Super Snake HD is a modern take on the classic phone game which has been enjoyed by millions of casual gamers over the years. Featuring cartoon graphics, an intuitive interface and a whole host of unlockable levels there is a distinct Angry Birds vibe to YoYo Games’ Super Snake HD.
The game has been developed by Game Maker creator Mark Overmars with art by Jochem Schut at YoYo Games Studios and is published by YoYo Games.
Obviously things have moved on a bit from the classic game, touch screen controls enable you simply to tap the screen to make the snake’s head turn 90 degrees towards your finger. There are also on-screen buttons if you prefer to keep your fingers away from the playing surface.
There are 80 level layouts which are split between 4 unlockable game worlds. Once you have directed your snake to eat the required number of chickens and eggs you can choose between continuing to play in the current level or otherwise head into a hole in the grass to successfully exit the level.
At times I found it hard to accurately guide the snake through a series of sharp turns together, but that’s the point of the game! So far I have found level difficulties to be an appropriate mix – some I completed on the first attempt whereas others required me to have multiple goes before leaving the game and returning later. To help with getting to grips with the game there is a great alternative to an introductory tutorial as new level features are unobtrusively introduced as they appear in the game, this shallow learning curve means the game is perfect for casual gaming and younger players.
Stars can be collected which enable you to survive crashing in to a level obstacle or your own tail, though you don’t get long to recover after you do crash, so you have to keep your finger waiting to quickly steer away. The value stars of course depends on the exact situation you find yourself crashing in as you could find yourself stuck in a loop of the snakes tail which is impossible to escape.
As you play through the levels new aspects of the game are introduced such as fruit, which can be collected for a points bonus; orange eggs, which start to hatch and develop legs and begin to walk backwards and forwards if they aren’t eaten in time; as well as faster red snakes.
One thing I did forget on occasions was that on some of the maze layouts it is possible to wrap around the screen at certain places. This may offer you an extra “get out of jail” opportunity but you’ll need to make sure you avoid crashing straight into your own tail!
The inclusion of unlockable in game achievements and OpenFeint integration adds a competitive element as you can compete on global highscore tables. I don’t imagine I will stay second for long!
There is also a multiplayer mode which reminds me of the Java game BM Tron. In this two players using the same mobile device compete against each using on screen keyboards at opposite ends of the screen. There are a number of selectable level designs and options for the two player mode. I was surprised how well this played on my HTC Desire though given the small screen size though I imagine it would be nicer still on an iPad.
In summary I am very impressed with this game. I found it very intuitive, liked the graphics style and large number of levels and features. Playing the game reminded me of Angry Birds a lot, if it can have just a fraction of the success that game has received Super Snake HD could be the game that gets YoYo Games known to thousands more gamers.