App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Ah, snake wrangling. That’s a job I’d never want to do. However I don’t have a problem with trying something akin to it in a virtual setting. Killer Snake serves that exact purpose by letting iOS gamers test their reflexes against the world’s most venomous snakes. It’s much more “game-ified” than the actual task is in real life, of course.
Killer Snake is a game about collecting snake venom to create serum and potentially save lives. Although in a more technical sense it’s a game about making snakes angry and trying really hard not to end up dead. Each of the five levels (six counting the endurance trial that is World Tour) contains its own venomous fauna ranging from Rattlesnakes to King Cobras to Taipans. Each with their own subtle tells to watch out for. Actually collecting the venom requires dragging around the screen to search the environment and locate a snake, and once one is found it’s a matter of keeping a finger on the screen while waiting for it to strike. Once it does it’s important to get that finger off the screen or risk getting bitten, and too many bites means Game Over.
Considering that the snakes are the stars of this particular show it’s not that surprising to see that their models and animations have been given the bulk of the attention. Although it does make for a more believable and intense game. There’s also a mechanic in place that encourages players to antagonize the snake (keep a finger near its face) in order to earn more points with the caveat of increasing the danger quite a bit as well. To add insult to possibly fatal injury, there’s also a penalty for removing a finger too early (in addition to the game calling the player a chicken). So racking up a high score means sticking a virtual neck out.
Killer Snake is sort of a one trick pony in that regard: keep finger on screen, find snake, anger snake, take finger off screen before it bites, repeat. It’s a “finger reaction” style game, after all, so it’s probably not going to win over anyone who doesn’t already enjoy the sub genre. It’s also unfortunate that so many coins are required to unlock new levels. Even a flawless run doesn’t net all that much. The bulk of what I’ve managed to earn has been through achievements, and while it’s nice to have such a feature it makes repeat plays for more coin a real grind. Especially considering each level has multiple snakes that need to be found.
Fans of reaction-based iOS games will most likely enjoy Killer Snake as it’s pretty intense and is something of a looker. Everyone else can certainly give it a shot, it just might not be their cup of tea. Or snake venom or whatever.