PC/Mac/Linux
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Game Info:

SNAILS
Developed By: Tadpole Interactive
Published By: Tadpole Interactive
Released: Jan 3, 2019
Available On: itch.io
Genre: Beat 'Em Up
ESRB Rating: N/A
Number of Players: 1
Price: $2.99

Thanks to Tadpole Interactive for this game to review. I would love to see continued improvement!

A seven year old girl must fight for her survival against an army of menacing mollusks that have already eaten everyone she knows and loves. Dora Ditze pushes back the snails the only way she knows how: kicking their collective faces.

SNAILS is a 3D beat 'em up that gets it's inspiration from PS1 games. Unfortunately this game draws it's inspiration from the unpopular parts of PS1 games, too. This includes tank controls, ugly pre-rendered humans, and repetitive gameplay. While short render distance, unfiltered textures, low poly models, and the walls shifting at different camera angles would be acceptable for a PS1 game, this is for PC. In addition, there is no controller support for SNAILS. I wasn't even going to try memorizing all the keyboard controls, so I used Steam Big Picture mode and bound keyboard keys to my controller. SNAILS is no longer for sale on Steam, but is available on itch.io.

SNAILS
Highlights:

Strong Points: Mildly interesting boss battle and unique ending
Weak Points: Annoying gameplay
Moral Warnings: Violence, Blood

Each of the first six levels consists of snails scattered throughout the area, some items, and a goal. Combat consists of forward kick, backwards kick, sideways kicks, and dodging. Snails have a lot of health, but fortunately I didn't need to mash the kick buttons to fight. Holding down kick buttons will chain and alternate between the different directions of kicking. While this helps prevent sore fingers, it does hurt the gameplay. Holding two buttons for a minute to fight off two snails isn't my idea of fun.

There are 3 types of snails to fight: regular, blue, and small. The regular ones slowly crawl towards the player to attack close range, the blue one with the shells spit from afar, and the small snails are a faster moving melee range snail. By the time I reached level 6, I was tired of fighting so many snails. I decided to run past as many as possible, fight the only the ones I must beat in order to escape certain trap areas, and head straight for the goal. Level 7 is the boss battle, which added a nice change of pace with his various attacks.

After beating the boss, the game shows another pre-rendered scene, wraps up the game, and rolls the credits. While the ending was unique and somewhat interesting, it was far from worth beating the game to watch. The music is decent and fits the game surprisingly well. I would have liked it if the game was controller compatible, or at least set up to work with Steam Big Picture mode's default bindings. Tank controls are a nuisance to the point that I use dodging more often than regular movement.

SNAILS
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 38%
Gameplay - 4/20
Graphics - 2/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 1/5

Morality Score - 91%
Violence - 5.5/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

Dodging can be done to the left, right, or backwards, but not forward. Items need to be picked up manually by pressing a button. Scenery is consistent and well done, considering the texture quality. I could easily tell what the level area is and what the next level might be like. Unfortunately, there is no explanation for why the girl took the path she did.

Violence is throughout the entire game, with Dora fighting against being eaten by snails. Pixelated snail blood is shed when the snails get hit. If the player gets hit, pixelated human blood is shed and the 7 year old girl screams. Her cries are hard to miss and slightly disturbing. The girl's terror is made known throughout the game, especially in the last cutscene. In the end, flying saucers destroy the city she escapes.

The few hours I played this game just weren't fun for me. Screaming and blood seems a bit overdone. The only reasons I tried getting farther than level 2 was hope that the game might get better and to complete the game before reviewing it. This title is better than shovelware and had a lot of work put into it, but unfortunately is tedious and falls short. More variety, a better control scheme, and fixing how the humans look could make this game a much better PS1 era game.

-Sorrel

About the Author

Sorrel

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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