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  1. Oct 31, 2012
    10
    This is the first successful (meaning fun) 3D snake game.
    In the standard mode, you start in a 2D mode (where you wrap around the edges to
    the other side of the plane or cube) turning only left or right, but when you eat enough targets/pellets, a hole opens up for you to enter a 3D space. The 3D mode controls sort of like an arcade flight combat game, only with the same rules as Snake (i.e., don't run into your ever-growing tail). You alternate back-and-forth between 2D and 3D, each iteration requiring more and more pellets to be eaten to advance, but each iteration resetting your tail size. Your movement speed is constant (though there is a "go slightly faster" button you can hold down), but increased challenge comes from randomly appearing block obstacles, "mines" that sprout delayed temporary laser walls in 6 directions when triggered, moving walls, and enemy snakes. There's also an occasional blue powerup that replaces your tail with edible pellets. The arenas and obstacles are randomized, but it gets harder faster when you perform well (i.e. holding down the "go faster" button). You have three lives per run, and death resets your tail length.
    The graphics and sound are pretty minimalist (I like them, but that's a question of personal preference), but pretty soon you learn to rely on those subtle cues: the 3 beeps in advance of each obstacle's materialization, the clicks before each laser wall goes up. In the 3D move, you are absolutely reliant on the fact that the walls get whiter as your snake gets closer to them, plus a growing white vapor effect that appears on objects (lasers, your own tail) right before you collide with them.
    Once you understand the visual cues, I found that the camera worked quite well, even in 3D (objects become semi-transparent to avoid blocking your view). Control is good. My Xbox360 controller plugged-and-played instantly, and the keyboard buttons work surprisingly well; the game was supersensitive to how long I held down each button so it is fully playable with the keyboard despite being a twitch-arcade game. The main complaint about this game is that your maximum turn speed is pretty slow; you have a fairly wide turn radius, which can make the 2D stages in the later iterations fairly challenging because I often felt I could have saved myself if the game let you turn on a dime. In 3D the turn radius doesn't seem to cause problems.
    The game also slightly rotates your snake to avoid collision if you're at a glancing angle from the wall, but you won't notice the game helping you unless you really pay attention.
    The other mode in this game is 8 single-arenas (4 * 2D stages and 4* 3D) where you try to go as long as possible in one life without switching arenas, which was great when I just wanted to play in the 3D spaces; what's weird about this mode is that it's buried (page 4 of the "Notes" option) and I didn't even know it was there for a week after I bought the game. Also, one time I accidentally triggered some kind of "green mode" 3D iteration with textual notes before it took me back to the main game, but I'm not sure how.
    Another comment I should make is that the game initially didn't work for me until I unchecked the anti-aliasing option; the simplified graphics don't really need aliasing anyway and I'm not sure why that broke the game on my laptop, but it was an option left on by default.
    The other feature missing is any sort of leaderboard. That may change if it gets a Steam release. Also there's no multiplayer (competitive Tron-like 3D-Snake would have been nice).
    Overall this is a really awesome game to play in 10-minute bursts, and it's only $3. I recommend it to anyone who thinks 3D snake looks interesting.
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