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Snake Pass adds a juicy new high-pressure arcade mode

This is a snaking mission

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.

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Snake Pass

PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch

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Dominic Tarason