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Snail Bob Review

By , on October 9, 2012


Snail Bob
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5

PROS

  • Surprising variety of puzzles; nothing taxing, but forces you to stop and consider each stage.
  • Aimed almost squarely at younger audiences, but stars provide some amount of 'challenge' for older audiences.

CONS

  • All-too-easy to blitz your way through the content; leaves you feeling unsatisfied due to slow scaling of challenge.

VERDICT

Unlike so many other puzzlers aimed at younger audiences, Snail Bob goes to the painstaking effort of hand-crafting every stage, introducing oodles of new mechanics to explore and test out - while it's no huge challenge, it's the perfect fodder for growing minds.


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Some would argue that the iOS platform is always going to be a casual one - of course there's the occasional 'hardcore' release, but with so much money to be made off those who just want a quick, but fun distraction, it's easy to see why deep and challenging titles aren't more common. Snail Bob is yet another 3-star physics puzzler, joining the already large fray, but it goes for that third, even more elusive market, the young-gamer.

Snail Bob just wants to get home, but on the way he'll encounter a large demolition crew; a winding river carrying a present; and last of all, he'll be transported through time and space to ancient Egypt. Each stage contains a small Rube Goldberg-ian contraption where you'll need to work out all the correct steps to get Bob to the exit. Tapping him will force him to stop in his tracks, while tapping the 'speed' button will get him moving faster than usual. These are the only consistent controls you'll encounter, with the rest requiring the player to 'play around' with the environment to work out what happens when they press buttons; move levers; and drop boxes on to switches.

Snail Bob could have been fairly mundane in its execution, but instead the developer has painstakingly crafted each level with a variety of new ways for these controls to be implemented. This becomes even more apparent when you attempt to collect all the 'stars' on a stage - these need only be tapped to collect them, but the trick is in finding them, usually requiring even more 'playing around' to make them appear.

Ultimately the challenge is very low, though later levels do have more of a focus on timing things 'just right' to get Bob to safety, raising the bar ever so slowly to this point. However, with the focus on experimentation and the almost Saturday morning cartoon like design to each stage, the game would be an absolute treat to younger audiences after something brain-tickling without the usual 'spelling bee' or 'math quiz' packaged with it.

Snail Bob is a solid puzzler and entertaining despite its lackadaisical nature.

Screenshots

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