Think like a Snake! Be the Snake! Don’t eat your bird friend! At least, that was my personal mantra while playing Snake Pass at PAX East earlier this year. Perhaps you will make a different one when you start your adventure in this 3D puzzle platformer.
Snake Pass features a Snake named Noodle and his Hummingbird friend, Doodle. As you are playing as a snake, the only way to get around is to move the left stick left and right, performing an actual slithering motion. The game also involves finding ways to coil up obstacles, tightening and whirling your body over and around poles, rocks, and other various objects to climb to new heights.
The developers put a lot of thought into the controls, making the game fun, new, and challenging for players. It was as if they handed a player a Snake instead of a controller and said, “Using this body, how would you tackle this?” Moving like a snake and using its coils to wrap around things and climb does take some getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, it’s extremely addictive.
The character design is spot on, and the main protagonists are equally colorful and full of personality at first glance. Noodle has such a goofy look on his face when he falls that I was almost (ALMOST) not infuriated when I would loosen my grip just a little too soon on a coil. I’m excited to see how they both grow on their adventure, and if there are any other friends they may encounter.
The version displayed at PAX East featured an open tutorial-like level that let players get a feel for the challenging work of climbing without arms. The area was designed so that players could follow the tutorial or explore on their own if they felt comfortable enough. When I encountered difficulty I could always just slither back and check if the tutorial had any insight on that type of obstacle. It’s difficult to engage players with tutorials since they generally seem so force-fed, but Snake Pass lets you take it as you like. Once a player is familiar with the controls, and has somewhat mastered these abilities, they can challenge themselves by collecting many extra rewards that are strewn around the environments in hard-to-reach places. You’ll have to coil very carefully and plan your attack appropriately so that you can get all the collectables, though.
There will be 15 different levels to complete in the full game, and four world themes in total. I’m really excited to see the full build and how many different ways players are going to have to think to solve the variety of puzzles presented.
Snake Pass has released on Steam, Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Xbox One and Windows 10. Be the snake!