Snake Pass is a charming physics based platformer that is also a collectathon. It is a unique game on its own that gives us control of a Snake while making sure the gameplay mechanics and control are fun and authentic in term of the feeling of controlling the Snake. This is improved further by the Physics of the game which allow the Snake to hang onto objects as the player tries to make his way through the various obstacles featured in the levels.
The main character is a colorful Snake which is completely opposite of the menacing looks that are usually associated with the appearance of Snakes. The world in Snake Pass is full of color with grassy plains, bamboos to climb and water to traverse. There are also other obstacles and harmful environment scattered throughout each level that must be carefully traversed in order to reach our objective.
The real beauty of Snake Pass lies in its physics that allow us to control the Snake in a way that not only makes it fun, but also mimics the movement of a real life Snake pretty well. Basically we can move the Snake with the press of a button but the actual controls for how his body behaves is implemented with the Left analog stick, which means we can use it to twist and turn across Bamboos and other surfaces to elevate the Snake through some of the carefully designed obstacles and reach the keystones which are used to unlock a gate in each level allowing us to progress to the next one.
There are a variety of collectibles to discover in each level and these are usually hidden well. Thankfully while they are hidden well, they are also interesting to discover on our own since the journey to reach these collectibles is half of what makes Snake Pass fun. Some of these collectibles appear to spawn at impossible to reach locations but as they say, practice makes perfect. They key is to make sure the Snake is dangled onto the surface carefully and this is made easy by utilizing a mechanic that allows the Snake to temporarily grab a surface so it doesn’t fall through them. This makes for some interesting and tense scenarios as we gamble between going for the next collectible or heading to the next checkpoint.
The reason why checkpoints are important in Snake Pass is precisely because of its difficulty. While the main objectives, which are the keystones in each level, are usually easily to get for the most part. The side content is the collectibles and it is the part which carries the most difficult tasks and platforming sequences. Checkpoint is initiated by stepping on a shinning plate with the Snake symbol and these checkpoints reset once triggered which means if you remember the location of them in each level, you can save at the checkpoint after collecting a set amount of the side collectibles. This is important because Snake Pass doesn’t save the game in the middle of the level so if you are doing a run for getting 100% completion on each level, make sure to get to the checkpoint before you attempt a difficult platforming task.
I was able to play Snake Pass on the PS4 Pro and was pleasantly surprised by the Image Quality as well as the frame rate, which seems to run at solid 60 fps. This is a dramatic improvement over the regular PS4 and Nintendo Switch version of the game, both of which reportedly run at 30 fps. If you have a PS4 Pro, then you are definitely at an advantage when it comes to playing Snake Pass on a console.
The game can be rather short in length but unlike games in similar genre, it is a pleasure to explore each level and discover the collectible thanks to the implementation of physics on Snake’s body. You can also use your trusty sidekick, the bird, to ask for help when you need to lift the lower part of the Snake’s body. This scenario can arise in situations where you struggle to barely reach a steeper location and are hanging on to your dear life while your lower half of body is dangling beneath. The bird can lift it up making it easier for you to reach your objective.
All in all, Snake Pass is a worthy indie puzzle platformer that offers a unique gameplay mechanic in term of controlling the Snake to navigate obstacles in a fully realized 3D world. The game also appears to remind me of the good ol’ Snake game in mobile phones however it doesn’t function in the same way, as the Snake doesn’t necessarily enlarge after getting each collectible. It could be fun to have such gameplay mechanic though so perhaps the developers can think of it in a different gameplay mode. There is definitely a lot of potential to utilize the physics implemented here and I can’t wait to see what the developers can deliver in the future.
Snake Pass Review (PS4)
Game Reviewed on: PS4
Game description: Snake Pass is a puzzle platform video game developed and published by Sumo Digital. The game was released on March 28, 2017 for North America and March 29, 2017 in Europe and Australia.
Snake Pass might look like a platformer made for kids but it has surprising deep mechanics and requires a lot of skill in order to complete every level while finding every collectible.