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 Review: Snake Den (Wii U eShop)

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Professor Clayton
Professor Clayton

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PostReview: Snake Den (Wii U eShop)

Snake! Snake! Snake...?

Review: Snake Den (Wii U eShop) Snaked10

Odds are that you've played a variation of the classic game Snake in one form or another. The gameplay is well known to almost everyone, move your snake in four directions in order to grow larger by running into obstacles. While Snake Den aims to shake up the traditional Snake formula, is it enough to make a purchase worthwhile, or does this one slide right under the radar?

While Snake Den is in essence, Snake on the Wii U, Game Bytes aimed to improve on the simplicity of the original by adding a few new features. The most noticeable change is the addition of two CPUs, or local friends if you prefer, which will compete to grow longer with you.

Competition is a term used lightly however, as this is more of a Co-Op affair regardless of the fact that the game is pitched as competitive. Gameplay boils down to you and the other two snakes moving around, eating peppers to grow longer, and waiting for one of three mice to appear on the map. When a mouse appears, if you or another snake eat it, an exit appears which you can pass through to complete the level. You can also wait for all three mice to appear and then pass through the exit, but this feels tedious and boring.

Review: Snake Den (Wii U eShop) Snaked11

Besides the mice, you are faced with peppers and bombs, and whereas peppers help you grow, bombs shrink you akin to having bumped into another snake. If you hit one too many obstacles, you will not die, rather turn into a ghost snake, and can freely roam around until you ingest a pepper and are reborn. This essentially, when paired with the ridiculously easy difficulty, makes the game impossible to lose at. Seeing as death never results in a loss, you can simply wait for mice to appear, eat them and move on. There isn't any competitive mode or difficulty settings either, making this possibly one of the easiest games to hit the Wii U eShop.

As you are playing across one of the five worlds, which boil down to different stagnant backgrounds, you'll notice that the levels begin to feel very repetitive. While every map is different, across the 100 plus levels they all start to feel the same. Thankfully eating a mushroom on the map speeds things up for a few seconds, at least for your snake, but otherwise you're stuck moving at, well, the slow slithering speed you'd expect from a snake crossing a large map.

The presentation istelf is certainty nothing to marvel at either, with no music to be found in the levels while playing. All you'll hear is a few corny chomping sounds when a pepper is eaten, or similarly silly effects for mushrooms, mice and bombs, with clapping occuring when you complete a level. This leads to an irratating experience, and we reccomend you turn your volume off completely once you start to get annoyed, as there is no point in having it on if it drives you crazy. The sound effects aren't bad, but definitely become old after a few dozen levels.

Thankfully, the game employs Miiverse integration (for an easy way to post high scores) and an in game high score leaderboard for each level. Your score is measured on how long your snake gets before you finish the level, and careful planning can lead you to the top of each level's scoreboard. This adds a purpose to Snake Den, because otherwise, it boils down to a slighlty updated version of multiplayer Snake.

As for the multiplayer, it plays exactly like single player, but with additional controller support. Using the Wii remotes for extra players is welcome, even if you have to awkwardly hold the remote facing vertically rather than horizontally. And while multiplayer adds no competition, it does give you the satisfaction of boxing in your friends in corners, which is fun for a brief time anyway.

Snake Den aims to breathe new life into the classic game of Snake, and manages to partially do so with the addition of multiplayer and leaderboards. Unfortunately the lackluster visuals and sound effects bring down what would otherwise have been a decent game for its price. As it stands, Snake Den is something young kids or families who enjoy a nice friendly game and want to play together will enjoy.


Review Copy provided by: Game Bytes
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