Snake Pass (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Drew Hurley 29.03.2017 23

Review for Snake Pass on Nintendo Switch

While at EGX last year Cubed3, checked out plenty of new upcoming titles. Dishonored 2, World of Final Fantasy, PSVR titles, even the upcoming Yooka Laylee, and yet even amongst all these titles, it was a certain indie game that was kept coming back to again and again. That game was Snake Pass. A very simple concept executed superbly, the game is now hitting numerous platforms, including the recent Nintendo Switch. It's time to see if the full game can be as impactful as the demo was all those months ago.

The concept in Snake Pass feels so familiar and yet new, like a remaster of a classic retro title. It's a simple premise: control a snake as it slithers through numerous stages, collecting a series of gemstones to open a portal to the following stage. There are also two type of collectibles to track down in each level to add a bit of extra exploration and depth to the experience.

Playing as Noodle, the snake, is fun and challenging. To move, hold the trigger. The other trigger makes Noodle grip whatever he's slithering over. To go faster, you have to think like a snake, swaying left to right to build up speed. A face button lifts Noodle's head, while another lowers it. In worst case scenarios, a friendly hummingbird named Doodle can be enlisted to carry Noodle's tail, too. All simple enough until it comes to the stages.

Filled with different platforms, rocky outcrops, spiky obstacles, and many, many wooden structures, Noodle has to be weaved through the obstacles on each stage to reach new areas. For example, a common occurrence is a collectible perched upon a wooden pole out above oblivion. Getting to it means taking Noodle out onto it, then wrapping his body under the pole, then up the other side to ensure he doesn't fall to his doom. This then requires keeping track of how Noodle's tail is creeping up, ready to unfurl and unceremoniously dump him off the side.

Screenshot for Snake Pass on Nintendo Switch

It sounds simple enough, but it takes some real getting used to, ensuring to grip at certain points, then releasing to speed along, then doubling back to get a steady hold on the scenery. It takes a long time to really master, and it's the ideal game to hand around to friends to see them stamp their feet in frustration and yet refuse to hand it back until they've gotten the hang of it. Fantastically addictive.

Falling off into the stages doesn't take a life or even result in a "Game Over," sadly. This is one small gripe in that each stage has checkpoints to be slithered over, and a death then just gives an instant respawn at the most recent checkpoint, making things a little too easy, as they can just be backtracked to every time a difficult-to-reach item is collected.

This looks great on the Switch, the Unreal 4 Engine filling each world with rich tones and vibrant colours. The characters of Noodle and Doodle are charming in their style and animations, and rounding out the presentation is a soundtrack by prolific composer David Wise, who previously produced amazing compositions for titles such as Donkey Kong Country, Battletoads, and the recent Yooka-Laylee, amongst many others.

There is one problem plaguing this game on the Switch, though, and it's a problem that many new Switch titles seem to have. The more the system is played, the more noticeable it becomes. The HD Rumble feature is… hit and miss. Occasionally, huge powerful rumbles will explode out, sometimes for falling from too great a height, sometimes for seemingly no reason at all - and it can be very annoying. It's unclear if this is an issue with the hardware or the implementation of the developers, but it's something that needs to be addressed.

Screenshot for Snake Pass on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

You'd think a game set around playing as a snake wouldn't have a leg to stand on, and yet this simple puzzler about a snake on a plane has no ereptile dysfunctions. Sorry, sorry… Snake Pass is a truly enjoyable, addictive and original platforming puzzler gem that really stands out. The only real issue is how short it feels. There are four worlds to complete, with fifteen stages in all, and an unlockable time-trial mode, but even with all that, there is a desire for more.

Developer

Sumo Digital

Publisher

Sumo Digital

Genre

3D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10 (1 Votes)

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

Comments

Just started playing this on PC with keyboard and mouse...and I really think I'm going to have to try it again with a gamepad, because it's currently too fiddily and is driving me a bit nuts even early on. Seems like a great idea, but yeah, I'll reserve judgement until I've given it a fair whack with a controller instead.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Just want to point out the rumble is crazy on DualShock 4 too, so don't think this is a problem with the HD Rumble of the Switch here. Just randomly goes nuts when I'm climbing poles, usually when I'm about to fall off or losing grip, it seems.

