Temple of Snek, which has recently left early access, strives to revamp this outdated genre with innovation and finesse. It’s a high-quality, puzzle-filled update to the classic Nokia game that you didn’t realize you needed.
The snake game has been a target of mockery, likely due to its close association with Nokia and the early days of mobile gaming. However, it has a rich and intricate history dating back to 1976, serving as an insightful case study on the evolution and eventual stagnation of video game genres. Surprisingly, the first snake game was a competitive two-player coin-op where players aimed to trap their opponent into making a mistake. Despite this, developers have remained locked into the same formula for 40 years.
The Temple of Snek is a mysterious and dangerous place nestled deep in the jungle, where the pagan goddess Snek is worshipped. The temple’s riches attract many thieves, but they are unaware of the peril that lurks within – Snek’s avatar, a giant snake that devours any intruders. While the worshippers of Snek expect the snake to awaken and kill the intruders, it has its own agenda.
Despite the absence of dialogue in the game, a story is unfolding within the Temple of Snek. By carefully observing the environment and the behavior of the non-playable characters, players can uncover the larger narrative that lies beyond the temple’s walls. While some context is provided through minimal menu text, the rest is left up to interpretation and discovery.
Temple of Snek is a refreshing departure from its action-oriented predecessors, embracing the puzzle genre with gusto. The temple is riddled with intricate rooms filled with spike traps, gates, and switches, each requiring careful planning and execution to navigate. As the snake slithers through the temple, players must avoid deadly hazards, including spike traps, crushing gates, and even sewage, all while finding ways to manipulate the environment to progress to the next room.
The snake’s growth is a critical component of gameplay, as each time it devours a human, it becomes longer, providing the means to reach more switches and unlock new areas. However, this growth comes with its own set of challenges, as navigating the temple’s tight spaces becomes increasingly difficult. Additionally, players must contend with a range of enemies, from weak and defenseless raiders to heavily armed adversaries that pose a significant threat to the snake’s fragile avatar.
Controlling the snake in the Temple of Snek is a unique and challenging experience that requires patience and practice. Her movements may take some getting used to, but the game’s intuitive puzzles make up for any initial difficulty.
Interestingly, the sound design of the game also plays a crucial role in controlling the snake. Moving to the beat of the music, the snake glides in the direction she’s facing on the downbeat, providing a rhythmic and steady pulse that unifies the sound and controls of the game. This rhythmic motion may seem slow at first, but it becomes a valuable tool as the snake grows longer and the puzzles become more complex. With time and experience, players can master the art of controlling the snake and navigating the dangerous temple to claim its hidden treasures
By puzzle game standards, Temple of Snek is fairly long – about as long as a typical Metroidvania, which makes sense because it’s structured like one. It’s also on the challenging side, with many of the puzzles requiring very precise movements and careful planning. Both of these aspects may make it frustrating for a novice but well-suited for anyone with a lot of puzzle game experience.
Temple of Snek is a puzzle game with action elements based on the snake game subgenre. It offers a unique and challenging gameplay experience that may be daunting for beginners, but will appeal to those who enjoy longer and more complex puzzle games. With its rhythmic movement mechanics, intuitive puzzles, and hidden story elements, Temple of Snek is a standout title that adds flair and innovation to a classic genre.