We count down the 32 Dangerous Cheat Codes this holiday season!
- WATCH NOW -
Snake Pass Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Although it takes a little getting used to, I really enjoyed the way the unlikely snake hero controls and the world he explores. Snake Pass is a charming platformer that bucks the usual genre tropes in favor of something unique and original. I do wish there was a little more variety to the locations, but that shouldn't stop you from getting acquainted with one of the year's best new characters. Snake Pass is a real delight. Rating: 78%
Snake Pass
«
Snake Pass Snake Pass Snake Pass Snake Pass
  • Review Score:

  • B+
The year's best new character is not a fast-talking mascot with attitude. He's also not one of those poorly animated stars of the new Mass Effect game. In fact, the best new character of the year doesn't even have arms or legs. As far as I'm concerned, this honor goes to Noodle, the likable new hero at the center of Snake Pass, a clever new 3D platformer with almost no actual platforming. Yeah, this is not going to be like any other game you play this year.

As the name suggests, Noodle is a snake. He and his buddy Doodle, a hyperactive hummingbird, have to work together to save their tranquil habitat from a mysterious interloper. They do this by exploring fifteen large stages in hopes of finding the colorful keystones and unlocking the magical gates scattered around the peaceful world of Haven Tor. If all goes well, the two friends will be able to flush out the bad elements and go back to enjoying a simple life filled with sunny days.


What starts out as a fairly simple premise quickly turns into an addictive little physics-based platformer that involves carefully navigating through a series of challenging obstacles in order to find the keystones. Since Noodle can't jump or do the usual platforming things, he's forced to solve the problems by slithering through the levels and coiling up bamboo poles. He can use his long body to reach across gaps and hug the poles tightly in order to reach high up platforms. And if you need a hand, Doodle is always there to pick up Noodle's long tail and keep the two out of harm's way.

Although the gameplay feels a little foreign at first, it becomes second-nature after a little practice. In some ways, Noodle's movements remind me of controlling a very slow RC car. You press the right trigger to move forward, all while slithering left and right in order to pick up speed. If you hold down one of the face buttons, you'll be able to tilt his head up to climb up rocks and bamboo poles, while holding the left trigger will allow you to tighten your grip. It's a simple setup that takes a little practice to master, but ended up being one of my favorite parts of Snake Pass.

Like I said, the goal in each stage is to collect the three colored keystones. These items are often scattered in completely different parts of the stage, usually requiring you to make it through a bunch of challenging obstacles. As the game progresses, you'll need to change the world around by pulling levers and pushing objects into place. There aren't really enemies you'll need to avoid, but our hero will die every time he falls off the edge of the level or into a spike pit. Oh, and I would avoid the hot coals lying around, if I were you.

Snake Pass (PlayStation 4)Click For the Full Picture Archive

For what it's worth, there's more to these fifteen stages than just collecting keystones. Each stage has a series of twenty floating bubbles to pick up, along with five gold coins. It's possible to focus entirely on the three keystones and move on to the next stage, but a lot of the fun comes from thoroughly exploring the tropical world and finding everything. There's a lot of replay in going back through the levels and finding everything, and then doing it all over again in the unlockable time trial mode.

As somebody who just played a bunch of Rain World, I'll admit that it was a welcome change of pace to go from the soggy landscape to this tropical setting. That said, I do wish there was a little more variety to the stages. The fifteen levels are split into several areas, but they aren't as diverse as you might expect. There are levels that take place during the day, while other stages happen as the sun sets. It would have been nice to see Noodle find himself in a completely different environment, or maybe weather a storm. Perhaps those are ideas they'll think about incorporating into a sequel, but it would have been nice to see them here.

It's also worth mentioning that the camera can occasionally be a bit problematic. Manually adjusting the angle is usually pretty easy, but there were definitely times when it became a real pain. This is especially true when you're already holding three buttons and trying to make it past a harrowing obstacle. These moments are few and far between, but they are annoying all the same.

Snake Pass (PlayStation 4)Click For the Full Picture Archive

Minor quibbles aside, I really like the way the game looks and animates. I am a big fan of Noodle's expressive face and how his eyes will follow Doodle as the hummingbird flies around. I appreciate the developer's restraint, as they could have easily turned Noodle into yet another sarcastic mascot character. I also really enjoyed the upbeat soundtrack from David Wise, the former Rare employee responsible for the music in Donkey Kong Country and the upcoming Yooka-Laylee.

Although it takes a little getting used to, I really enjoyed the way the unlikely snake hero controls and the world he explores. Snake Pass is a charming platformer that bucks the usual genre tropes in favor of something unique and original. I do wish there was a little more variety to the locations, but that shouldn't stop you from getting acquainted with one of the year's best new characters. Snake Pass is a real delight.
comments powered by Disqus