Catching stars in space with Snabbit

Snabbit from independent Norwegian developer TapCat is a simple Snake-like game for iOS devices and Mac. The game is an evolution of the company’s previous title SnakeRace, challenging players to hurtle through space and collect stars in order to score as many points as possible.

Snabbit’s gameplay is very simple. The titular snake-like creature flies through space automatically, either diagonally up and right or up and left. Tapping either side of the screen (or simply clicking the mouse button on Mac) causes Snabbit to change direction. The basic goal of each level is to reach the finish line, but unlocking later levels is dependent on collecting stars scattered through the maze-like scenery. Up to three stars may be collected on each level, and they are often hidden in awkward to reach places. Unlike its inspiration Snake, Snabbit does not immediately die upon crashing into a wall — he simply loses a chunk of his body, with the player only failing the level if they lose all of Snabbit’s segments.

Snabbit features social play through both Game Center and Facebook. Players may compete against friends in a special competitive “Survival With Friends” mode in which they are challenged to simply last as long as possible in an endless, randomly-generated level that gradually increases in speed. They may also brag about their scores on individual levels via Facebook.

Perhaps the most interesting use of Facebook connectivity, however, is the developers “The One Percent” competition. By logging in to Facebook, players gain the ability to access a level editor with which they can construct and publish their own challenges. These may then be downloaded by other players who own the game, and on August 4, 2012, TapCat will enter into an agreement to permanently share 1% of the game’s revenue with the player who created the level with the most unique device hits. Levels may be shared between the iOS and Mac versions of the game as they are attached to a player’s Facebook account. This means that someone who owns both the iOS and Mac versions can begin designing a level on their computer and later finish it off using the touchscreen of their iOS device, or vice-versa. Players may also easily access levels created by their friends.

The iOS version of Snabbit is available in both free and paid versions. The free version gives access to two of the game’s “worlds” and the level editor. Purchasing the paid version — which is sold separately rather than as an in-app purchase — unlocks the third world, the ability to play levels created by friends and the competitive Survival With Friends mode.

Snabbit is a good mobile game. It’s simple and quick to play, addictive and competitive. The addition of the revenue-sharing competition to the mix may encourage more players to try the game, though it remains to be seen whether or not the game will enjoy the level of success its developers are hoping for. With a low price for the paid version and no in-app purchases in either edition at this time, the game may struggle to monetize in the long term if it is unable to build a substantial audience.

Snabbit’s free iOS version is currently not listed in any App Store leaderboards, but you will be able to check its AppData page shortly to see a detailed breakdown of its performance. The paid version is currently ranked at No. 372 in Top Paid Apps, No. 178 in Top Paid iPad Apps, No. 165 in Top Paid Games and No. 94 in Top Paid iPad Games. Follow the game’s progress with AppData, our tracking service for iOS and social games and developers.