‘Snail Bob 2’ Review

Platforms PC/iOS

Developer Hunter Hamster   Publisher tinyBuild Games

Genre Puzzle   Platform Played PC

Snail Bob 2 follows, as the title suggests, a snail named Bob who goes on adventures through several environments or worlds. Whether Bob finds himself on an island after being adrift on a chunk of ice or carried away to a fantasy land while sleeping in his bed, the levels are consistently vibrant, full of hidden objects and easter eggs, and require only a handful of different inputs to complete.

While the puzzles get progressively more difficult, the game is targeting a young audience, meaning that even difficult puzzles within the game are only meant to challenge those unable to watch PG-13 movies on their own. The puzzles may stump some children, but where Snail Bob 2 truly shines is the ability to make it a painless experience for any adult who aids the youngsters. Hidden within the levels are nods to various pop culture icons ranging from Game of Thrones and Batman to Super Mario and Star Wars. Finding these references is sure to bring a smile to the face of anyone old enough to be sought out for assistance in completing a level. It will not guarantee adults love the game as much as the children playing it, but removes some of the boredom or frustration which can be experienced when young or unskilled individuals pick up a game and you are asked to watch or participate. Another way the game aids in reducing the doldrums of helping small children is through simple touch controls on iOS devices. While the touch controls are obviously not on the PC port, mobile devices, particularly tablets allow two, or more if you wish, to work in unison, controlling various levers or switches to help Bob reach each level’s exit. If a child is not fast enough, it can be a significant help to have a second person taking care of the odd switch or enemy, allowing a more active role in playing rather than simply watching passively. There is certainly no shortage of items to click or tap in each level, providing ample opportunity for a second player to become involved. In order to progress to new worlds, the player must also collect stars hidden within each level. They are not deviously difficult to locate, but will likely present a friendly challenge to children.

Despite its many successes, Snail Bob 2 does suffer from some stability issues. The PC version crashed twice during my playthrough, erasing all of my progress both times. As it does not take an adult too long to complete the levels, after the first crash I was back to where I had initially been in roughly 20 minutes. The second time I experienced a crash, I had just finished completing the final level. Once more, the only option available to me was to start a new game. As an adult this was a rather irritating setback as I had accumulated each star and puzzle piece, but one can only imagine how a child might respond after losing an hour or two of progress. I for one would certainly not envy any adult or parent nearby when the title crashes.

Collectibles and various costumes which become unlocked over the course of gameplay help add to the charm of Snail Bob 2. There are some costumes which children will recognize such as a pixelated Minecraft-esque skin or Super Mario, while others are more generic and entertaining like a pirate or king. There is no shortage of these costumes and will allow the target audience to amuse themselves by dressing Bob up however they please. The collectibles are primarily stars, which unlock levels and other costumes, while puzzle pieces eventually unlock bonus levels in each world, acting as a source of more gameplay and extra stars to collect. Needless to say, there is enough content here to keep children busy for quite some time.

When it comes to games targeted towards children, there are several key features which assist in making a title memorable. Snail Bob 2 succeeds in providing most of these as it is colourful, charming, funny, finds a great balance between difficulty and simplicity, and hides countless easter eggs aimed at the adults who may be assisting the younger gamers if they happen to get stuck. The title is fantastically intuitive in its control scheme on iOS, but on the PC it loses some of the charm found in its mobile counterpart due to the lack of touch controls. Young children looking for a game they can spend several minutes or an hour at a time playing will find that with Snail Bob 2, but be warned as the game may randomly erase any progress the child has made, forcing them to begin anew regardless of what they had completed. So long as this does not happen, it is all but guaranteed a young child will absolutely love Snail Bob 2.

The Good

  • Charming and humourous
  • Easter eggs strewn about will amuse adults
  • Difficulty is perfect for small children

The Bad

  • Crashes may erase all game progress
  • PC version does not accommodate two players as easily

The Score: 7.0