Thank you EnjoyUp Games for sending us this game to review.
I can recall a time before Pokémon Go, before Candy Crush, and before Angry Birds - there was Snake. A simple game that required very little skill to play. Snake quickly became the most recognizable cellphone game ever, though it originally was released in 1976. Well it's 2016 and EnjoyUp has decided that the 3DS needed a Snake clone.
Sssnakes is a modern interpretation of that classic Nokia cellphone game that everyone remembers. There are 20 levels total and they nearly all have the same goal - eat all the eggs on screen. There are two colors of eggs: blue and green. Eating eggs of the same color increases your score faster as well as increasing the speed of the snake. Once a certain amount of eggs are eaten, a secret will appear somewhere in the level. Finding and collecting it will shower out more eggs to collect. In certain levels other snakes will roam the level as well and eat the eggs they come across. Pressing any of the face buttons allows the snake to shoot a fireball at the expense of one of its segments. This is used to eradicate other snakes and enemies, but it can also be used to shoot yourself. Shooting your own tail will reduce the speed of your snake which will help to reduce colliding with walls at high speeds. The fireball helps to mitigate the problem of eventually running into your own tail.
Stages 5, 10, 15, and 20 each have a unique gimmick to how the stage must be completed. For example stage 5 is an auto-scroller. As the stage slowly pans right, you must guide your snake through a maze to reach the checkered goal area. In these stages the eggs are only to increase your score and are not required to be collected to finish the stage. Stage 10 has the snake in a dark maze with only a small amount of light around it. These stages are rather difficult as it's easy to hit a wall or a trap that pops up in front of you.
Score attack is the other game mode in Sssnakes. Any of the stages you unlock in the main game mode will be playable here. The objective is as simple as it can get: eat as many eggs until you either crash into a wall or an enemy gets you. You can upload your high scores to an online leaderboard.
Visually, the game looks pretty good. The top screen is a nice pseudo-3D style, whereas the bottom screen is an 8-bit display of the stage. The most surprising part is the game can be played using either screen. The only thing that changes is the top screen looks more appealing and is displayed in 3D. Normally I'd reserve an entire section to describe the music of a game, but in Sssnakes there's only a handful of songs. They are serviceable, but in no way are they memorable. I encourage anyone who buys this game to look in the digital manual. That's where you'll find a secret cheat code that unlocks a sound test mode.
Sssnakes is a safe game that relies far too heavily on the premise of nostalgia. At $1.99 I can't personally say it's worth it. Gamers looking for a quick pick-up-and-play type of game may find Sssnakes to be a perfect option. Anyone else looking for a deep game with hours of content will not find those qualities here.