Review by birdieball

Reviewed: 07/01/03 | Updated: 07/01/03

The fun format of this game has been reused too many times.

Almost all of us have played a game like snood before. If you have ever played a puzzle/arcade game where you shoot multi-colored balls through a cannon onto a playing field where you try to match the colors of the balls, the above statement holds true for you. Snood is just like a game in the Bubble series (FrozenBubble, Bubble 2000, etc). However, snood has made many small improvements that these games have been lacking.

Snood is essentially what I said before: You control a cannon, and with it, you must fire multi-colored smiley-faces onto a playing field. When three or more balls of the same color touch each other, they disappear. The object is to clear the entire board before it fills up.

One thing I never liked about most versions of this type of game is that the balls never go where you want them to in terms of bouncing and sandwiching in between, However, Snood fixes this problem, because the face sprites are much more circle based, not square based. Therefore, sandwiching and ricocheting are made easier and infinitely less frustrating. Snood makes other small changes, too, like in visual effects. The faces you shoot are not just typical smilies, they are interesting sprites that look different in many ways, and they are capable of showing emotion. It is fun to see the things stick tongues out at you when you miss a shot, and constant smiling, winking, or blinking all around gives you a sense of purpose. My favorite visual effect in this game is how the faces become increasingly tense as the sprites near the bottom. Other effects include changeable scrolling backgrounds, different disappearing animations (sometimes the sprites teleport, sometimes they plummet, sometimes hey take parachutes, sometimes they explode), and other things.

Snood includes many different modes, but it still does not seem like enough. The modes are puzzle, time attack, journey, and classic. In every mode, you have a danger-meter, which slowly fills up. When it fills, the top of the playing area goes down, pushing the balls much closer to you. In time attack, the meter fills at a steady rate, whereas in the other modes, you can take your time and the meter rises a bit after every shot you take. In the Classic mode, you are given a level on the difficulty of child, easy, medium, hard, or evil. It is a random, standard level placement. In Journey, you do the same thing except you do in a progression from child to evil. In puzzle, you are given 99 levels that are all in unique patterns. In time attack, the 99 levels you must complete are different from the ones in puzzle. Still these modes get repetitive after a while, as does this entire game.

This game is very colorful. There are colors everywhere, and the vibrancy is breathtaking. However, the sprites are slightly blurry. The graphics in this game are still the best I have seen for a puzzle game. The sound is another matter. The effects are fine, but the music is well... cartoony enough to drive Carl Stalling (composer for the scores in early cartoons like Bugs Bunny and Tweety and stuff) insane. It is really annoying, that synth stuff they call music.

Overall, I don't recommend this game. Although it is fun enough, the money you spend on this game could be much better spent on another game. The lack of passwords in the game is a major flaw, and the small multiplayer mode is pitiful. However, if you love this type of game, be my guest, because this is the best version for the GBA you will find.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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