(Review Version – iOS)
With both the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store becoming awash with a vast amount of puzzle titles for a very small fee, its safe to say that most bases are covered for consumers out there looking for variety and the type of ‘pick up and play’ titles that we have seen for a number of years on mobile devices across various platforms.
Next up in the firing line is a physics based puzzle title called, Snail Bob. As you’ve probably guessed by now, you take control of a snail called Bob across 3 worlds and across 60 levels. The idea of the game is to get Bob to the exit of each level without im dying. Sounds simple but there is a bit more to it than that. Bob automatically moves by himself but with the ability of touching him on screen, he then hides in his shell for you to check your surroundings and work out your next move before letting him move on. Apart from touching Bob to make him stop and again to make him move, thats it. Its all down to your decisions and how to get him through various obstacles that come his way throughout each of the levels as Bob doesn’t have anything that can help you out in sticky situations. Its down to you and you only as to what happens to Bob.
Throughout each level, you will come across different obstacles that you need to get Bob past. These vary from turning platforms, electricity and spikes to name but a few. While it sounds easy in practice, some of the latter levels require you to not only turn switches and stop another obstacle at the same time, but also you have to control Bob at the same time as well. One level sees you having to turn a switch off (to stop electricity and for Bob getting zapped) yet once you are through safely, then quickly turn the switch on, to bring a platform up all in one motion. Do it too early and you’re fried, yet do it too late and you see Bob’s shell shattered on a spiked platform below. Its all down to timing and of course, physics.
Each level gives you the ability of finding three stars that are dotted and hidden within each level. Some are very easy to spot, while others can be slightly hidden behind objects such as turning platforms or even in the ground itself. Its a clever little addition adding this into the mix as it gives the player another objective alongside the main game by trying to collect all three stars across each level.
One thing that stood out for me while my time with Snail Bob was how much fun it was to play. Like I mentioned above, there are so many puzzle titles for games to choose from on mobile devices and some great ones available it must be said, but this is one of the best out there at the minute due to its brilliant pacing and the fact that strategy plays a part later on during the more advanced levels. The game eases you in at the start and gets you used to how the control system works and how you achieve your goal with little stress but once you have familiarized yourself with everything (or so you thought!) the difficulty level is upped and more of a challenge is put in front of you. Not once though did this feel like a frustrating experience and this is due to the fact that you can tackle each level at your own pace.
Graphically, Snail Bob is fantastic. Cute, colourful and overall just great to look at. One thing that Chillingo are great at is the whole presentation element across their titles and there is no let up here. Colours bounce and pop from the screen, characters look fantastic and animations are brilliantly executed. Overall, Snail Bob really hits the mark in the looks department.
If you love a great puzzler that looks brilliant, oozes class and plays like a dream, then Snail Bob is definitely for you. Brilliant pacing meshed together with a simplistic fun factor throughout, Snail Bob is one of the best mobile titles. Taking into account its very low price tag, this is quite simply a necessity for any mobile gamer. Fantastic.