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Developer: Spilt Milk Studios
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Snake was the first mobile phone game I ever played. It was back in the day when screens were monochrome and games were incredibly simple. It didn’t matter though because it felt so revolutionary to have a phone in your hand that you could take out and about with you, and even better it had games! That was a scarily long time ago and since then, phone technology has developed at a tremendous pace. It’s never stopped me wanting a good Snake game again though. Fortunately, Hard Lines has come along to do exactly that and it’s also thrown in a handful of other great game modes too.

The idea is simple enough. Players control Lionel, a colorful line, who has to navigate all these game modes. Lionel has a surprising amount of personality for a line, chipping in with quotes as he progresses. No one would think a line could be ‘cute’ but Lionel certainly gets close to it. The opposing lines are similarly full of personality, making Hard Lines feel more endearing than if it was just lines zipping around the screen.

Each game mode brings something pretty enjoyable to the table ensuring that all players will find something to love. Survival mode is a simple matter of lasting as long as possible while avoiding collisions and gaining as many points as possible. Dead Lines is an ideal mode for those with limited time thanks to offering 3 minutes to achieve the best score. Time Attack is a frantic mode with extra time added on for every glowing gem collected along the way. Pinata and Gauntlet are similarly frantic affairs focusing on defeating opposing lines. Then there’s the creme de la creme for people like myself with the Snake mode offering all the fun of past iterations.

The basic concept is the same but the subtle changes in each mode really makes a difference. A well thought out control system is crucial also so it’s excellent to see that Hard Lines comes with three different ways of controlling Lionel, each as equally effective. Swipey is a matter of swiping the screen in the relevant direction while tappy provides four arrows on the appropriate sides of the screen. My preferred favourite, just edging Swipey out, was Turny which felt most like the original Snake’s with a tap to the left or right to send Lionel in the relevant direction.

Hard Lines is a little gem simply put. It’s immensely enjoyable offering that ‘just one more go’ mentality. With its keen sense of humor (right down to the credits song which is very much worth listening to), Hard Lines keeps one step ahead of the pack making it an essential purchase.

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