Why the classic Snake is better than Slither.io

Posted by Matt Suckley on May 17th, 2016
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Competitive online munch-'em-up Slither.io may be flavour of the month on the App Store right now, but it's only the latest in a long history of snakes in mobile gaming.

The first, and still very much the best, is the monochrome beauty we all wrangled in a time before apps - the titular Snake, from Nokia's imaginatively-titled Snake.

Here's why we'd trade an iPhone running Slither.io for a Nokia 3310 with Snake any day of the week.


People are terrible at the best of times, but none more so when they're in control of a snake called 'bigwang27' and are given licence to behave like a jerk.

In Slither.io, the key strategy is for bigger snakes to encircle smaller snakes. You know what we call that? Bullying, plain and simple.

Snake, by contrast, is nowhere near as mean-spirited. You ran into your own tail? Disappointing, and a brutal comment on the nature of over-ambition, but ultimately your own fault.

Nobody out to get you, nobody else to blame. Much nicer.


You can't play Slither.io offline which, while now commonplace for mobile games, is certainly not a good thing.

Even with a slightly dodgy connection, your snake will skitter and lurch around in a way that makes the game effectively unplayable.

Compare this to Snake, which you can play anywhere in the world without any online connectivity whatsoever. Furthermore, you can play it for approximately eight years straight before the battery runs out. Hang your head in shame, Slither.io.


Using number keys might not have been the most elegant control solution gaming's ever seen, but at least it was subtle. If you're sitting on the bus playing Snake, it's pretty much indistinguishable to those around you from sending a text.

But in Slither.io, the snake follows your finger, meaning that you have to conspicuously drag your digits around - especially on a larger phone like the iPhone 6s Plus - making you a slightly concerning presence on public transport as you wildly swipe at your phone and curse under your breath about “betrayal.”


Have you ever seen that hypnotising .gif of the perfect Snake run? That's the kind of intricate beauty that can only be created within a game built within a very rigid set of rules and boundaries.

Needless to say, Slither.io - populated by directionless snakes of multiple sizes and colours, bumping into one another in the essential chaos of an online experience - will never produce something as satisfyingly ordered.

Is Matt onto something? Or should he just invent a time machine and go live in the past where he belongs? Let us know in the comments below!

Posted in: News, Lists
Tagged With: Mobile, Iphone, Snake, IPad, Android, Ios, Nokia, slither.io, 3310
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