Hard Lines Review

By , on June 23, 2011

Hard Lines
Download on the AppStore
5 out of 5


  • Text feedback adds a fun level of characterization to the 'lines' you compete with.
  • Snappy controls; swipe and touch varieties available.
  • Bright neon graphics; balanced with retro sound-effects and a trance soundtrack.
  • Six game modes to keep you entertained; includes a classic Snake (with jokes!).


  • Unpredictable AI; varies from sinister to outright stupid at the drop of a hat.


Hard Lines doesn't require fancy 3D graphics or a huge gimmick to make Snake fun again; amusing writing, multiple modes and competitive AI go a long way to revive this classic game.

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As the wheel of time turns, we finally find ourselves face to face again with an old nemesis - Snake. What was once a staple addition to just about every mobile device has been reborn in Spilt Milk Studios' latest release, Hard Lines.

"Been there, done that" you say? Sure, we've probably all spent our penance of chasing pixels in order to make a snake grow larger, but Hard Lines proposes a slightly different kind of game. Taking a page from TRON, this version of Snake is slightly more aggressive as players try their hand at not only eating shiny pixels, but also destroying other lines by cutting them off ala Light Cycles. Three control schemes give players the option of either swiping to turn or touching the edges with two or four locations depending on your preference. Sure it sounds easy, but once you mix neon explosions in to the mix things can get a bit hectic.

In order to keep things fresh, players can blast their way through six different modes. Other than the default Survival mode players can try to beat the clock in either Dead Line (3 minute timer to score as high as possible) or Time Attack (earning additional time based on your score). Pinata adds a neat twist by requiring players to be aggressive in order to reach the tasty pixels inside opposing 'lines'; Gauntlet ramps things up to an all or nothing brawl as you fight other lines non-stop; and lastly Snake mode allows you to relive the classic gameplay minus the opposition.

Despite simply being lines on a neon grid, each colored entity sports a unique personality that's shared through quips displayed on-screen as you fight them. Instead of being a cluttering distraction, the lines manage to add a lot of character and charm, elevating it above similar sterile arcade titles. This, combined with the trance soundtrack and sound effects makes for a retro classic with all the conveniences of modern gaming.

It's time to put to bed any other Snake title you have and replace it with Hard Lines.


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