This early access review covers the game up until the 15th August 2021, just prior to its early access release. I don’t usually write reviews of early access titles – they aren’t finished. I had such a great time with Temple of Snek though, I wanted to make an exception. This is the mobile game snake evolved.
Playing as Snek, you’ll be slithering around your temple – one giant level of a map – one square at a time. You’ll be forever moving forward, wanting to escape (or conquer, it isn’t entirely clear yet). To do this you’ll need to solve puzzles room by room as you move through the intricate and connected temple world. This will mean you’ll need to avoid traps, trigger switches, make bridges, unblock paths and eat some of your worshippers or foes to grow bigger. Working like the Lara Croft or Hitman Go titles, one more for you, means one for everyone and so curling and moving yourself around the room to then pounce is part of the puzzle. Get it wrong and you’ll smack a wall or risk getting stabbed or chopped in half. Game overs put you back to the beginning of a room or puzzle so the penalty isn’t huge which is good as you’ll be dying often.
Every time you eat someone, you’ll extend Snek one square. This is where the mobile origins come into play. Temple of Snek keeps things fresh by making puzzles where you must lay across multiple pressure pads for example to open a gate or turn off a trap. Go find the meat, eat, grow and proceed. Levels get tighter and tighter though as intricate rooms mean you’ll have to fold in and around yourself to proceed. Whilst the forward speed isn’t epically fast, it will keep you on your toes.
The Temple of Snek has a lot of different areas too. The early access release contains a third of the story mode and between the prisons, throne rooms and gardens, you’ll have plenty of visual variety. That variety shines in puzzle design though. In the gardens, it felt like I was in a marble run, laying and twisting track for me to escape. Elsewhere it was about timing to avoid spikes or using my weight to cross long gaps. The full game will also include other modes, a level editor and snake customisation too. One of the highlights of the game is how Metroidvania the Temple layout is. You’ll be doubling back through doors you didn’t know opened into old areas or crossing through old rooms through the ceiling. Of course, you’ll be a longer snake when you return. This means something that wasn’t an issue to cross half hour ago is now an entirely new problem and that made me realise just how clever the temple design is. This is shown to you each time you load a save file too. The save file runs a cute tracker of your entire actions so far in the game. It is fun to see yourself going round in circles like a madman trying to work out how to solve something.
As always, the main worry of an early access title is whether it will deliver on its promise. For that, I cannot say for sure. What is here already is about 2 hours worth of story mode that I absolutely loved playing. Once everything else joins the party, I hope Temple of Snek will be one of those hidden gems that everyone will discover in the future. At its current development trajectory, it deserves to be.
Review copy provided by developer.
Temple of Snek
A fantastic start for a game that feels both innovative and familiar. Very addictive.
Clever and intricate level design.
Some great puzzles that require both timing and brain power.
Lots of customisation to be added to the game post release.
It's not finished yet and so as with all early access games, you are buying on a promise.
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