The only thing vibrating for me were my nerves... Smilie Tiredness and a frustrating control setup...not the ideal situation.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

I'm worried it broke the rumble motor in my right joy con, it wasn't working last time I went on the game. The rumble has been going insane, and makes a scary noise. I had to turn rumble off in the Switch controller settings for now. Good that Sumo Digital know about it though and they've already sent the patch to Nintendo for approvale yesterday. So hopefully the patch will be going up soon.

Loving the game though, it's so refreshing to play a new platformer with a completely new perspective. It's so nice to control Noodle and feels really good, once you get adjusted to the controls more. It has lovely visuals, too and a great soundtrack.

I'm loving every minute so far.

( Edited 30.03.2017 09:19 by Marzy )

Yeah, sounds like I jumped the gun there - the rumble is definitely not that bad on the DS4 lol. It seemed to go off in odd situations, but the more time I spent with it, the more it just seems to be when I'm gripping or losing grip. Hopefully yours isn't broke Marzy Smilie

Getting David Wise for the soundtrack was a genius move!

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Just an update on my right joycon. It looks like Snake Pass did break it, I tested it and it's not working anymore. So looks like I'll have to send off for repairs... The rumble seems okay in my left joycon and pro controller, but I'm still worried it did some damage to those, as well.

I can confirm though, the patch to fix the rumble problem went up a few hours ago. So it's now fixed. I wish I had waited an extra day.... Sigh.

I'd send a complaint to Sumo about that - they need to be held accountable, I reckon. You can't do something like that, have it break someone's gear, and just go "Oh yeah, we patched that now. Soz!" Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

It's a fair point. I joked to sue them, but to be fair, they have actually damaged your hardware and it shouldn't have made it through testing. I guess you'll get it repaired or sent a new one for free, but you would still need to pay to send it - which Sumo should pay for tbh.

Yeah, I mean, it is basically Sumo Digital's fault it happened. So I am tempted to get in touch with them about it and see what help they can offer. It's pretty frustrating, to be honest... I'm not so good with this type of thing and usually I never have any problems ever with Nintendo hardware.

Our member of the week

3D Excite Bike broke the right speaker of my 3DS. I could never get it repaired free of charge because i bought my system off ebay around launch and didn't have a proper bill for it to send it back under warranty. i don't buy systems off ebay anymore since then and pay attention to buy from a reputable place who does honour the obligatory 2 year retailer warranty enforced by EU law. That's why it took me some time to find some place to buy my Switch from. The place I bought it at even sends a technician to your home free of charge if your ordered from their webshop and if they can't repair it, they either replace it or refund you.

You bought it directly from Nintendo UK so if Sumo won't do anything about it, Nintendo should replace it completely free of charge, they are bound by EU law to do so since they sold it directly to you (at least as long as the UK is part of EU, when it's not anymore, I don't know your local laws regarding warranty)

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer

I got my Switch from Amazon UK, so I don't know what type of warranty I get? :/

Tweet Sumo first to see what they say.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Whatever the case, you get 12 months warranty from Nintendo anyway:

https://cdn02.nintendo-europe.com/media/downloads/support_1/other_19/HW_WARRANTY_EN.pdf

Contact Nintendo Customer Support, send it to them within 30 days of contacting them, and they'll sort it.

Okay, that's good then! I'll get in touch with support and see what they can do. Thanks for the help, guys! Smilie

I guess I'll contact Sumo first.

I can't believe this isn't on the top of my to-play list. We're spoilt for platformers at the moment! 

That sucks about your JoyCon though Marzy, definitely sounds like its worth chasing them up about it- if it caused permanent damage. 

I'm really happy they didn't inflate the price for the Switch edition, I know that's been scaled down from other versions but others have gone the other way with that version.

