I’ve developed a thing for snails. Wait, that sounds wrong – but after Nobody Saves the World, I appreciate that snails have a fair and valid place in games rather than being garden lurkers who munch my plants and leave shiny trails everywhere. House Shiney is HUGE on platformers too, so when we saw this on Keymailer we had to give it a go. You can see my first play here.
Will you Snail? is an impressive self published game Jonas Tyroller, a German dev who has managed to nail dark and cutting humour in a way that I really feel that the makers of Nelson and the Magic Cauldron could really learn from.
You are essentially held at the mercy of an AI (Squid) who makes levels react to your own game play wherein it predicts and spawns traps where it thinks you’ll be going, this sounds massively like a complicated coding nightmare but its actually all based off whichever difficulty bracket you end up in. The brackets are all mockingly within the realms of easy but this game is anything but a cake walk.
This game is fucking hard, but its a fun and achievable hard that a lot of indie games totally miss the mark on.
Defeating the first boss took AGES and you can see my genuine relief when I finally pulled it off – especially after it took me nearly ten minutes to do (if you want to see the whole first boss encounter I made a highlight). It felt like a genuine achievement when I had pulled it off, like seriously. I don’t think in the history of my game reviews have I felt that happy with a first boss fight that I made BOTH a clip and highlight. I want to best my AI oppressor and also make Squid proud of me so I stop being in the shittest difficulty category – I KNOW I CAN DO BETTER!
Squid is brilliant, the commentary on gameplay, the pithy remarks all feel completely tailored to your game play, it feels like its mocking you. This is helped by the fact over a thousand voices were recorded (and only ever get played once) so you always feel like there is a fresh take on your latest epic fail.
I love the mocking trolling detail all the way down to the ‘exit’ level where you can blissfully collect dots just to level up and be happy before you take a break from the game – and Squid even takes the piss out of how humans like collecting things and levelling up (we do, we so fucking do).
I have now played this in 3 ways, with a full Nintendo controller (which had drift and so ended up working against me) a joy con and with the Switch as a fully handheld device. I found it visually most pleasing through the TV but easier to play when I was using the Switch as a handheld device. Seeing as its out on PlayStation, Xbox, Switch AND PC though you can basically take your pick and I HIGHLY recommend you do.
5 paws out of 5
If you love puzzle platformers and want a challenge this is a game for you. This is not a relaxing game but it is a funny, witty sarcastic battle of wills between you and Squid to see how long you can last before you need to take a break. Its refreshingly unique with a brilliant neon retro visuals AND there’s even a unicorn. What more could you want?