Dragon Snake (Android) Review

By Thom Compton 26.03.2016

Review for Dragon Snake on Android

A lot of new games are tackling older gameplay concepts, bringing them into the modern realm. Titan Attacks took the top down space shooter and applied modern visuals and gameplay mechanics in a way that felt remarkably fresh. You Need To Build a Boat took the traditional "match 3" idea, and applied it to the action adventure genre in a remarkably unique way. Dragon Snake attempts to be a re-emergence of the snake game genre. Could it be the next to modernise a classic?

Snake games follow a simple formula. The player controls a singular dot at first, which moves around the screen and must collect other dots in order to gain length. The catch is that the player can only change the direction the snake is travelling; the snake is always moving, and progressively picks up speed. The gameplay ends when the player runs into a wall. To its credit, Dragon Snake nails the core mechanic, as it is playable, and achieves the goal it sets.

There isn't much story involved, and the only sound comes when the player fails. There isn't much depth from an artistic standpoint, as the absence of any story or sound makes the experience rather bland. It really feels like a lot was left on the cutting room floor, and some of it may have been labelled "Personality," as it is severely lacking in that department. It's odd that the only noise in the game is reserved as a failure sound effect, but audio isn't the only place personality is lacking.

Visually, the game is enchanting, but it doesn't hold up beyond the first glimpse. While the adorable characters seem rife with depth, they are never animated or even shown with different expressions. It's like the character models were ripped off the business card for a traveling magician, and each dragon looks consistently stagnant.

Screenshot for Dragon Snake on Android

This could be forgiven, if the game was fun to play. Mobile games have a rough time when it comes to controls, especially if the game requires more than a finger press. Dragon Snake falters trying to deliver a control scheme that feels even quasi-natural, as the controls are grouped into vertical and horizontal. This requires using one side of the screen to move up and down, and the other side to move left and right. This would've made more sense grouped as a four-way D-pad, but what is there is awkward and clunky.

As far as the main gameplay, there is absolutely no deviation from the classic snake formula. The player must change directions to collect dots and avoid running into the wall, and the game gives a way to track progress through a level by filling up a picture in the background. The picture is of one of the titular dragons, and it fills with colour as the player moves faster and eventually, it is implied, will fill completely. Unfortunately, there's no real way to gauge how quickly it is filling, and honestly, the game picks up pace too quickly to matter. For all it tries, Dragon Snake always feels hard, and never fair.

Screenshot for Dragon Snake on Android

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

Dragon Snake works. It performs the functions of a snake game with absolute precision. However, everything it does differently is either bland or frustrating. The lack of a story is forgivable, as it's not a movie or book, but the lack of sound is a noticeable oversight that seems either forgotten or a by-product of a rushed game. The gameplay is solid, but is set up in such a way that it's arduous to get the hang of. People play on their phones while traveling to work and school, or during breaks; they want something that can be enjoyed at a moment's notice. With awkward controls, boring characters, and unrewarding gameplay, Dragon Snake feels like a rushed clone of the snake genre. Had more been added, and the controls worked out, it very well could have been the kind of game that paid homage to its inspiration instead.

Developer

Hippo

Publisher

Hippo

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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