App Reviewed on: iPhone XR
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It’s hard to make a puzzle game on mobile and have it stand out. There’s just so many out there, to the point that you can’t necessarily garner praise (or just attention) even if you’re offering a unique and creative experience. SNIKS is one of the few games that rises above its competition though, and it’s mainly through some ingenious puzzle design.
Slide those sniks
In SNIKS, each level is full of colorful snakes and fruit. Your job is to slide the snakes around to eat all of the fruit, but this is often much easier said than done. Snakes come in different colors and need to match the color of the fruit being eaten, for starters.
Snakes can also come in different sizes, and dealing with their long tails to create paths through small levels can also be tricky. To make things even trickier, each world in SNIKS presents new and unique mechanics that add further complications and complexity to this game’s simple base concept.
Colorful and creative
Playing SNIKS feels kind of meditative. You can slide the snakes around at your own pace, and there’s never any kind of danger or reflex-based hazards to deal with. It’s just you and your colorful snake friends, moving through each level, one by one.
This laid-back atmosphere would feel boring if the puzzles in SNIKS weren’t as interesting as they are. Within each of the game’s six worlds, there are little gimmicks and mechanics that ensure you’re always kept on your toes. The game balances this out nicely by always having introductory levels that take the time to illustrate how a new trick works before escalating the challenge and mixing this new gimmick with previous ones.
No legs, no problem
Perhaps the best thing about SNIKS is how intelligible its levels are. You can look at any level and know instantly what you need to do to win. The trick though is that there’s considerable challenge that comes from trying to figure out the how. Your snakes are in cramped quarters, and figuring out the logistics of maneuvering them can tie you up for minutes at a time. Once everything clicks into place though, you can beat a level in seconds.
This is makes SNIKS a great mobile experience. Even if you just have a minute or two to play, you might be able to knock it out a level if you have the presence of mind at that given moment. As great as this is, though, there are a few things SNIKS could benefit from to make it an even more ideal mobile experience.
The first is an undo button. Some levels in SNIKS allow you to move snakes into positions you can’t easily recover from, so it would be nice to take moves back without having to start levels completely over. Secondly, I found that SNIKS has a long initial load time. The wait here isn’t huge. We’re talking a few seconds, but it’s a second or two longer than a lot of other mobile puzzlers, and it takes away from the game being ideal for mini-gaming sessions.
The bottom line
SNIKS is a fun, creative, and relaxing puzzle game with a great sense of challenge, despite its simple concept. It may not have a deep sense of mystery or some other bells and whistles, but that’s ok. It’s still a great game that you should definitely play.