Gaming chewed up and spat out the 3D platformer genre by the time the mid 2000’s rolled around. There was no shortage of fluffy characters serving attitude by the spades. By now anyone over a certain age will most likely be massaging some rose-tinted memories for their mascot of choice. We now live in an age of instant nostalgia. No company is beyond plumbing the depths, looking for a golden egg for an easy win. Kickstarter practically runs on nostalgia-baiting older players. And this is where Snake Pass fits in – A game with all the trappings of a colourful platformer, mashed with the streamer friendly wackiness of physics based movement.
Snake Pass keeps everything light and fluffy, even by the standards of its cartoonish presentation. Something has damaged warp gates between levels. As Noodle, you must collect the colour coded pieces to repair the gates. This is accomplished by slithering Noodle under, over, and around various obstacles.
Movement is center stage in Snake Pass. Lacking arms, Noodle has to slither over everything. The controls are a little different from what I expected from a 90’s styled platformer. Noodle is more driven than directed. One button acts as an accelerator, and another as an almost brake that’s best used to keep Noodle attached to whatever he’s on at that time. Another two buttons direct him up or down, and that’s it. No frills. Just you, a snake, and multiple shiny things to collect.
From here Snake Pass was happy to let me figure it out for myself. Criss-crossing up and around is at least a novel way to traverse the four themed worlds. Less novel are the various obstacle courses. 90% of each level are wooden beams. Rotating ones, static ones, round, square. Snake Pass has a lot of bamboo poles. Move your way to the three core pieces, nab some other collectibles, and that’s every level of Snake Pass.
It doesn’t take long for the ideas to stop coming. There isn’t much past mastering movement, and after that first hour it’s doing it in more constricted spaces. Bottomless pits become spikes, which becomes lava. It’ll all will get you in the end anyway.