2008 Competition Results: (5:8-Bit Mash Up)

4th Place – Snakoban Dash – Total: 221

snakoban_filtered

Ian:

This original game is a fantastic fusion of Sokoban, Snake and Boulderdash and is guaranteed to delight and infuriate any puzzle game fan, with its inventive use of other games’ parts (Oooh err missus!).

Controlling a snake, the aim of the game is to move crate like boxes onto marked areas in small maze-like maps, Sokoban style. The game starts off with just a few elements such as walls, crates and apples, but adds new ones like earth, exploding barrels, mushrooms, blocks of ice and snowballs as you progress through the levels.

Your snake is able to push crates with its head, and like Snake (the game seen on Nokia mobile phones and every computer ever made); eating an apple causes your body to lengthen by one segment, meaning that movement in the maze starts to become restrictive. Unlike Snake, you aren’t constantly moving and you can’t die by eating your own body; otherwise the game would be impossible. Once all marked areas are covered by crates, the level is complete and you move onto the next, trickier one.

Mistakes in this game occur often, which surprisingly don’t actually cause you to exit and restart – with the clever use of a “Rewind” key, you are actually able to undo your moves. This is an excellent feature and one that makes errors bearable and experimentation much easier (and prevents unnecessary premature hair-loss!).

Graphics and sound are two areas where this game is sadly lacking. I do like the chunky Spectrum stylings, but a more contemporary use of imagery would be most definitely welcomed. Sound however is limited to just the odd bleep here and there and the game has no music whatsoever. Unfortunately, these aspects seriously affects the overall score, if not the enjoyment of the game. Be warned though, it is a tough little cookie.

I can see this making a good handheld (PSP, DS, GP2X etc.) puzzle game, as it has plenty of pick up and play potential. I could perhaps help with a GP2X conversion… ;)

71%

Spray:

Sokoban, Snake and Boulder Dash. To be fair, three of the better reasons for never owning a Nokia phone I’ve ever come across.

There is, of course, a market out there for games such as these, but what if you love all three games, yet have time to only play one?

Snakoban Dash is a mash up of said 3 titles and, unbelievably, is a fantastically playable game which I’ve already spent far too much time on.

The big let down for me isn’t the game it’s self, much to my surprise, as I felt a quarter of hours worth of having my nails pulled off would have been preferential to playing this, but the sound – an annoying mixture of bleeps and farts that, thankfully you can turn off and the fact that the only level I’ve not managed to complete so far is the first. Grrrr!

Other than these few niggles and the fact that it really should be faster when boulders, barrels and the like are falling, ace job. Mash-ups rule!

62%

Oogy:

A true mash-up this one if I ever saw one. Not just a mixture of two games (Snake and Sokoban) but add a third one into the mix (Boulderdash) and you get some really crazy puzzly challenges.

The game is played in real 8 bit style, with graphics that resemble ZX Spectrum type graphics. They are rather blocky when played fullscreen, but luckily there’s a switch to windowed mode. There’s fruit to be eaten, but take care not to overdo it, as you control the snake you still have to push the crates into the right positions, and with your tail being too long it might make it impossible to manouvre in tight quarters. Luckily there is an undo-feature which lets you rewind all the moves you’ve made so far (a feature everyone will use no doubt). Oh and did I mention the bombs you can drop? Charming to the very end, I tell you.

The only sound in this game is at startup and in the menu, and even those are just a few bleeps, which is a real shame. Also, there only seem to be nine levels to the whole game, undoubtedly because of time constraints. Here’s hoping more levels will be produced since the idea of this game is so crazy, it actualy works. Prepare yourself for some real puzzly experience. It’s going to be a long one (or maybe it’s just because I suck at puzzly games).

68%

Geekay:

Throughout the last number of competitions the RR team have tried to dissuade entrants from providing the remake world with rehashes of what has already been done.  “No more Pong please” should have been this years slogan.  Oh look, the Christmas sales appeared early and we got a two for the price of one offer.  Not only have we acquired Sokoban, but we have this mashed with Snake.  Oh festive joy.

To give this game some optimistic praise I have to wonder why this hasn’t been done prior.  It’s a mashup that is perfectly natural in combination – this is the Morcombe and Wise of symbiotic partnerships.

Let’s not get too far ahead though, the game is predominantly Sokoban and it is boring as hell.  This is one of those games that was provided free on my mobile phone and this would have to be the last game in the world to make me ever want to play it.

It looks retro but is crap retro and the sound isn’t much to go by either – a perfect experience for the criminally blind and deaf. The fugly stick has been brought out again folks.  My word this looks like one something programmed from type-ins. The few bleeps that exist are annoying, and the lack of a tune or ambience makes the game seem more vacant.

The whole affair is soulless and this has to be one of the most boring releases of the competition. It’s time for Sackandban.

20%