from?



Raylax said:

@Dreadjaws: Going from the user profile, they're from the Czech Republic. I doubt they're here because they're "so desperate to find someone who likes it", it's good to see developers take and comment on the feedback and reviews given.

Personally, I like Cinemax, but I think they should focus their efforts on building NintendoWare software applications rather than games - them, Nnooo and Collecting Smiles produce some particularly good useful/creativity apps for the service, and they're definitily much better at them (the Rytmik series is excellent, the Calculator is pretty handy, and Biorhythm is an interesting diversion if not terribly useful) than they are at the games.




I downloaded the first one and subsequnetly loathed it. I've downloaded a lot of dsiware in my time and that was one of the few games I really didn't like. They've fraked up again!



BulbasaurusRex said:

If you thought it was exactly the same, why did you give it an even lower score? Was it just for misleading us with the whole "deluxe" thing.



Morpheel said:

@Dreadjaws: That's harsh and unnecessary, I wish more developers would read and comment their reviews, specially the bad ones.
Negative reviews are the only useful ones for them.



Philip_J_Reed said:

If you thought it was exactly the same, why did you give it an even lower score?

Drake thought it was worth a 4, but I thought it was only worth a 3. It's as simple as that.



rayword45 said:

@Dreadjaws Lol, he was CLARIFYING. That has to be the most asinine assumption I've ever read. Completely uncalled for.

Anyways, not getting the game since of the very few reviews I've seen, this game has yet to get better then a mediocre score. Shame, as this is another concept from DSiWare that's absolutely ingenious (just apparently not well executed)



KoiTenchi said:


I agree entirely that what Dreadjaws said was harsh and unnecessary. I was pretty shocked to see Cinemaxgames comment on this review in such a neutral way, especially after the review was quite harsh on the game. I'm not going to suggest that the review was unwarranted, as I can't really say since I haven't played it, but the fact is that the review gave the game a bad score and suggested that "there were no improvements over the original Snakenoid". That being said, Cinemaxgames responded by merely coming in, making no comment whatsoever on the poor score or the reception the game received, and neutrally stating "these are the changes we made".

The way I look at it, though Cinemaxgames might possibly not have the best programmers (Again, this is merely going off the review and not a fact that I can personally support) their method of responding to this review was one of the best I've seen in recent gaming history, especially considering the amount of rude backlash I feel I've been seeing from other video game publishers and developers lately. Honestly, though I still have no intention to buy this game and arguably feel that the "deluxe" subtitle was a little misleading, I truly respect the way in which Cinemaxgames' PR people responded to this and feel a lot of other gaming companies can take note. All this considered, I'm going to keep Cinemaxgames company name in my mind to see what they release in the future. Certainly if they release something that seems personally more up my alley, I would gladly make a purchase from them as I would love to support their company.



KoiTenchi said:


Fair enough. I feel like enough people don't stop and realize that not everyone is going to have the same opinion on a game, even if those two individuals work for the same review site.



cinemaxgames said:

We know that Snakenoid is not our best game, but still there are players who like our game - unfortunately @Chicken_Brutus is not . Now we are finishing two sport/arcade games: Goooooal Europe 2012 and Decathlon 2012. So everyone will have chance to discuss about new our games soon. Stay tuned!

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