Aditya MadanapalleMay 20, 2017 11:29:44 IST
The Nokia 3310 started selling in India from 18 May, and is available in offline retail stores. The phone has only the most basic software running on it, and has little to offer apart from nostalgia. There is no Space Impact on the phone, but there is a modern interpretation of the classic game, Snake.
As soon as you fire up the title, a blue and white Gameloft logo comes on screen. Now this is not very encouraging, considering that a huge chunk of the Gameloft roster is made up of copycat games. Nova is Halo, Modern Combat is Modern Warfare, Blitz Brigade is Team Fortress 2, and the Gangster series copies the GTA series. There are many more examples. It is enough to say that a Gameloft splash screen triggers low expectations in terms of originality.
Not so in the case of Snake. The snake is now much fatter, and the fruits are bigger. There are levels that can be unlocked, power ups, and leaderboards. Instead of the focus on the endless mode, the "Mazes" introduced by Snake II in the original 3310 has been expanded as levels. This might not be the Snake from the old Nokia phones that everyone has played endlessly on, but the newer version is as addictive.
There are a few basic elements in the game. Apples are food, and can be eaten to make your snake longer. There are bombs that appear similar to apples, and consuming these will result in instant death. Magnets pull apples to you, and are at times necessary when the apples are behind walls. Multipliers allow the snake to get more points when it consumes an Apple, and there are X2 and X4 multipliers. Scissors shrink the snake down to a manageable size. There are no superbugs with a countdown timer in this version of Snake.
The levels are a series of challenges. Each level has three difficulties. Every time a level is finished with a difficulty, you get a snake medal. A certain number of snake medals are required to unlock subsequent levels. However, the game does not end with just obtaining all the snake medals for all the levels. There are leaderboards for each level and each difficulty, and can all be played to perfection for a maximum possible score.
There are three kinds of challenges. Timed challenge, horizontal challenge and snake vs snake timed challenge. In the timed challenge levels, you have to pick up as many apples as possible before the time runs out. In the horizontal challenge levels, you have to navigate through a play area with obstacles to get to an exit portal. A certain number of apples have to be grabbed on the way to open doors that allow you to exit. In the snake vs snake timed challenge, you have to compete with another snake on the same playing field to gobble up the apples.
The increasing difficulties in each level add further elements. Moving walls and more doors. You can get cut by the moving walls and still continue to play. You cannot overlap yourself, in which case the snake will die. In the snake vs snake mode, it is necessary to keep cutting yourself to continue to be competitive. You can overlap opponents safely.
In one of the later snake vs snake modes, you are actually up against two snakes at a time, and this can get chaotic. The computer snake moves in arcs, and navigates its way lazily to the apple, often ignoring the shorter route offered by the circumnavigate play area. Users can exploit this tendency and cut across the screen to repeatedly grab the fruit. In three snake games, there is so much movement on screen that it is enough to grab the magnets and avoiding biting yourself.
The survival mode offers the classic gameplay, where you have to endlessly consume fruit till you bite yourself and die. Every time the snake consumes an apple, it begins to move a little faster.
There are four control schemes. This bit is important as the schemes not only change the way you control the snake, but the fundamental manner in which the snake moves. The first control option uses just the 4 and 5 buttons to move. This control scheme makes the snake move in arcs, and it is not possible to take sharp turns. Using this control scheme changes the way you play the entire game.
The second control scheme uses the 2,4,6,8 buttons to move in the up, left, right and down directions. Sharp, angular turns are possible with this control scheme. The third option is the 4 and 6 buttons again, to move left and right, but in sharp angles, instead of arcs. Finally, the fourth option is the 4 and 6 buttons as well, but instead of arcs or sharp ninety degree turns, the snake takes 45 degree turns. Again, this control scheme also fundamentally changes the gameplay.
Once the control scheme is set, the numeric keypad can be used for controls, but also the direction keys with the same control scheme. The direction pad is faster, but less accurate, whereas using the number keys are more accurate, but does not allow for rapid reactions.
There are nine colour schemes to choose from to give the game a visual makeover. Only the colour of the snake changes though, not the environment. The sound option has no volume slider, and can only be toggled on or off. While the phone itself supports 12 regional Indian languages apart from English, Snake is only available 10 international languages.
This is one of the most fun and refreshing titles by Gameloft. A lot of precision is required, especially in the later levels. The leaderboards keeps you coming back to the same levels in an attempt to get a better score. In terms of mazes, the new Snake actually offers more than what was available with Snake II on the original 3310. Snake is only available on the 2017 version of the Nokia 3310.
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