Ever since the Nokia 6110 brought Snake to our pockets, mobile gaming has been a big part of our phones. Yesterday saw that mobile gaming revolution come full circle as Snake returned in a version designed for smartphones.
Snake Rewind has had to make a few changes to keep pace with modern games. There are now power-ups and the ability to rewind your snake after you crash. But at its heart, it’s still the same, simple, challenging game it always was.
It’s hard to believe that Snake Rewind will be as successful as the original Snake now that phones are capable of playing console games, but it’s the simple games that have always been the most popular.
In the last 12 months the biggest mobile games have been Candy Crush Saga and Flappy Bird, games that are much simpler than the likes of Real Boxing, which uses the latest technology to create lifelike graphics.
However, there has always been a demand for better, faster games that’s driven mobile technology on.
After the massive success of Snake in the late ‘90s, Nokia went all-in on mobile gaming and released the N-Gage. It failed, largely because it focused too much on great gaming and forgot about being a phone.
But the N-Gage did show you could squeeze powerful gaming into a phone and lots more games became available on more traditional looking handsets.
It was in 2008 that mobile gaming was really transformed as the Apple App Store launched. It made it easy to download new games and the iPhone’s touchscreen and range of sensors meant there were loads of new ways to play.
With the launch of Google’s Android Market in 2009, smartphones started to compete over mobile gaming, meaning they got better hardware to cope.
The culmination of this hardware battle was the Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY, which launched in 2011. It had a slide-out gaming pad that gave you the same controls you get on a PlayStation. But like the Nokia N-Gage, it never really took off.
Since the Xperia PLAY, smartphones haven’t really ventured into new gaming territory, although new Sony phones can link up with a PlayStation 4. That’s made mobile gaming a more casual pastime than it might have been.
So now, 18 years after Snake first came to a phone, we can download the father of mobile gaming again. And with its relaxed gameplay, it looks set for success once more.