Version Reviewed: 0.9.3
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Game Controls Rating:
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Offering some very appealing graphics amongst some mechanical stutters, Snailboy is a fairly entertaining physics-based platformer, but one that isn't as exceptional as it looks.
Players control the aforementioned hero as he makes his way across an enchanted garden collecting precious shells and random slimy things. What this entails for the player is, essentially, flicking Snailboy from area to area within the fairly enclosed levels. It's a control method that's reasonably effective once taught, but it's wise to pay attention to the video tutorial for the finer details.
Drag a finger back from Snailboy and a trajectory appears, demonstrating where the snail will fly to. Early levels ease one in gently, with more restrained movements becoming vital when obstacles appear. These obstacles are a little obtuse. While flinging onto a moving platform is a reasonable aim in such a game, avoiding going anywhere near spikes is less simple. Mostly because such spikes can damage the player, even when they're not actually pointed in the direction of Snailboy, turning things slightly unfair.
Other slightly awkward controls stem from the ability to shunt Snailboy along the screen with a swipe. At times, this is quite effective for negotiating certain areas, but other times it feels clumsy. It's those little things that detract from an otherwise fun experience.
Granted, Snailboy doesn't evolve quite as much as other titles within the genre, with the general theme remaining the same, but it's a pleasant way of doing things. Proving reasonably straightforward to complete a level, if not 3 star it, it's easy enough to return for more in order to master each level, adding some much needed replayability.
Snailboy isn't the revolution in physics platforming that one might have wanted, but it is rather charming. It's delightful to look at and pleasant to play, even if it's perhaps not a game to remember for years to come. For $1.99, that's still a pretty tempting offer.