February 27th, 2012 | By Thomas Wang
Hyper Snake by ClawHammer Games takes you on a journey back to when you were a kid playing with a 101-games-in-one arcade mix, a time when the game Snake became a mobile gaming revolution. Hyper Snake annexes a bit of everything from well known apps, we’re talking Silverfish MAX, Tilt To Live HD, Hard Lines, Hyperlight, Spirit HD,; and features them in a completely revamped way that may just tickle your fancy. One thing we always have to be wary of with any smartphone game is the use of the controls; I was worried that Hyper Snake would tarnish its retro-appeal through a bad control system. The developers could have vied for tilt, touch, or the underutilized iCADE, but fortunately, Hyper Snake‘s way of using the accelerometer is fantastic!
The way Hyper Snake takes many of the pros of other games and implements into a classic game which I used to play on an old T-Mobile flip-phone is simply flabbergasting. There are a total of six assorted game modes, offering just about everyone an opportunity to fall in love with its retro-styled amusement.
“Classic” is based upon the original Snake game in which you absorb orbs and your tail grows longer. You have to avoid collisions with your own tail while grabbing the orbs moving around like a fluid mosaic. To add a bit of strategy, collecting two or more of the same color orbs will increase your multiplier, making it easier to obtain a higher score in the local leaderboards. It’s the simplest of the six modes, but still has a nice adaptive difficulty you’d recognise from more ‘hardcore’ games.
“Survive” allows you to bring out your inner shrewdness and use them to strategically collect the colored orbs. In “Survive”, your job is to collect three of the same colored orbs to remove them from your tail (Bejeweled anyone?). You have to battle against the clock in this one, as well as making sure that your tail stays at a manageable length. When matching the colored orbs, it’ll boost your multiplier at the same time.
“Eat” clearly takes pointers from Pac-man as absorbing the cyan-cell will grant invincibility to the incoming adversaries, allowing you to eat them! Of course, it isn’t quite that easy to chomp down on those chewy foes, as they run away from you as your snake goes towards them. This time, your tail does not kill the enemies and they can fly right through, making you completely relying on the cyan-cell to kill them. While I was invincible, I found many of the convex shapes to hide in a corner which made it even more amusing to break them. I felt like a creeper in a horror movie having finally tracked down and sneaking up on my terrorized victims! Again, to add some strategy, eating/absorbing enemies and orbs will raise your multiplier.
My personal favorite mode is “Split”, where you crash into other geometric shapes and split them into smaller chunks. I found this mode to resemble the arcade game, Asteroids, with the idea of shooting instead of ramming bigger objects into smaller, destructible pieces. Similar to “Classic”, touching your own tail will result in suicide, so avoid moving backwards!
“War” is the only mode where you can go through your own tail without killing yourself. Without your own tail to kill you, there are various amounts of other enemies that will spawn and try annihilate you. While figuring that hiding within your tail will make you virtually invincible, there is a time limit that will keep on decreasing unless you seek out the required orbs.
Lastly, “Bombs” has a single green orb that flow around the arena, just waiting to be collected. Of course, when they are, the surrounding enemies are in for a deadly surprise. I found it best to lure in many enemies then detonate the bombs to get the highest efficiency. Every time you collect the orb, it’ll add another piece onto your tail, making it unfavorable to continuously absorb the bombs. Like most other modes your tail does kill you. This resembled a game mode Silverfish MAX, which I found quite amusing how they modified it to fit the classic Snake appeal.
I had several problems with Hyper Snake including there being no screen orientation option, making it extremely hard to play with headphones. Also, resuming a game after pausing would result in crashing into an enemy as I held the screen in a different position. Another slight gripe was that when looking at the highscores, the menu board would be set to all zeros if I didn’t select a mode to display.
Hyper Snake‘s music was definitely enjoyable and energetic. The track was an infinite loop, but I never got tired of it, even after about ten loops through. The single track was certainly a mix of ambiance and electronic “piano”, but I found it nice how the track did change after entering the game, unlike how Raid Leader continued the track throughout its entirety. The graphics were simple and sweet, nothing too intensive, but the neon colors were pleasing to the eyes. I fell in love with the fluid-like background grid and the epic explosion at death, especially if you had a really long tail. Hyper Snake iss a definite buy for me and I can full-fledgedly say that this game is one legendary adventure down memory lane.
More information on Hyper Snake can be found on the App Store where it can also be downloaded for $0.99.