Let’s start this iPhone game review with a fun little quiz to test your vocabulary and your game trivia knowledge. What is a ‘Snood’?
A small netlike cap worn by women to keep their hair in place.
A headband or fillet.
A fleshy wrinkled fold of skin that hangs down over a turkey’s beak.
A classic arcade-style puzzle videogame.
The answer is “all of the above”.Since its introduction in 1996, Snood (the video game, not the turkey skin) has garnered literally millions of fans. I’m one of them. Back in the 90’s, I logged so many hours playing Snood that I owned the top 10 scores in my household (and that was competing against teenagers!).
So, you can imagine the anticipation I felt when I first saw that Snood was coming to iPhone. Could it be possible? Could the developers somehow shove all of the features and addicting fun of the original into an iPhone game? I wish I could shout out a resounding “yes,” but unfortunately the iPhone version comes up short in a couple of important areas.
First let’s start with the good news. If you liked the classic PC/Mac version of Snood, you’ll probably enjoy the iPhone version. Launching the little Snoods into space and watching them stick and fall as you match them with like Snoods is endless fun. The developers did a great job of providing a variety of modes – story, classic, time attack, and puzzle. And they’ve added in some power-ups and changes that I don’t recall from the classic game. All improvements in those categories are good. And I love the quirky sound effects and music track, which are very similar if not identical to the sounds on the PC version. The colorful Snoods are oozing fun and the sounds round out their personalities nicely.
However, they are pretty hard to see and the shooter is hard to control. The way the game is laid out in portrait format, the Snoods are very small (compared to the classic PC and Mac versions). The game starts in landscape mode – for the menus, game play mode, and so on, but when you start to play, the screen switches to portrait mode – and you cannot change it back. So, when you shoot the snoods up into the chamber, you have to really go by color, because you can’t clearly see their faces or the type of Snood that they are. Even if you intuitively know what they look like from your experiences with the PC game, you often have no idea which Snood you are shooting up because they are so hard to see. Something is definitely lost in the translation from the larger screen of the computer to the small screen of the iPhone.
The most important element lost in the conversion process is precision in choosing where to shoot your Snood. For those of you who have played the original, you’re going to be bothered by the fact that it is much harder to determine where your Snood is going to land (or what will happen when he bounces off the wall) in the iPhone version. In puzzle mode, you really miss the ability to be exact when you aim. In fact, puzzle mode is really almost impossible to complete given the lack of precise aiming available on the iPhone version. You try get used to it, but the lack of precision definitely makes you yearn for the PC game.
While I was perturbed at the size and difficulty to identify some of the Snoods, I was really put off by the compulsory links to Facebook. You have to have a Facebook account in order to be able to access the “Achievements” and “Contests” of the game. So if you don’t have a Facebook account, you’re out of luck. And if you do, you have to send those annoying messages to all your friends pestering them with your latest scores. Well, I guess you’ll have to make up your own mind about that aspect of connected gaming – some people love it – and some people get annoyed quickly.
So, it is with mixed emotions that I pass judgment on the iPhone version of Snood, one of my favorite PC games of all time. While it is a blast to have Snood on my iPhone, it comes up short and the cost is relatively high, compared to other games out there. You might want to wait to purchase until some upgrades become available that will help to remedy some of the game’s flaws. I guess it all comes down to how you define fun. For me, Snood still needs a little work before it fits my perfect definition of a great iPhone game.