Snake Pass

Snake Pass is a clever game that I’d hesitate to call anything other than a 3D platformer with no jumping and no real platforms. You play as a snake, winding your way through various levels and collecting a few glowing things—coins, gems, bubbles—to unlock high scores and new levels.

The game is incredibly colorful, joyful, and just plain fun, evoking so many other kid-friendly collectathons (think Spyro or Yooka-Laylee). There are plentiful challenges entirely unique to this game—how many other games have you slithering around as a snake, solving puzzles and figuring out how to move around with no limbs?

While the mechanics were generally solid, there are a few times when the physics of everything just feels a bit finicky. Some of this is to be expected—it’s hard to make such far-out controls feel great—but it’s frustrating when you know what you want to do but are unable to accomplish it.

Some of the failure, though, is squarely the fault of the player, and is incredibly fun. Do you try to weave back and forth as quickly as possible, building up speed to make it across a gap? Or do you wind around nearby poles, hoping for some kind of traction as you climb?

In the end the answer turns out to be a mix of both. You’ll learn different strategies but sometimes you just need a lucky mid-air twist to land in the right spot and keep moving forward. Mechanics geeks will enjoy the slow build of new ideas on top of the general weirdness of the premise.

Play it if

You enjoy interesting new control schemes, like platforming but hate jumping, or are in the mood for some colorful low-stakes fun.