Sunday, October 19, 2008

Snakoban Dash

Title: Snakoban Dash
Author: Tom Beaumont
License: Freeware

Tom Beaumont is the author of my 2006 Game of the Year, Hex-a-hop. So, when I saw a new game from him, I got excited, very excited. His new game Snakoban Dash is an interesting mix of sokoban, snake, and boulder dash.

To get a feel for the game, here is a youtube video produced by IndieGames.

The sokoban part: the goal of each Snakoban Dash level is to push a crate to each of the target squares. The usual rules apply. You can only push one box at a time into an empty square. In later levels, some of the crates are ice crates which once pushed keep moving. One deviation from the usual sokoban rule set is that there can be more crates than target squares.

The snake part: instead of controlling a one square character as in standard sokoban games, you control the head of a multi-square snake which slithers along behind. This means you have to be careful how you approach a crate as your own body can block the path. Also, upon eating an apple, the snake grows one square longer. On the other hand, if you eat a mushroom, your tail falls off and you become a two square long snake again. Then there are grapes, you will find out about them.

The boulder dash part: certain items (boulders and toxic barrels of something or another) feel the force of gravity. If you eat out the ground underneath such items, they will fall. Boulders fall in the usual boulder dash fashion, meaning I do not really understand all rules for how they fall and roll. Toxic barrels will blow up upon hits something. Such explosions will destroy brick walls potentially giving access to other parts of the board and freeing up paths for those boxes. Explosions will also kill you if any part of your snake is next to one.

Putting it all together, Snakoban Dash results in some great puzzles. This is due to Tom Beaumont's top notch puzzle construction skills. Many levels combine puzzle elements the three types. One example, you can use your snake body to support a toxic barrel while your head pushes it left or right. Another example, you can use your snake body to stop an ice crate.

There are 40 levels which are divided into groups of three. To gain access to the next group, you have to complete two out of three of the previous set. As you work through the levels additional game items are introduces.

One great feature is that there are unlimited undos. This is a life saver.

There graphics are intentionally bad. The readme file calls it "Retro TV emulation". I am going to say something awful, but I found the graphics distractingly bad. I know ... I know ... I always say the graphics don't matter, the puzzles matter. Here the graphics actually interfere with the game.


At 12:34 PM, Blogger Reason said...

This game is great! Does Beaumont have a website for all of his games? I'd be interested in finding more! ^^

At 8:51 PM, Blogger Jimmy said...

As far as I know, he does not have a website.


At 3:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


(Love your blog, btw.)


Post a Comment

<< Home