For anyone who likes Bust-A-Move/Puzzle Bobble series, here is a new kid on the block that is even more fun than the Taito classics. Snood is an insanely addictive puzzler that looks deceptively simple, but will draw you in for endless "just one more game" sessions with its nuances and clever game design. Created by Dave Dobson in 1996 for the Macintosh, Snood quickly spreaded across campuses and, eventually, the world. But for some reason, despite widespread popularity and its being ported to PC and Gameboy Advance, Snood is not as well-known among "hard-core" gamer crowd. Perhaps it is because the game's cartoonish graphics and simplistic gameplay make many gamers mistake it as another light, not-really-deserved-to-be-called-a-"game" diversion much like Windows Solitaire. As a result, we have a curious case of a game that is wildly popular among casual gamers, but virtually unheard of among "hard-core" crowd. Since most visitors to this site belong to the latter group, this review is an attempt to convince you, the hard-core gamer, that this little gem deserves a permanent place on your hard drive. |
Snood is essentially a Tetris-style game. But unlike Tetris, there is no time limit of any kind. In Snood, your goal is to clear the game screen of Snoods, little alien creatures, by shooting Snoods at the existing ones from a rotating cannon at the bottom of the screen. You can only shoot one Snood at a time, and cannot choose which Snood you want next. When three or more Snoods of the same type touch, they explode, causing any other Snoods that are no longer attached to other Snoods to also fall away. Sounds simple, right? Wrong. The more Snoods you fire, the higher the Danger bar on the right of the the screen rises. When the Danger bar is full, a row of brick wall appears at the top of the screen, pushing all of the Snoods down closer to you. If the Snoods come down to the level of your cannon, the game is over. The only way to make the Danger bar go down again is disconnect Snoods that are not the same type as the Snood you are shooting to make fall down with your shot. For example, if you shoot a red Snood to disconnect 10+ red Snoods, the Danger bar will not go down if no Snood fall down with them (i.e. all the red Snoods explode but your shot didn't disconnect any non-red Snood). The game is won when the screen no longer has any Snoods attached to the top of the screen, and bonus points are awarded for clearing the screen using a small number of Snoods.
As if strategizing and aiming your cannon carefully is not enough, there are many other obstacle to make your life more difficult - and the game even more addicting. On higher difficulty levels, there are skull-shaped Snoods which you do not shoot; they simply are part of the screen when the game starts. The skulls cannot explode; the only way to clear them from the screen is to have them fall off. The latest version of the game features special Snoods such as "wild card" Snoods that will turn into whatever they touch first.
The game has several levels from "Child" to "Evil," with more points being awarded and with the Danger bar filling faster on the higher levels. In additional to normal play, there are two modes of play that involve more than one game screen. The Journey mode takes you through all the levels, starting on Child and progressing in difficulty until the you lose. The Puzzle mode - one of my favorite features - takes you through progressively more difficult puzzle levels where you have to ricochet trick shots around walls of skulls to complete the level. In normal mode, you can create your own levels, choosing the number of rows and columns of Snoods that will appear, as well as the Snoods' size. Here you must truly strategize how to make the Snood icons fall in order to advance, and a single poorly aimed shot can mean the end of the game. If you get tired of playing with the pre-defined sets, the registered version of the game comes with an editor that will allow you to make your own Puzzle levels to try and stump your friends. You can even choose the order that the Puzzles appear to the player.
With insanely addictive gameplay, infinitely replayability, and excellent customizability, Snood is one of the best coffee break games ever made, ideal for 4-5 minutes of play at a time. It is well worth the registration price, because you will be playing hundreds of games for hours on end, trying to beat your own high score or that nefarious puzzle level. If you value your workplace productivity, do not install this game - don't say I didn't want you. A modern classic, and a well-deserved entrant into our Hall of Belated Fame.
Reviewed by: Underdogs