Game of the Month April, 2004:
Snake Rattle n Roll

System: NES Developer: Rare
Snake Rattle n Roll is the first game I ever reviewed on this website, and that review really shows it because it's not that well-written. It's also one of the few games I've reviewed that I've never actually finished. I know, it's not a good idea to review games without finishing them, but Snake Rattle n Roll is so fun and unique, I just wanted to talk about it. Sporting an impressive, isometric viewpoint (a la Solstice or Super Mario RPG), Snake Rattle n Roll offers some colorful graphics and challenging gameplay. You play as one of two snakes, Rattle or Roll, in a quest to eat as much as possible on your way up a mountain to the moon (Tower of Babel reference, anyone?).

I ain't got no body!

And the best thing about Snake Rattle n Roll is that you can eat toilet seats! In each level of Snake Rattle n Roll, you have to eat a certain number of small balls called "pibbleys" to make your snake's tail grow longer. Only when you have enough weight to tip the scale at the end of the level will you be allowed to advance to the next. Of course, eating that much won't be easy because of the many enemies and obstacles that stand in your way. Crazy enemies such as bouncing records, mushrooms, toilet seats, and a huge disembodied foot will thwart your progress. Because of the isometric perspective, the game world is "3D" in a way, and climbing up the ever-towering mountain will become more and more difficult due to the tricky jumps that must be made. Sometimes, you'll need to jump around corners, or swim against waterfalls that threaten to push you off the side. As if all this weren't enough, the pibbleys themselves become harder to catch in each level as they grow wings, explode, bounce like springs, and do other freaky stuff.

Snake Rattle n Roll also has a fun two-player simultaneous mode. I haven't had much experience with this aspect of the game, but it's interesting because very few action platformers allow two players on the screen at once. Snake Rattle n Roll also has some really catchy theme music. I especially like the 50's-style Level 3 music. The main reason I have never been able to finish Snake Rattle n Roll is because of the extreme difficulty of the game, coupled with the lack of enough continues. Although you get some continues and can earn a few more, it seems very easy to lose lives. Learning the play control in this quasi-3D environment is also quite tough. Still, I'm going to make it a goal to beat this game some day, or at least get to the final boss. I just wish the scoring system could've been used to earn more lives or continues.

Don't look down! Or up...

I think Snake Rattle n Roll is a game that's definitely worth giving a try, especially for NES players and collectors. It's one of Rare's two NES Magnum Opuses, the other being Battletoads.

Snake Rattle n Roll Links

  • My Snake Rattle n Roll Review - A complete review of this fantastic game.
  • Oddities 7 - Contains a Subliminal Advertising Oddity for Snake Rattle n Roll
  • RoyalRanger's Gallery - RoyalRanger's Snake Rattle n Roll Screenshot Gallery


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