David Dobson, a hobbyist programmer and professional teacher, originally created Snood for the PC as shareware. There was an immediate following, with over four million downloads to date. Now, developer Rebellion and their publisher Destination Software have brought the PC version on the go, to the Nintendo Game Boy Advance, ready to suck in the mobile gamer with a notorious addiction. Yes, Snood has similar elements to Taito’s Bust-A-Move, but right now this is the only way to play this type of puzzler on a next-generation handheld. Until there is an alternative, the only thing I have to say is stop your whining! With that rant out of the way, let us begin.
Let’s get this cleared up – Snood doesn’t make use of the GBA’s raw power. It doesn’t feature dazzling graphics, memorable music, or a sophisticated AI. The point I’m trying to make here is that it doesn’t need to have these qualities to be enjoyable. Snood is a solid, fun puzzle game with a clean interface and stable game logic. And for me folks, that is just what the doctor ordered.
For those not familiar with the PC version of Snood, the game is incredibly simple to pick up and play. The game consists of moving your Snood cannon and shooting a Snood onto the game board, trying to link it next to a same Snood of the same color. Once three same-colored Snoods are connected, they will drop off the screen. Although the main concept is simple, it gets more challenging by deciding how you can place a Snood, dropping more creatures in one shot, perfecting the perfect bank, and removing the Numbskull Snoods which can only be dropped by having them chained to dropping creatures. If too many Snoods are on the screen, the level will start to cave in, and when the Snoods pass the bottom line, you die.
The game offers several different modes of play, including a two-player attack mode using the link cable and two cartridges. Classic mode is simply one randomly created level with the difficulty you select in the options menu. This can be a good gauge to decide what difficulty is appropriate for you. Journey mode is a series of games progressing through all the difficulty settings. Time attack mode consists of fifty preset levels increasing in difficulty, where you must beat each screen within a time limit. This by far was the most enjoyable mode, keeping most of my interest. Last we have puzzle mode, where there are fifty preset levels in which you must clear the board with a predefined number of Snoods.
Although the graphics are not spectacular, and the sound isn’t a work of art, it gets the job done, and Snood kept my attention for many hours. The only things I really didn’t like about the game were the fact there was no method of starting where you left off, either via a password or a save function. The other major gripe is you cannot play against a friend unless you have two Snood cartridges, which is a real shame.
Overall, if you are a die-hard puzzle fan you will definitely be able to enjoy Snood as a fun game, and not for a graphic technology demo as so many others have complained about.