SnakeyBus (Review)

Source: Cashmoneys
Price: £7.19
Where To Get It: Steam

Sometimes, the old ones are the best. Pong has somehow survived to the modern day, although in oft unrecognisable forms. As have Tetrominoes and Puyos. And there is even room, in the modern day, for twists on Snake. Some are clever puzzlers with a snakey theme, some are repetitive minigames to represent grind or hacking (No, really), and sometimes… Well, sometimes, it tries 3D. I’d say that Snakeybus is one of the more successful ones on that front, and it’s largely due to having interesting maps.

Rest well, valiant… If foolish SnakeyBus.

So, one thing to get out of the way right now: Snakeybus is not the most polished of games. The UI is a utilitarian, boxy affair, the models and physics relatively simple, and the maps and garage are both relatively small. When passengers are dropped off, and the bus elongates, it does so by literally popping in the bus segments, rather than anything fancy, and, apart from the motion of the bus (and ragdolling of passengers on death), animation’s somewhat crude.

Okay, fine, but, and this is the important but: It does exactly what you would expect with a portmanteau of Snake and Bus: You move (slowing or accelerating depending on your W/S keys, steering at a fixed rate with your A/D, a little harder with shift), picking up passengers, and, preferably when the bus is full, you drop them off at a specific, fixed point (one of several is chosen), grow some, and you attempt to do this until you explode. Now do it again, but better. And this would, very quickly, become an exercise in frustration if it weren’t for… Your other key: The spacebar, aka “JUMP.”

Gonna eatchu, little passe- wait, no, body, don’t block me, bro!

Yup, this bus not only grows depending on how many passengers it’s dropped off, it can fly too. And, if you manage to hit ramps at the right angle (IE – without knocking them over), and a fair clip, you can get over obstacles (including yourself) that way too. It’s… An understatedly fun experience, honestly. Even if Endless (the 7th main map) is kind of a bad joke.

The “joke” is that there’s no passengers, just an endless, uncrashable bus ride, constantly lengthening until either the game crashes, your computer does, or you realise what it’s doing from the achievement and grumpily hit the ESCape to leave.

Desert Bus: Party Bus Edition.

Despite that, and the lack of polish, though, Snakeybus is definitely a relaxing way to spend a lunch break. Seeing what silly tricks you can pull, hearing the screams of the passengers sucked into the Bus of Inevitable Doom while light driving jazz plays, trying to ride your bus along the top of your bus… It’s a short, silly game, played in short, silly sessions, and that’s a niche I can respect.

The Mad Welshman likes it when folks keep it simple. Om nom nom.

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