What do you get if you mix together the classic Nokia 3210 game Snake and SEGA’s people-delivering sim (technically that’s what it is…) Crazy Taxi together, but added an assortment of ever-expanding buses into the mix too? You’d get Snakeybus, the off-the-wall concoction from developer Stovetop Studios that made a stir with YouTubers during its original release on PC, but has now made its way over to the Nintendo Switch too.
Snakeybus’ gameplay sees players controlling a bus and driving it around an assortment of bizarre environments, picking up passengers, and then delivering them to the allocated drop-off points. Sounds simple, right? Well, the twist here is that as you safely transport more passengers, you’ll see the length of your bus grow in size… you know, like in Snake. With the transporting of passengers your means of racking up points, the game quickly turns into a chaotic driving experience as you look to make as many drop-offs as possible without crashing into the environment or your ever-growing… uh… bus-tail.
Much like Snake, the further you progress through a run, the more difficult Snakeybus becomes. Fortunately, simply crashing into the environment or yourself won’t give you a ‘game over’ – fail states only occur if you get stuck in a spot for too long or fall into one of the many endless pits that are found across levels.
It all comes together to make for a really weird and unique experience, but it can get pretty addictive – especially since you’ll unlock additional buses to drive and more levels to play across as you earn more points in-game. It’s a bit of a shame that the additional buses don’t actually offer anything other than an aesthetic change, though some of the levels are a treat to explore and compliment the gameplay with their topsy-turvy designs. None are massive in design, but the varied locales (some of which are based on real-life cities, which is neat) and the mixture of art-styles that come with them all adds a fun and creative touch to the experience.
So Snakeybus can be fun to play, but it’s incredibly limited in scope and I found myself a little bored of it after an hour or so of playing. It’s a novel idea, but the absurdity of it wears thin fast – sure, you can chase scores and try out the different game modes, but it doesn’t really add anything particularly special to what is otherwise a bit of a repetitive gameplay concept. The physics are a bit all over the place too, which suits the silly nature of the game but can grow frustrating when you genuinely are trying to get a high score.
Snakeybus offers a unique gameplay concept that’s silly and fun, but there’s no denying that its novel approach can grow a little repetitive fast. It’s one of those games that’s fun to laugh at for a bit with your friends, but then gets forgotten quickly – no wonder it was so big on YouTube.
Still, despite this, it’s a mixture of Snake and Crazy Taxi… that alone will be enough to appeal to a lot of gamers. Snakeybus certainly does have its fun moments, but don’t expect the enjoyment to last much longer than a couple of hours.
Developer: Stovetop Studios
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC