Parents' Guide to

Snake Pass

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Super-tough snake adventure frustrates with hard controls.

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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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This game manages to break the traditional platform-jumping mold, but its controls and difficulty will only keep hard-core genre fans interested. If you've ever wanted to know what it's like to move like a snake, this is your chance, because Snake Pass' unique movement system is ingenious. The way Noodle twists around bamboo poles, slithers through the water, and constricts to grip objects both looks and feels wonderfully authentic. It's a one-of-a-kind experience -- a term rarely applied to video games, most of which tend to neatly fall into specific categories. But if no one's ever done authentic snake movement before, one can't help but wonder why that might be. The reason turns out to be pretty simple: Moving like a snake is really, really hard.

The first stage, which consists of little more than slithering down a stone path, makes it seem like the game will be a breeze. But in the levels that follow, players need to work out how to slither up and around complex networks of bamboo posts to reach higher areas. And you'll need to be wary of perilous drops and pits of spikes that will send Noodle back to the last spawn point -- and strip him of all recently gathered collectibles -- should he tumble into them. Success in some areas can be unexpectedly and extraordinarily difficult to achieve, requiring a dozen or more painstaking attempts. And an uncooperative camera doesn't help matters. Then there's the question of who the game is meant for. It looks and feels like it's for kids, but only the most tenacious of players -- young or old -- are likely to push through to the end. Snake Pass makes a bold and commendable attempt to give us a fresh and original interactive experience, but it's also an odd and stubbornly tough little game with an undefined audience.

Game Details

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