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Snoozles


For: Mobile

Snooze-worthy?

Product: Snoozles | Developer: bitBull | Format: Mobile | Genre: Arcade | Players: 1 | File size: 474KB | Reviewed on: K800i other handsets | Version: Europe
 
Snoozles Mobile, thumbnail 1
Look past the cuddly critters and farmyard aesthetic and Snoozles is pure Pac-Man.

You don't even have to look very hard, with the top-down mazes and ghostly sentries acting as dead giveaways of the debt this game owes to Namco's pill-popping arcade hero.

And although Snoozles brings its own ideas to the table, these innovations are all too often obscured by a difficulty level that's fierce and inconsistent.

Bird is the word

Put simply, the game is Pac-Man crossed with shepherding. Playing as a sprightly bunny, your job is to wake up the dozing birds (known as snoozles) in each level, and corral them into the appropriately coloured birdhouses.

So, bluebirds must be led to the blue birdhouse, while snoring brown owls must be herded towards the brown birdhouses. It's a simple and satisfying mechanic that's complicated by a demanding scoring system and the presence of Pac-Man-tyle ghosts in many of the levels.

Once awakened, birds follow your character in an avian conga-line, turning you into a long, snaking target for the patrolling ghosts. If they touch any part of your group, those birds flee and scatter around the level, undoing all of your hard work.

This makes many levels very difficult and, worse, very frustrating.

Well that's just perfect

Furthermore, the game encourages you to aim for perfect scores but its scoring system makes this needlessly fiddly and difficult.

To earn full marks on a level you'll need to deposit lengthy chains of carefully ordered snoozles at their destinations without losing a life.

If your bunny faints at the hands of a ghost you'll have to quit to the menu and then re-enter the level to be eligible for that first-try completion bonus.

Finickity frustrations like these are all the more notable because Snoozles is a clever little game underneath the unbalanced difficulty level. It has vivid graphics, tight controls, and when it hits the difficulty sweet spot Snoozles offers an enjoyable take on the arcade maze genre.

But those moments appear slightly too infrequently to recommend Snoozles without reservations. There's fun to be had here, but you'll have to be patient to find it.
 
Snoozles
Reviewer photo
James Nouch | 2 April 2012
Snoozles is a well-made arcade game, but a frustrating difficulty level undermines its innovations. The result is a qualified success
 
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