It's amazing how the game came to be too, one person's idea slowly growing into a fully realized project, quite in this way, is very rare. Glad its turned out so well. 

Adam Riley said:
Getting David Wise for the soundtrack was a genius move!

Absolutely! And because he's that kind of person, since he was intrigued, he just leapt in and started conjuring his typically brilliant game music for them. That literally must have been a dream come true for the creator (who I read is a huge fan). 

( Edited 30.03.2017 17:18 by The Strat Man )

Tom Barry [ Reviewer - Editor - Resident Sim-Racer @ Cubed3.com ] 

Yeah, because I know you're covered in many statutory ways, but Sumo does need to be made aware of the fact they've damaged someone's Joy-Con, and maybe even your Pro Controller by the sound of it. Even if Nintendo has you covered under warranty, Sumo should show some gesture of good will for what's happened - partial refund, voucher towards another game, etc...

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Well, both the developer and Nintendo need to be made aware. It shouldn't really even be possible for software to break hardware, so really there is two things wrong. Nintendo needs to fix their APIs, I assume, so this sort of rumble intensity(?) cant be triggered. 

http://www.fanficmaker.com <-- Tells some truly terrible tales.
Last update; Mice,Plumbers,Animatronics and Airbenders. We also have the socials; Facebook & G+

Some very good points from Adam and Darkflame there. Sumo does need to be made aware of the damage they've done to a customer's (because you did buy their game, after all) own hardware, and Nintendo needs to ensure this shouldn't happen anyway.

( Edited 30.03.2017 20:23 by Azuardo )

Our member of the week

Marzy said:
I got my Switch from Amazon UK, so I don't know what type of warranty I get? :/

Ah fair enough. Thought you said before you would order from Nintendo UK for the two year warranty or maybe i've got you confused with another C3er.

Normally you get a one year warranty from Nintendo no matter what, that's the "manufacturer" warranty. Amazon UK are forced to abide by EU law, but some places, online and otherwise, sometimes will refuse to honour that warranty, saying it's only the manufacturer's warranty, or will make you pay for an extended warranty of two years that they have to honour for free anyway. I believe Amazon UK do honour the legal "retailer" warranty of two years anyway so you should be good either way, but I would contact Sumo first, see what they have to say for themselves.

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer

Ah fair enough. Thought you said before you would order from Nintendo UK for the two year warranty or maybe i've got you confused with another C3er.
Mush, I believe!

This talk makes me not look forward to what sort of crap we'll have to deal with following Brexit, heh...

I'm playing the X1 version and yeah, it's really enjoyable so far. I like that there's an actual real learning curve for doing basic moves. It makes pulling off the difficult sections that much more satisfying. There's so much nuance to the controls.

I've been streaming my play-through - https://www.twitch.tv/videos/132245122
Looking forward to hopping back in as soon as I get off of work.

Sorry about your luck Marzy. I've never heard of something like this happening before. The X1 version does quite a bit of rumbling as well. Usually I don't even play with rumble on, but it's sort-of necessary for this game (due to the grip mechanics).

( Edited 30.03.2017 20:12 by Gabriel PVJ Jones )

Nothing to do with Brexit, this is enshrined in the law in the UK at the moment. They'd have to actively repeal this individually if they were to change it.

The consumer law in the UK is that consumers are entitled to a free of charge repair or replacement, discount or refund by the seller, of defective goods or goods that do not conform with the contract of sale, for good purchased in England or Wales these rights expire six years from delivery and Scotland five (haha fuck scotland) 

You purchased an officially licensed game and that game broke your joy-con.Either way your console is less than a month old. If you had purchased it from a bricks and mortar store you could get an instant replacement. Internet stores are still bound by the same law.  

You can contact Sumo and complain but its better that you contact Amazon UK immediately and just get them to replace it. They'll be quicker to respond. Let them do the leg work and chase it up with Sumo.

Alternatively you could go to Nintendo, but you really don't have to at all, in fact they might just defer you back to Amazon instead.

Good luck!

( Edited 31.03.2017 01:05 by Flynnie )

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