Snake Pass - PlayStation 4 Review

Be one with the snake.

Game Info

  • System: PlayStation 4, Steam, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows
  • Publisher: Sumo Digital
  • Developer: Sumo Digital
  • Release Date: March 28, 2017 [NA] | March 29, 2017 [PAL]

Snake Pass Gameplay Trailer

Who it Caters to

Snake Pass is a sleek and challenging puzzle-platforming adventure that puts you in charge of Noodle, a wandering snake along with his bird companion Doodle who must work together to gather keystones and progress through each world. You’ll have to use every snake tactic in the book in order to get around each stage, gather all of the golden coins (if you can!), and restore peace back to the world of Harmony Foothills. Fans of puzzles and platformer titles will surely find Snake Pass to be enticingly fun, and with just the right amount of difficulty to keep you coming back. We managed to grab a hold of the PlayStation 4 version of Snake Pass, so the review will be based solely on that experience. We do recommend anyone, however, that if you have the chance to try Snake Pass out on the Switch please do so because it’s wonderful.

What to Expect

The concept of Snake Pass is quite simple and yet, learning how to maneuver like a snake through each stage is more challenging than it seems. Expect to run into a lot of obstacles that will truly test your level of spacial awareness, but also your patience. Each stage gradually gets harder, as keystones are placed in tricky spots and you'll need to grip and slither your way to them without falling to your demise. Sometimes you'll have to rely on Doodle to assist you, while other times you'll need to plan out your approach to avoid wrapping yourself up in frustration.

That’s perhaps the glorious aspect about Snake Pass is that you’re never too sure what to expect in this 15 world game where every intricate obstacle gets painstakingly harder the more you progress. That hard work you put in to climb and coil your way up slopes surely pays off in the end, because you feel this true sense of accomplishment once you’ve cleared everything.

Story

While Snake Pass doesn’t place priority on the story, there’s still something there in order to give meaning to Noodle’s slithery adventure. Something has shaken up the world of Harmony Foothills and it’s now up to Noodle and his partner Doodle to trek their way to the top of Haven Tor in order to take care of the mysterious gate-crasher for good.

Gameplay

A Long Way to Go

Snake Pass is all about movement, and if you can carefully slither your way through every nook and cranny without much strain, the game is quite rewarding. It really tries to encourage you to be one with the snake and tackle challenges just like a real snake would. If you fail to move Noodle left and right your speed drops to a very slow turtle-like pace, but if you continue to wiggle your way around while fully optimizing the tools at your disposal, clearing each stage is a true s-s-success.

We found that using a PlayStation controller took some getting used to, especially when trying to wrap ourselves around objects to get to certain checkpoints. It certainly isn't easy and we assume that's the intention the developers had in mind anyway since it would defeat the purpose if you could simply climb around without much thought. You really have to try your hardest in Snake Pass if you really want to progress anywhere and while that may sound cumbersome to some, others may find it to be very alluring. Be that as it may, the thrill you get after successfully completing a stage is really satisfying because every bit of effort you put motivates you to push forward.

The only real issue we had was dealing with the stiff camera angles which are ironic considering how mobile Noodle is when you move him around the stage. There were times when we tried to climb up a pillar but the camera had to be manually moved meaning we'd have to sacrifice our grip just to see the next obstacle. We ended up falling off and having to retry numerous times before completing it all. That really drained us because we put so much thought into getting that far, only to slide off because the camera decides not to cooperate. That was a challenge in of itself, to be honest and at times it made us want to just stop playing.

Again luckily, the very addicting gameplay grips you, and so in no time, you find yourself back at it trying to go as far as you can each time. There are no real serious boss battles in the game outside of the mystery character towards the end. If anything the only true battle would be with yourself as you try to find all the patience in the world to successfully collect every item without falling to your death. Every stage is beautifully detailed to look and feel similar to a jungle environment, which provides you with a rich immersive adventure.

The soothing music by the acclaimed former Rare composer David Wise also reflects that of the environment and creates a very calming and robust experience. Snake Pass is almost therapeutic in a way because, unlike a vast majority of games currently on the market that promote a fast paced and chaotic thrill, it reels you in with its enticing visuals and encourages a very "go at your own pace" flow. There's no timer to stress you out nor is there someone yelling at you to hurry up, Snake Pass reminds us that life is to be experienced at a pace that you feel most comfortable with and when you complete all your tasks, you can celebrate and move onto the next one without much worry.

Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

Despite the jittery camera issues that often plague the very easy going experience, Snake Pass overall is a game that you can come home from work to and sink hours in, to clear your mind. The time attack is a nice little addition if you feel the urge to speed run each stage and put yourself on the leaderboard, but we assume for most people who do decide to play, their time will most surely be invested in taking it easy. Take your time getting used to the controls because at first, it will feel really awkward. Once you've loosened up, Snake Pass opens up a passage of freedom where you can slither and swim around and test your own abilities to see how far you can go.

While there are only 15 worlds in total for you to explore, they’re abundant of stimulating hurdles that you’ll have a blast trying to overcome. We only ask that the game is a little bit longer because once you realize it’s all over, you feel this urge to challenge yourself to do better the next time around. The lack of no dialogue kind of reminds us a little bit, of the classic Rare titles like Banjo-Kazooie, where the characters would communicate with simple repetitive mumbles. This actually felt relieving in a way because had Noodle and Doodle spoke fluently, it wouldn’t have provided that real sense of you being one with the snake. In closing, Snake Pass is definitely one game that you don’t want to pass up especially with its smooth polish and very go with the flow feel. Get ready to explore a world of wonders-s-s!

Honey's Pros:

  • 15 worlds that constantly challenge you every time.
  • David Wise is a champion at music composition.
  • Beautifully designed worlds that feel livable.
  • Simple in concept but deep in gameplay.

Honey's Cons:

  • Camera issues took away some of that immersion.

Honey's Final Verdict:

Snake Pass is a wonderful creation by the folks at Sumo Digital, and we hope to see more titles like this from the famed developers very soon. It’s always nice to take a break away from the hustle and bustle and just sit down with a cup of tea (or coffee) as you coil and climb your way to victory. We’d love to hear what you think of Snake Pass when you get the chance to play it! As always leave your thoughts in the comments section down below, and be sure to follow us on Twitter along with Facebook to keep the honey’s community growing! Thank you once again for everything and we’ll see you next time!

As always, for all things sweet, with news straight from Japan, be sure to keep it locked here on Honey’s Anime.

Rob

Editor/Writer

Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.

100% Vegan. A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and join me on Discord! Take care!

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