A breath of fresh air upon release on the NES Snake Rattle N Roll could truly be the strangest game in the history of the world. Taking control of either Rattle or Roll you must help your snake to the moon by climbing up a very big mountain that consists of eleven increasingly difficult levels.
In order to progress from one level to the next your snake must eat a certain number of creatures called Nibbley Pibbleys in order to gain weight. Once your tail has become heavy enough you can open up the exit door by jumping on a huge set of scales located somewhere on the level. As an added touch of genius the Nibbley Pibbleys that appear as different coloured blobs, have different characteristics on each level. For instance, On level one they just bounce around, but in subsequent levels turn into fish, helicopters and ‘splats’ among other things.
What makes the game really stand out however is the isometric viewpoint. Although it can prove a touch tricky to make crucial jumps without dying at times as players are often needed to turn in mid air. Along with the isometric viewpoint the enemies are truly bizarre and in can kill you in about a million and one different ways. A shark could eat you, you could be flattened by a giant foot, trapped by a toilet seat, fall to your doom, let the timer run out, swallow a bomb or get cut in half by mincing blades and that’s just to name a few dangers our beloved snakes face.
Adding to the fun is a brilliant two-player option, with both players on the screen at once it leads to many arguments over who keeps eating all the little Nibbley Pibbleys. Taking this into account the Pibbleys come in three different colours, grey and blue ones when eaten by the snake of the corresponding colour cause you to put on more weight than those of the other snake. What every one is after though are the rare yellow Pibbleys as they add more weight than the other colours, meaning co-operation only goes so far as you race around trying to eat them up before your mate does.
With such a difficult game it's crucial that the controls are spot on, and luckily they are. The snakes are incredibly maneuverable, jumping and eating with ease. The only slight problem is judging where certain platforms are in the field of play. However, after a few attempts the gaming world is very straightforward to work out, meaning when you die, and you will numerous times, its because your reactions are too slow.
Overall, Snake Rattle N Roll holds an awful lot of charm, it's a shame that Rare never made a next generation sequel as a new version could possible have brought about world peace. Unfortunately, it seems likely that the lovable snakes will remain hidden away in video gaming history, such a shame. Anyone out there with a NES must try and hunt this down as there is nothing else like it around. Another gem from the team that back in the good old days turned everything they touched into gaming gold.