As soon as you load into the first level of Sumo Digital’s Snake Pass, it’s hard not to be charmed by the vibrant graphics and jovial score of a bygone era.
The game harks back to the Nintendo 64 with a few conventional tropes. Much like Banjo Kazooie, you are part of a dynamic duo, and each level is centred around collecting a number of different items.
Noodle is a cute Coral Snake and controls as such. You must utilise the control sticks to wiggle Noodle left and right to gain speed, and tentatively feather the triggers to advance and grip onto objects in the environment.
Each level is littered with Bamboo structures and the layouts are always diverse and fun to explore. As you advance through the levels the difficulty spikes not through some arbitrary system but through clever design work as the game pushes you to your platforming limits.
Spinning platforms and lava pits appear, forcing you to hone your skills and fall to your doom, but the learning curve is incredibly fun, and something that will bring you back to the game way beyond its ending as you search for those last few coins.
As you advance through the levels the difficulty spikes through clever design work, as the game pushes you to your platforming limits
Luckily Doodle your hummingbird comrade is there to catch you when you fall and can lift up your tail for that extra bit of momentum necessary to reach the top of a structure.
Doodle also provides some exposition in regards to the narrative, which is present in this game but limited. Don’t go into Snake Pass expecting a large, over-arching story, as this is more suited to serve the fun gameplay. The real proof is in the control scheme pudding.
Manoeuvering Noodle is delightfully satisfying, and the HD Rumble and freedom of the JoyCons on the Nintendo Switch felt like a perfect match.
Don’t go into Snake Pass expecting a large, over-arching story, as this is more suited to serve the fun gameplay. The real proof is in the control scheme pudding.
Feeling Noodle lose his grip on a piece of Bamboo as you’re precariously trying to nab the last collectable is wonderfully haptic, and whilst I’m no reptile, I can guarantee that if you’ve ever wanted to experience life as one of the animal kingdom’s most intriguing animals, this is the game for you.
Sumo Digital have put a lot of work into the feel of this game, and Snake Pass is a well-executed interlude to the giant, expansive game worlds that we seem to be bombarded with as of late.
However, it must be noted that like any other interlude, the game is quite short. There are only 15 levels in Snake Pass.
Whilst on the surface this is alarming, the game hooked me for 7 hours as I took my time to explore each environment and find the 3 glowing shapes that open the exit portal.
Snake Pass is a well-executed interlude to the giant, expansive game worlds that we seem to be bombarded with as of late.
There are also a set of orbs in each level begging for retrieval, and five hidden coins that will keep completionists sated.
Hopefully, this issue can be remedied with some DLC, as even though I’m jumping back in to find the collectables, I can see the replayability value faltering for those who don’t enjoy the collectathon gameplay.
In regards to the game’s visuals, Snake Pass has an art style that is pleasing to the eye, and the use of Unreal Engine 4 elevates the environments into enticing worlds littered with flora.
Playing on the Nintendo Switch, I mostly used handheld mode, as this is an excellent title for quick play sessions on public transport as well as a more intense stint at home.
Snake Pass has an art style that is pleasing to the eye, and the use of Unreal Engine 4 elevates the environments into enticing worlds littered with flora.
When docked, the game did have an unsatisfying blur, and in both situations I noticed the frame rate dropping from 30 fps on the later, more detailed levels. For the most part, though, the game is very crisp and appealing on the Switch’s tablet screen, and the David Wise composed score comfortably draws you into its colourful world.
If you’ve owned a Nintendo Switch since launch, you’ve probably found yourself checking the eShop every few days just in case something new and exciting has been added. Above all, I can say that this game is an obvious pickup for Switch owners, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it on the other consoles too.
When you create a mechanically sound game such as this, your mode of play shouldn’t interfere too much with the great amount of fun overflowing from this charming indie gem.
This copy of Snake Pass was purchased digitally on the Nintendo Switch eShop for £15.99 by our Editor In Chief Jordan Oloman. He spent 7 hours learning about a Snake that unfortunately isn’t voiced by David Hayter.