Super Snake should have been adapted a little more for Facebook

Super Snake is a good example of a Facebook adapatation that should not have happened. At first glance, the addictive qualities of the original cell phone game seem primed to translate to the Facebook environment. It’s challenging, it requires simple Flash animation, and you can challenge your friends and earn points. All of these qualities have helped other Facebook adaptations of popular games succeed.

Yet, Snake falls short on a number of counts. First, the original format of the game wasn’t a board game or a console video game – it was itself a poorly pixilated distraction on your cell phone. By staying true to the source material, the game comes across as lackluster compared to many other Facebook applications. The same premise of the original game is represented on Facebook- guide your snake to eat the blinking “thingies.” Even a fake low-pixel cell-phone screen serves as the interface.

But why not jazz up the game with better animations, different types of “thingies” for the snake to eat? Heck, why not add color? Though you can earn points by inviting your friends or beating your high score or winning challenges, this is very little incentive for most players. The points only unlock two features: a pause button and a “quickstart” feature on the game. These are not bells and whistles so much as integral features. It’s like selling a book that is only half finished and you have to pay another ten dollars to read the ending.

This is why the game gets surprisingly low gameplay scores in my mind. Though it’s still fun and addictive, I wonder why I’m not just playing this on my cell phone or playing another, better Flash game on Facebook. Sure, you can challenge your friends and see their scores. You can also do that with a hundred other Facebook games. That’s the main problem with “Snake” – it doesn’t differentiate itself from other games or even the original in a meaningful way. For games struggling to find their niche, this game is swallowed by its own tail.

Developer’s score: 5
Gameplay score: 4
Originality & inventiveness: 2