Let’s face it, SnakeRace [$0.99] isn’t going to impress you with any graphical flair or with particularly astonishing production values. However, it doesn’t need to. SnakeRace takes a classic premise, tunes it to its own personality, and then attempts to create a simple game with enough content to pull you back in. While I don’t think that every gamer is going to be particularly impressed with what it has to offer, it certainly does succeed for those looking to take a chance.

At its heart, SnakeRace is a simple vertical scroller that has you navigating a snake on a diagonal pathway through a variety of mazes and barriers in order to get to the eventual finish line, all while collecting various gems to improve your score. Your snake can only move up diagonally, and a quick tap on the screen switches direction. Your snake’s length indicates its life, which goes down every time you hit a barrier (typically rocks of varying strengths).

Interestingly, hitting a blockade does not mean instant death – if you expend enough life hitting it you can actually plow through, possibly opening up a new path. However, don’t expect to live long smashing into barriers without picking up some yellow gems, which increase your snake’s length (and thus its life).

Since earning as high a score as possible is the primary motivator in SnakeRace, there are a variety of ways within the game to try and improve your score. At the beginning of each level, and at subsequent checkpoints, you have the option of steering your snake onto icons that either speed up or slow down the overall speed of the map. You can try and play it safe by slowing the game down in the hopes of finishing the entire race.

Or, on the other hand, you can speed the game up as fast as possible too, as the faster the game goes the faster your score increases (and the more gems are worth). In addition, there are a wide variety of paths that can be taken through each level. Some are pretty open and provide some leeway for mistakes, but don’t feature as many gems. Meanwhile, you can also take the riskier paths, which reward you with a much higher score (assuming you survive).

The availability of these options is what makes SnakeRace compelling. Sure, each individual level has set patterns and gems, but there are so many different paths and tactics, that you’ll find yourself wanting to replay them over  in order to refine your approach and see if you can squeeze a few more points out before the end.

If high scores aren’t your thing, each level has a multitude of objective-based missions to unlock and complete, which are also necessary if you want to unlock later (and far more complicated) levels. Also, once you get tired of the included levels, an additional five are available for purchase as IAP. Personally, I would have liked to have seen more of the IAP incorporated into the base game, but there are certainly enough levels and content to be entertaining for a while.

SnakeRace is a game between you and the environment. There are no enemies, weapons, or any sort of action-oriented gameplay. As such, not everyone will be interested in taking it for a spin. However, if you’re looking for a simple, fast-paced game that doesn’t pretend to be more than what it is, I’d recommend checking out SnakeRace.

TouchArcade Rating

  • Briker Ed

    Aaah! @_@ This looks hard even in the video :P but also looks fun.

  • Nate

    Looks fun! That font reminds me of Tiny Wings..

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=508901669 Anders Hafreager

    Play with 2 thumbs, it's much easier than one finger :]

Snake Race Reviewed by Eric Ford on . Rating: 3.5