Review – Snakeybus (Switch)

I wish I was in the meeting room when the developers at Stovetop pitched their idea for Snakeybus to publisher Digerati. I can already imagine someone trying to say “so, imagine Snake, but with buses and the gameplay from Crazy Taxi. Oh and let’s try to license the Starbucks Coffee brand because we want to add a level set in Seattle”. If I were said publisher, I’d be staring at them for half an hour, speechless, before sealing the deal. It’s such a ridiculous idea that anyone would want to see it for themselves, even if it ended up being a terrible game. Thankfully, Snakeybus is not a terrible game.

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The Seattle level has one Starbucks at every corner. Fitting.

Snakeybus‘ main gameplay is exactly like the pitch mentioned in the previous paragraph. You control a constantly moving bus and your objective is to pick up passengers at bus stops and deliver them to a randomly determined landmark located somewhere on the map. The more passengers you successfully pick up and deliver, the more your bus grows in size, up until the point it becomes a gigantic snake-like mechanical monstrosity that will most certainly obstruct your path to a destination point. The game does allow for your bus to perform a brief jump in order to avoid obstacles, but for the most part, you will have to play this game with a Snake mentality. You will need to create paths in order to accommodate how immense your bus is, because if it stops moving for more than a couple of seconds, it will blow up in true Speed-like fashion.

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This is all one bus.

Upon booting Snakeybus up, you’ll immediately notice it’s a low budget game. This is a game made by a very small group of people, with a limited amount of levels, modes, and most importantly, not a lot of polish. This game’s framerate is problematic, especially once your bus grows to a size in which you’ll always be able to see it even from a distance. It’s also prone to crashes due to the same reason. I can’t express how furious I got when I was beating my high score with an anaconda-sized bus, only for the game to basically freeze and force me to restart it.

I also did not like the kind of music the developers decided to include as the soundtrack for Snakeybus. When you think of a game as chaotic as this, you expect a soundtrack like the one present in the first Crazy Taxi. You want mayhem, you want to make your players feel excited. What you don’t want is to add a bunch of laid back tunes that would feel more at home at a Starbucks Coffee music compilation CD. It just doesn’t fit at all with the game’s ridiculous tone.

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Just another day in your average suburbia.

Thankfully, this didn’t affect my overall enjoyment that much. Snakeybus‘ gameplay loop is so fun that, even though it’s infested with bugs and glitches, I couldn’t stop playing it. I would obviously prefer for Stovetop to come up with a patch to fix its many issues, but I’m still having a blast with it, regardless of its problems. Its arcade-like nature is also a perfect fit for the Switch, so if you decide to buy it (I’d do that if I were you), make sure to grab it for Nintendo’s portable.

 

Graphics: 6.0

The art design in Snakeybus is fascinating and entertaining, but the game is riddled with graphical glitches and a really inconsistent framerate.

Gameplay: 7.0

The controls themselves are simple to grasp, and the gameplay is a mix between Snake and Crazy Taxi. The physics are glitchy and the framerate is problematic, so that impacts heavily on the overall gameplay.

Sound: 4.0

The chill soundtrack isn’t bad per se, but it doesn’t fit at all with the game’s ridiculous tone.

Fun Factor: 9.0

This game shouldn’t have worked, given how glitchy and unpolished it is, but its premise is so ridiculous, and its gameplay so addictive, that I just can’t stop playing it.

Final Verdict: 7.5

Snakeybus is available now on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Switch.

Reviewed on Switch.

A copy of Snakeybus was provided by the publisher.