Review

Snakes

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Developer: Ioma Publisher: Nokia
Release Date: January 25, 2005 Also On: None

It is not everyday that you get a game that comes along that can attract to as many people as Snakes has. Hardcore gamers, cell-phone moms and dads, and 1990s PC-owning grandparents have all played Snakes. It is a craze, a frenzy that has infected every part of the globe, on nearly all portable devices. Now it infects your N-Gage, but this time, it comes in three dimensions instead of two.

The premise is simple enough: control a fast moving snake (a line with a spear-shaped head) that grows every time you eat dots. If you run into a wall, or your body, the game comes to a swift end. In the 3D version, that basically stays the same, other than you can now crash into destructible walls (it still damages your snake), use speed pads and slow pads, etc.

The goal in the game has also changed. Where it was once survive as long as you can rack up the points, you now have to complete levels (30 or so levels). You have a time limit, for which you will be held accountable (i.e. you will die) if you do not collect enough dots to satisfy your snake. The easiest path is known as the power path, a set of dots that appear in some sort of order, and must be activated.

Sounds easy enough, right? Don't get your hopes up, because it is more challenging than you may think. The level designs are more varied than any freeware program I have come across. Did I forget to mention that this game was free? Yeah, you can download it off of the N-Gage.com website.

Anyway, levels are designed in a grid pattern. You can have your traditional grid or you may have a hexagonal grid, where turns become a greater challenge. This requires greater reflexes than you might imagine, and careful planning if you are to multiply those dots sequentially. To make things even more complicated, add in speed-ups/slow-downs, not to mention the holes in the levels which reveal a side opposite of the one you are playing on.

On the visual side, Snakes is once again a surprising treat for being a freebie. The environments are fully 3D with a flat surface, and grooves along the mountainous impasses that your snake will peruse. The colors are the highlight of the visual style, which reminds me of the 1980s arcade movement. Also, thankfully, the frame rate remains steady, but considering the "simplicity" (it is actually more complex than you may think) of the action on the screen, this is to be expected.

Snakes is a surprising treat for all N-Gage owners to savor. You can download it via the internet, N-Gage Arena, or your N-Gage can become "infected" with it if a friend downloads it to your N-Gage using Bluetooth. There is really no room for complaints when your gameplay is free. I am not exactly sure why Nokia opted to offer this for free; Snakes is a brilliant game worthy of your time.

Graphics: 8
Sound: 8
Gameplay: 9
Creativity: 8
Replay Value/Game Length: 8.5
Final: 8.5
Written by Kyle Review Guide

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