Anyone who longs for the days of playing classic Snake on their Nokia phone will be happy to know the game still lives on in EnjoyUp's updated version - Sssnakes. Unfortunately, Sssnakes doesn't offer much that the classic didn't do already, and considering there are a lot of easily accessible games to download, both for console and mobile, it is hard for Sssnakes to compete and stand out as a title worth your time.
The premise is simple - you take control of a snake, eating bait and avoiding enemies as you dart around the screen. The snake grows in length as you progress, making navigating around the screen harder and harder as you eat more. The levels grow progressively more difficult, with more complicated mazes, more enemies and more obstacles added throughout. Other levels incorporate multiple snakes, patches of darkness to weave through and rocks to destroy, which also add to the mounting difficulty.
It sounds pretty much the same as the original 'Snake' game so far, except for 3DS, right? Well, the selling point of this title is that it adds a 3D screen to the mix. Your bottom screen will be the standard top down view of the black/white maze (reminiscent of the original), whereas the top screen shows a 3D, colour view which features the snake and enemies in full detail and at a closer angle. The execution of the 3D graphics is not great; that isn't too much of a problem with this style of game as its premise is so basic, but it would have been nice to see some more imagination to keep it interesting.
Also everything - enemies, environment, goodies - are green, a nod to the Nokia phone original that makes it all blend together and look bland. The main issue with the top screen lies in a slow response time, meaning that you could be happily careening off into a rock or wall without knowing until seconds later. The bottom screen has a retro charm to it, and to be honest you could play the entire game just with this and not miss the top screen. The music, although upbeat and happy, can become jarring and repetitive as it is on a loop, and you might find yourself playing with the sound off to stop going crazy.
One thing which you can guarantee about Sssnake, is that it is difficult. The levels progressively get harder, and you will have to be vigilant when watching the screen and react quickly in the face of obstacles. Whenever a course has been finished total points will be displayed. In order to accumulate the most points, it is important to not use all your weapons throughout, as this reduces the snake's length and will detract from your end of level bonus. Like most puzzle games the gameplay is ultimately repetitive and can wear thin if it doesn't successfully hook you in.
There isn't much to add about Sssnakes in terms of bonus levels or additional content, the game is pretty straightforward with not many frills. Considering the lack of extras, it may have been worth spending more time on the most unique point of the game - which is the 3D aspect.
Sssnakes is a very basic game, and this can be a good or bad thing. It works well for those who might have limited time to play whilst on a commute, but for those who are looking for something to immerse themselves in it's definitely not that kind of game. For the low price of entry it's worth having on your 3DS just to relive the nostalgia of the Nokia version, but we would not expect Sssnakes to be one you rave to your friends about. It does not have the originality of other classic action puzzle games, and unfortunately the graphics and music do little to reel you in.