If you enjoy the gentle pleasure of bussing passengers around European cities but sometimes wish your bus could drift, jump, and grow hundreds of segments long as it winds past the Eiffel Tower and through the grounds of the Louvre, do have a look at Snakeybus. It is, as its name suggests, Snake-y with a bus. Collect passengers from bus stops, deliver them to destinations, and try not to crash into yourself as your vast bus coils and leaps along roads and over canals and ploughs through traffic. It is delightful.
Here we are, a simple bus driver, picking passengers up on the streets of Paris. It’s a sunny day, chill music is playing, and, fortunately for us, passengers are out in force. Zoom by a bus stop and they’ll swirl in, then once we’re full deliver them to the randomly-selected destination. And then our Snakebys grows longer, adding section after section at dropoffs, until we’re the type of bendy bus your mother warned you about.
Once you hit 100-odd bus segments, you’ll start running out of clear routes on the streets. Sure, you could try to slide past one of your distant coils or: you could jump over it. The Snakeybus can jump, see, with each subsequent segment following your arc. So now this vast bus is winding through streets and leaping over itself, and over the Seine, and… it is good.
Having free movement to drive and drift rather than being confined to Snake’s usual grid and 90-degree turns creates an analogue space where you have to eyeball everything, gambling that you can squeeze through a gap you left yourself in an earlier coil. You don’t instantly game-over for hitting yourself either, giving room to bump and scrape and bounce by as long as you don’t come to a full stop. Snakeybus is, as snakes are, organic. I especially like when I jump the bus over the bus then later need to hit a ramp to jump the bus over the bus jumping over the bus.
After Paris, we’ll get to go to a mock-cybereighties Miami, a suburb, and some surreal and sci-fi places. I’ve only unlocked the first two levels so far but I’ll definitely return to grow a vast Snakeybus coiling through some sort of space station voidzone… thing.
Snakeybus is out now on Steam for Windows and Mac. A small launch discount brings Snakebus down to £6.47/€7.37/$8.99 until Friday the 17th.
I do hope that developers Stovetop can do something about performance, as it does run a little slow for a twitchy arcade game. But it’s not enough to make me stop playing.
Hey, if you’re interested in Snake with 3D spaces, check out qrth-phyl too. That’s one heck of a dotgobbler.
Ta to Christian Donlan for pointing out Snakeybus on Eurogamer.