My name is Noodle and I’ve waited for this moment for years. There used to be a time where people enjoyed playing 3D platformer games but that era disappeared to never be heard of ever again. Sure, the Italian plumber was still making some noise but I didn’t dare to confront him directly. Thank god others are stepping out of the shadow, Yooka-Laylee being the best example of that. If they dare to step out of the shadow, it’s time for me to introduce myself to the world. I’m Noodle the snake and I’m here to shake things up.
Think like a snake
It’s no secret that 3D platformers are making a comeback this year. With the release of Yooka-Laylee and A Hat in Time later on, gamers are finally embracing the lost genre. Sumo Digital wants to jump on the hype but does it in style. Instead of copying what others did, the developers really innovated the genre with Snake Pass. How? By creating a unique hero, Noodle the snake.
Our story starts with Noodle chilling in the sun, soon to be awakened by his loyal friend Doodle, the hummingbird. The small bird warns you that an unknown evil is closing the gates that allow you to travel from sky island to sky island. Needless to say, the heroic snake can’t let this happen and goes on an adventure.
Unlike other games where the hero starts running in order to save the world as fast as possible, you can’t forget you’re controlling a slow snake in this one. Sumo Digital wants you all to think like a snake and that’s exactly what you should do if you want to conquer the challenges in this game. The controls are the first thing you’ll need to get used to.
Learn to control Noodle
The controls are certainly different from other games. At first, I was pushing the X-button in the hopes that Noodle would move but this didn’t work. Soon I learned I had to hold the R2-button in order to move Noodle. The snake itself finally started moving but at an incredibly slow pace. After a while it hit me, I had to think like a snake. Ever seen a snake going straight the entire time? Neither did I. I started moving my control stick from left to right, mimicking the slithering movement of a real snake. It worked like a charm! By moving from left to right, Noodle will create momentum and will go a lot faster.
The first world (a boring field of grass) serves as a training area to get familiar with the controls. You’ll see a lot of rocks and bamboo stick sticking out. By controlling Noodle while thinking as a snake, you won’t have any problem with slithering your way through the level. Later on, you’ll learn that holding the L2-button will give you extra grip on objects. This is needed if you’re climbing a place that hovering above an endless void.
Besides the shoulder buttons, you’ll need the X-button to raise your head. Snake Pass is a platformer without jumping so raising your head enables you to reach higher ground. Keep in mind that the game uses very realistic physics so you can’t twist and turn Noodle endlessly. The last thing you’ll need to know is that the triangle-button commands Doodle to lift Noodle’ tale. A great way to travel to more difficult to reach places. The controls are something to get used to for sure but once you’re familiar with them, you’ll truly enjoy the challenges that are ahead.
The real deal
The game plays like a true 3D platformer, meaning you’ll travel to different worlds to collect everything that’s needed to survive. The main goal in each level is to collect a certain amount of stones to open the gate to the next world. At first, this is a very easy task and you’ll have no problem at all in advancing. The more you unlock, the more difficult things get. The first worlds you’ll discover all look rather the same, featuring a bright and colorful jungle theme. Later on, you’ll end up in visually more appealing worlds like a lava world. Too bad the game doesn’t have that many levels, so you’ll be finished playing it rather soon (7 to 10 hours).
The game gives you some more challenges to make up for the lack of levels. Besides the stones you need to open the gate, you can collect a certain amount of orbs and five hidden coins in each level. The coins are the most difficult thing to collect and are placed on hard to reach locations. If you want to collect everything the world has, especially in the later levels, you’ll really need a lot of skills. This is a great way to stretch out the gameplay since I’m sure a lot of players will aim for 100% completion in every world. It’s a system that’s also used in the old 3D platformer games and it still works like a charm. If collecting everything isn’t your style, you’re never forced to do so.
Snake Pass is a very original and fun to play 3D platformer game. Having a snake as leading character offers an interesting twist to the genre since you’ll really need to think like a snake in order to advance. The slow pacing and lack of jumping won’t be for everybody but if you’re looking for an innovating platformer, this is the one you’ll need. The game looks good and the controls work like a charm once you’re used to them. Too bad the game doesn’t have more levels to explore.