RPG Snake: The Adventure of Akua

When it comes to historic video games, there aren’t many that are more established or loved than the classic Snake. While there are several versions of the classic arcade title available for the iPhone, the latest release, RPG Snake: The Legend of Akua, tries to do something original by making it a pseudo RPG. While it’s a nice twist, this isn’t nearly as original a game as it sounds like it should be.

RPG Snake tells the story of a demon kidnapping a princess, and a young warrior who promises to save her. That’s all there is, and there’s a noticeable grammar error in the intro screens that makes things a little confusing.

 The Adventure of Akua

Your warrior starts the snake chain, and another member is added to the chain when you take out an enemy roaming around the grid. For a while the enemies are stationary, but later levels feature opponents that can move around at varying speeds and in random directions. While these units can’t fight back, they can move through the immovable objects on the map which will kill your heroes if they touch them.

Movement is handled by touching arrows on each side of the map, a system that works pretty well. There weren’t any detectible problems with using the arrows to move the snake around the map, but at times they felt a bit too sensitive since my thumb would barely touch the screen and my snake’s direction would suddenly change.

Really, this is just a copy of Snake with an isometric view and some novel graphics. Enemies take the place of food; environmental walls are presented as objects like cacti, stones, and gargoyles; and you can end the level once your snake is long enough. All the RPG elements are surface details only, since you can’t increase character attributes or affect the game’s paper-thin story.

 The Adventure of Akua

That said, RPG Snake looks and sounds great. It’s got an adorable 8-bit level design, with simple (yet charming) character models thrown into the mix. The game’s audio, in turn, is a charming throwback to the old school MIDI style used in classic video games.

The main portion of the game features four differently-themed areas, navigated on a world map. Once you rescue the kidnapped princess a series of bonus maps are unlocked. While the later levels are certainly challenging thanks to an increasing number of obstacles, this is definitely a game that could benefit from some additional content down the line.

RPG Snake: The Legend of Akua is certainly a well-made and charming game that does a nice job of updating an industry classic. However there’s a distinct lack of depth beneath the polish that makes it tough to recommend this as a definite purchase, even when it’s only $0.99. If you’re looking for a game that will keep you entertained for longer than a day, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere – or at least wait for a free version of the game to come out on the App Store.