Review by Eric Kelly

Game Review: Snake Pass (Switch)

Game Review: Snake Pass (Switch)

There are 2D and 3D platformers out there to play to your heart's content, but no one seems to care about the discarded middle. That's where Snake Pass comes in. Modeled like a 3D platformer, but Sumo Digital has decided to eschew the actual gameplay of a 3D platformer. Instead, you take on a role in which one of the main elements of platforming is missing. Namely, the ability to jump. What follows is something that feels more like QWOP or Octodad. This approach leads to an interesting and fun game, despite the challenges of a setup where you'll be fighting the learning curve of the mechanics paired with a troublesome camera.

The very paper-thin plot is about how a snake named Noodle and his avian friend named Doodle are lazing about and relaxing on an island in a pocket dimension, when they decide to head back. Although there's trouble brewing, as a darkness seems to be negatively affecting the area. What's more, you'll need to re-find the keystones to open the portal back up so you can move onto the next area, and eventually get home. Since you are playing the role of a snake, you can't just jump and climb everywhere. Instead, you'll have to slither around, moving left and right to slowly pick up speed. And you'll have to cling and slowly slink your way around scaffolding to climb up walls. Although doodle can give you a boost if you are struggling. This is where controlling Noodle can get difficult, as it sometimes seems like Noodle will move wherever he wants. Or there's the problematic camera which will get in your way, making it hard to see what you are doing and where you are going. You'll have to also deal with moving platforms and traps to get around, and find the three keys to move onto the next level. There are some other collectibles that unlock things in the game as well.

The game is still pretty fun even with constantly fighting with the camera and learning the intimacies of the mechanics. The soundtrack is wonderfully done by Donkey Kong Country composer David Wise. It's it's his typical affair, but it's still nice and relaxing to listen to. The graphics also don't seem to suffer all that much on the Switch, so it's amazing that a port that took only a few months to put together and release looks this good. While all console versions of the game run at 30 FPS, the game runs at a locked framerate that never seems to dip. And the game still has a smooth experience all around due to good frame pacing. But if you want 60 FPS, you'll have to go get the Steam version. The game is pretty short at only four worlds long though, and while there are time attack versions of the levels, the unlockables aren't really enough extra content to warrant a full $20 purchase. But if you are still interested in the game, the Switch version of Snake Pass is a solid option for gamers that might want a little something different in their 'platformer'. Just remind yourself that you'll need some time to get used to how the game plays, and how to beat the camera. Otherwise, this is a decent game.    

The Bottom Line: A decent 3D 'platformer' with non standard gameplay from the genre, although you'll be fighting the controls and camera a bit. 

Acquisition Method: This game's review code was provided by the publisher. 

Our Grade:
The Good:
  • The game looks great on the Switch and is colorful.
  • The music is great, coming from Donkey Kong Country composer David Wise.
The Bad:
  • Fighting with the camera.
  • Very short for the price point.

Eric is one of the co-hosts of the RPGrinders podcast, as well as a freelance video game writer. You can follow him on Twitter @EricRPG .

Review by - 5/17/2017 8:55 AM668 views

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