Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
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Classic PC/Mac games have been coming to the App Store in droves, and the latest of these is the much-beloved Snood. Despite looking good on paper due to a laundry list of features, this shoddy port of Snood just reminds us that they sure don't make it like they used to.
For those few people that don't know, Snood is a modified bubble match 3 shooter in which you shoot cartoony faces rather than bubbles. You are given a cannon at the bottom of the screen and your goal is to eliminate all the Snoods on screen by matching three or more Snoods of the same color, causing them to disappear. In addition, if any Snoods are hanging on to a group of Snoods that is matched, they fall off the screen. There are also a few special Snoods that do things explode or expand into a row of like-colored Snoods. Every so often, the screen of Snoods is lowered, though this can be combatted by knocking off several Snoods or hitting a nice bank shot. And that frankly, is it. Aiming the cannon is done by swiping the screen, and tapping he cannon shoots a Snood. This works well, but like in all iterations of Snood, the aiming is tricky. It is very difficult to tell where a Snood will travel so figuring this out is key. Rather than strategy, unfortunately, success is more predicated on deducing where the cannon will shoot. The gameplay has not held up well over time and levels feel more like a chore than an addiction.
Single player mode contains story, classic, time attack, and puzzle, and each comes in several difficulties. The story in story mode is incredibly bizarre and involves the "real" Snoods setting up tests for you with fake Snoods. Time attack is a race against the clock, and puzzle is based on trying to clear the board in the fewest number of moves. There seem to be a lot of levels, but they really run together and are very similar. Then there's the online component, by far the worst handled online play of any game I've encountered on the App Store. Everything, and I mean everything - scoreboards, online match play, challenges, and achievements - is done through Facebook, presumably because Snood for Facebook is launching soon. Gee, EA, did you possibly ever think that there might be any problems with this setup. For one, shockingly, not everyone has a Facebook. Two, I don't want to spam my Facebook friends with news of my Snood playing. In the most baffling decision of all, leader boards and online play are not globally based, they are only amongst your Facebook friends. The odds that at any given point during a day when I want to play Snood online that any of my friends are also playing Snood are extremely, extremely low. Aggravatingly, you can't just play a random match against anyone online.
A seemingly minor, but incredibly annoying flaw is the menu interface. Inexplicably, the menus are all in landscape orientation, though the game is played entirely in portrait view. This creates a lot more turning of my device than I care for. Another missing feature is the ability to save multiple modes. If you quit out of Story mode, for example, to go play classic, you will lose all of your story progress.
In Snood, you are given the graphical choice of viewing either the updated Snoods or classic Snoods. In a rare twist for me, I greatly prefer the classic Snoods. The "modern" ones have a blinding, heavy gloss, and are WAY too cutesy. I understand that that's the point, but this is just going way too far. Music is good, though I had to silence my phone within minutes of playing because of the annoying "boing" sounds that resonate loudly after every shot.
Maybe Snood is one of those games that just doesn't translate for modern gamers, but it's hard to tell through EA's abysmal port. At $3.99, don't even consider this app; I'd be loathe to recommend it at $.99.