AppMonday: Snake ’97

Remember when games consisted of a few dots on a screen and two colours? Snake ’97 lets you relive the good ol’ days.

There was a time (if you can believe it) when mobile video games consisted of only a couple of colours and the most basic of gameplay.

We’re not talking Minesweeper or Hearts, though Microsoft did manage to get our attention back in the heyday on Windows 95 and Windows 98. No, we’re talking the simplicity of “Snake”, a game that has been around since 1976 when it was first conceived as “Blockade”, and then loaded onto various computers since then.

In fact Tron’s Lightcycles have been based on the idea, where you play a line which continually gets bigger as you feed it, running into blocks and getting larger as you manoeuvre around your own tail and try not to eat yourself.

Again, it’s not a new concept, but back in 1997 and 1998 when mobile phones were basic, this was the game we all played.

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Snake ’97 seeks to recreate that experience, with a small screen, on-screen virtual push buttons, and the simple joy of going up, down, left, and right on a Nokia keypad— sorry, “Snake” keypad, because using a Nokia one would be something of a copyright problem.

Overall, it’s a simple game, and you have to expect that, with only a few lines and a virtual phone to use, with those virtual phones recreating some of the devices many of us have grown up with.

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They’re all Nokia phones, mind you, and you can switch between them, exploring not just the heyday of mobile gaming, but a similar time when phones could survive a solid week without charge, not like today.

Granted, you can’t do much in these games, and Snake ’97 isn’t a fantastic game all the same, but if you’re looking for the experience of a mobile game because modern games are just too complicated, you’ll find it in Snake ’97.

Just don’t expect it to work as a mobile phone, because that’s not part of the experience.

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