Above Snakes is a standalone title that is currently available to play as a demo during steam The upcoming festival runs all this week, until June 22nd.
Developed by Tobias Schnackenberg and published by Crytivo, this challenging survival game is unique in its main mechanic: you choose tiles to place and explore.
Trial has ended 🥳🥳🥳
Toby 🏹 Above Snakes Trial! (goldenaxebremen) June 16, 2021
I’ll start by saying that this game look A wonderful. The art style is clean and sharp and matches the aesthetic of the Old West. While some of the music is a little annoying at times, the other tracks also work well with the atmosphere of the game.
In terms of gameplay, this is where Above Snakes really stands out. You are a solo character born on a single tile. There is absolutely no direction, so you have to do what needs to be done: start by hitting trees and rocks, just like in any good survival game.
Then the world begins to expand. Each tile costs a few pieces of wood and rock to buy, and there is a choice of what you want to put on the bottom: buildings, deserts, forests, etc. There are more than 25 different tiles in 10 different biomes, and that’s just in the demo.
Managing hunger, thirst, sanity and fatigue is very important. Every time you open a new tile you get a huge chunk of each case, which means you need to strike a balance between opening new tiles and actually surviving.
It was the excitement of discovering a new tile that made the game so much fun. Unlocking a trading position, for example, might reward you with some medicinal tonic, a basin of water to refill the water, and a bucket of apples. There is also a tile with little huts that come with a bed, which is ideal if you haven’t managed to make a tent yet.
The combat in the current game format is a bit primitive. It wasn’t clear at first how you would deal with the wolves, but eventually, you unlock a long arc that activates when you’re in enemy control (appearing in a large ring of fire).
All in all, Above Snakes shows great promise. The way the game naturally unfolds in front of you is very rewarding. Even though I’ve died a few times (finding the balance of opening tiles and getting enough food and water is literally killer), I always came back for another round to see what I could do differently.