Friday Flashback: NES Snake Rattle ‘n Roll
Ahh Rare, I remember your NES days.. Wizards & Warriors, R.C. Pro-Am, Cobra Triangle, Battletoads, Jeopardy… all those LJN games…. well maybe some of them are not so fondly remembered. Rare Made a lot, and I mean A LOT of NES games that were released by various publishers. Something like 40 games. Many were good or at least Okay. One of my favorites from them is Snake Rattle ‘n Roll.
So what is this snake game all about? You are a snake with a little body who can jump and hit things with your tongue. The object is to avoid obstacles, eat things to make your snake longer, and get to the exit. Simple right? With 2 play action where you are working together but also trying to be the cool guy with all the points, my brothers and I played this game for many hours.
In the 11 levels of snaky goodness, you have to avoid things like giant feet, water, and mushrooms and kill enemies with your tongue. Water was not an instant kill, but a jaws-
esque sound would play and get faster and faster until your snake was eaten by big teeth. There are little food items called Nibbley Pibbleys that you need to eat in order to get a longer snake. You need a longer snake as each level is completed by weighing the snake and having the weight over a certain point. If you are hit by an enemy, you lose sections on your snake.
The story is not really a thing here. You are a snake, you eat stuff and get through the level. In the end of the game, you ride off in a space ship. Snakes in Space.
Controls are solid but can take a bit to get used to using. The view is Isometric so there is that same angled control scheme that marble madness used. Once you get everything down, however, it works quite well and the controls feel good. Jump, strike with your tongue, eat things, dodge things. All of it is solid.
The graphics are nice enough, using the same engine that Rare used for several games including Marble Madness, Cobra Triangle, and Capitan Skyhawk. The enemies are recognizable, and the snakes, baddies, and terrain are recognizable. The interface does its job. Not much needed for this platformer and it does not obscure any action.
The sound in the game is nothing stellar, but nothing bad either. The theme music is from shake rattle and roll from the 50s and the level music and level win music works. The in-game sound effects are solid and make sense for the game. Not stellar, but solid.
Overall, Snake Rattle ‘n Roll is one of my favorite NES games and is a great Co-op experience as well. It looks good and sounds good, and plays fantastic. If you can handle the isometric control scheme, find a friend and have a great time snaking around.