Snake Pass adds a juicy new high-pressure arcade mode

Snake Pass

Last year’s Snake Pass was a truly lovely thing. What happens when you take the platformer genre, and remove jumping, running, or even legs? Good times, that’s what. Alec reckoned it was rather brill, too.

A year on, and Sumo Digital haven’t forgotten their beautiful little experiment, even if it didn’t sell quite as much as it should have. Today, all versions of the game have been updated with a new score-chasing Arcade mode, providing a solid reason (as if it were needed) to take another peek at the game.

As you can see in the trailer above, Arcade mode is all about snarfing enormous amounts of floating, magical videogame fruit. It’s also about racing the clock, and combos, and offers an alternate, much higher-pressure way of playing each level. While Snake Pass is normally a game about observing a problem, carefully formulating a solution and executing it, Arcade is all about speed.

After running through a couple levels in the new mode, it’s surprising just how much the addition of time pressure changes the nature of the game. Not only do you have an overall time limit to complete the level (extended by picking up certain items), but your scoring is combo-based, forcing a mixture of aggressive movement and route planning/memorization, on top of the usual tricky execution.

Each successive fruit gobbled increases your score multiplier, but go for more than a few seconds without feeding and it resets to 1x. Picking up a precious high-value watermelon a fraction of a second after your 20x combo expires can and will crush your soul, in a smiley, friendly Snake Pass’y kinda way. Arcade Mode naturally comes with full leaderboard support, letting you compare your scores both globally or against friends.

Snake Pass is available via Steam and Humble for £16/$20 (a bit cheaper on Humble, at present). The Arcade mode update is live now, and will become available on any level you’ve completed in story mode first.

8 Comments

  1. thenevernow says:

    I got the game from Humble Monthly and I wanted to like it, but I found the character’s movement to be too slow. Maybe I didn’t get good enough at it and gave up too soon.

    • Renzatic says:

      Noodle controls exactly how you’d expect a snake to work IRL. Moving in a straight line by hitting the R2 button pushes you forward, but doesn’t build any momentum. You actually have to slither your way around by moving the analog stick left and right while moving forward to pick up speed.

    • Premium User Badge

      Ninja Dodo says:

      Mark Brown has a pretty good breakdown of how it works and why that makes it compelling:

  2. Jayseki says:

    Oh man, how did I not hear about this game! Looks fun, downloading now.

    BTW it’s actually 50% off on steam right now, 9.99$ (sale ends apr 10)

  3. Caiman says:

    This was one of my favourite games from last year. It does take a bit of getting used to controlling the snake though, and it can be extremely nerve-wracking at times as you’re hanging from a pole over a chasm and your body starts to slip off like a wet noodle! But once you get your confidence up and learn the ins and outs, it’s enormous fun. The music is great too.

  4. Xantonze says:

    Bought it yesterday as it was reduced to half-price on steam.

    Good fun, even if the free camera often gets in the way (no solid point of reference makes it hard to now in which direction exactly to push the stick in order to move the snake the right way).

    Also, am I mistaken or isn’t there any way to skip the cutscenes when you reenter a level already completed (to get the collectables fi)? This is rather irksome.

  5. Wormerine says:

    I feel guilty. I had my eyes on it, but ended up getting it from Humble Monthly… it’s one of finer games I played in a while. I love my platformers, and it is something familiar and completely new. If they release a meaty sequel (preferably with better performance), they’ll have my cash in a blink.