Snailboy Review: Gorgeous Graphics and a Few Glitches - iOS Game

Snailboy is one pretty game, but it can be pretty frustrating at times.

Cape Town based developer,Thoopid,  recently released Snail Boy for iOS and it's a pretty interesting title. I recently got the chance to take a look at it for a review. Full disclosure: I played Snailboy on a 4th generation iPad running iOS 6.1 If you have an older (or newer) iDevice your experience may differ.

To start with, Snailboy is one of the prettiest games I've ever played on iOS.

I literally didn't think a mobile platform could look this good. 

Don't believe me? take a look at some of these screen shots: 

So pretty. Right? Well there's a downside to the graphical perfection.

Loading screens. So. Many. Loading. Screens. They popped up between levels, between menus, between launching the app and the main menu. On average load screens were up for less than 5 seconds but those of you with older iDevices such as an iPad 2 or iPhone 4 may experience longer loads. 

Snailboy has interesting controls and gameplay.

It's what happens when you mix Angry Birds controls with the platforming genre. You guide the eponymous mollusk on his epic quest to recover his shells from the sneaky shadow gang.  

Using your finger you can smack Snail Boy short distances, or hold and drag to send him on arcing leaps. Send him flying into certain surfaces allows him to stick, enabling you to perform complex manuevers. hold and drag your finger to move the camera around the level to help you plot your route to the goal.

Unfortunately these controls can be frustratingly hard to pick up and even when you've gotten the hang of it one wrong move can send Snailboy accidentally flying into a pit of spikey plants, forcing you to restart the level.

Which brings me to one of the minor issues I have with Snailboy. 

It's a paid app with in-app purchases. You can avoid making them, if you're good at the game. See, you're give a set number of lives per day, you can earn more through sharing on Facebook (once per day for ten additional lives) and spending slimeys, the orbs of goo you can collect throughout the game's more than 50 levels, or you can buy them using real money. Here's where I applaud Thoopid, the in-app purchases are only for more slimeys, everything can be unlocked like the ninja and and super mech costumes for Snail Boy without spending a cent beyond what you paid for the original game.

The second issue I had with Snailboy is that it's got a number of bugs, I got in touch with Thoopid and they assured me that they are aware of the issues and an update will be released some time this month pending approval from Apple. Unfortunately at the time of writing no patch has been released so I have to dock a couple stars.

Overall

The stunning visuals, entertaining sound design and upbeat music carry Snailboy through a number of issues with frustrating controls and gamebreaking bugs. It's a fun game to pick up and play for a few minutes if you're bored, but will get you pretty stressed out if you're easily frustrated.

Snaiboy gets a six out of ten pending bug fixes, and is available for $1.99 on the App Store.

Our Rating
6
Snailboy is one pretty game, but it can be pretty frustrating at times.

Columnist

Hi I'm Ian!

Published Dec. 5th 2013

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