Snakeybus is here and it’s a wonderful new take on the classic mobile game Snake, that dominated many peoples free time and destroyed the battery of every Nokia 3210.
The premise is simple – drive a bus, pickup passengers, then drop them off. What could go wrong! Well everything really… you careen around several environments, some based on real life locations, smashing everything in sight and trying to avoid eating your own tail. It’s Crazy Taxi meets Snake but with way less of The Offspring and a lot more bendy buses.
There’s a good risk reward balance at play here. Pick up enough passengers to fill the bus and your “tail” grows bigger, earning you a bigger score. However, the more people you collect and the longer you wait to drop them off, the higher the chance of bumping into yourself and it’s game over. With the environments being tight and full of dead ends, water hazards and bottomless pits it becomes a real challenge as the bus gets to unmanageable sizes. Thankfully the bus has been equipped with a rocket booster that sees gravity take a back seat as the bus leaps into the sky. Arches of bendy bus start to litter your path and create little gaps for you to sneak through and keep building your score. This is limited though and can only be used every so often as you need to wait for it to recharge.
Graphically it’s hardly the most impressive but it fits this style of game perfectly to be honest. You don’t want too many flashy effects distracting you from the job at hand after all. The “real life” environments add in enough small details so you can tell where you are but all of them boil down to tight little corridors of buildings. It does go out of its way to provide some more unusual places to drive around such as the inside of a museum, inside a bedroom, a floating orb surrounded by undulating paths and more with each provide a different kind of challenge to keep you interested.
There’s some variety to the game modes as well but they all follow the same idea. The flying mode is insanely difficult and I just couldn’t get it at all. There’s an endless mode that sees you driving a bus around a mountainous area where the bus just keeps growing until you get bored. I would have liked to see some hidden items scattered around each area but beggars can’t be choosers. Unlockables boil down to new buses which also change up some graphical effects and the previously mentioned levels. Leaderboards are also there for those looking to chase some high scores.
Whilst not a technical marvel the game is fun in short bursts and maintains that “just one more go” gameplay that made Snake so addictive. It’s not without bugs though. I fell through the floor or got launched into space more times than I care to counts. Sometimes scores didn’t reset on a restart but the bus length did. Overall, they were never enough to deter me from just hitting the restart button and going again. It just got a little frustrating when you were on an excellent run to see it scuppered by some odd physics but that was it.
So is it worth a purchase? Well it depends on what you’re looking for. If you fancy something that can fill that half hour before dinner or when you need a palate cleanser after your latest epic then sure, it’s a great fit! It’s easy to lose yourself in the simple gameplay this provides but it’s far from a main course.
- Easy to pick up
- Has that “more more go” addictive quality
- Good variety of levels
- Odd collision bugs