Snail Bob: The Essentials

With the continuing evolution of video games and their integration as a staple of entertainment in modern day society, more and more computer games are coming out geared towards younger audiences. One of these games to most recently enter the market is a puzzle game Snail Bob. In this program, the user takes control of the protagonist Bob, a lonely snail who slides his way through a fantasy inspired world. The entire game is 90 levels long, with players using logic and problem solving to get Bob past the various puzzles, traps and enemies that permeate the game. Bob continually crawls forward unless stopped, meaning that for easier levels a player can simply let Bob move, rather than sit there and baby sit the snail or mash a movement button.

Snail Bob is clearly geared more towards a younger audience, with a colorful and cartoon like art style reminiscent of internet flash games from a decade ago. There are no serious instances of blood or violence in the game, and the 6+ rating on Common Sense Media is well deserved. Children will find themselves listening to a cheerful soundtrack and looking at a happy-go-lucky snail reliant on the controls of themselves. Enemies in the game are ghosts who simply disappear when clicked, and so semblance of blood and/or gore can be found. This is definitely a game designed for the younger audiences who desire a casual puzzler.

The style of the game is a pint-and-click puzzle and adventure game, and children who are new to the genre will not find themselves overwhelmed. The puzzles are fairly simple for an adult to figure out, though could prove somewhat challenging to a child. However, the overall game feels far more like a free to play online game than anything else, and the cost of 5 dollars is not warranted because of this point. 90 levels alone is an incredibly short game, and not worth the price to buy it when they are far larger and better games on the market for free that are geared towards younger audience. Perhaps the only thing Snail Bob has over it’s competition in this regard is that most of these free games are supported by advertisements, which can break the immersion of the child. A child with a short attention span may find this fact to be incredibly annoying, which may provide incentive for an ad-free game.

However, myself being an adult, I found the game not being worth the price to buy it, but I am not the target audience. I would recommend to people with my own age group not bother with the game, as it offers no real challenge and the art style and music can become incredibly tedious and repetitive after the first third of the game. The incentive to replay the game after I have beaten is almost non-existent, though the presence of hidden stars and prizes may find the inner completionist in a child who plays the game. Overall, I give the title a solid 5 out of 10 younger audience, with the major downside being the cost. I give the game a 1 out of 10 for older audiences, as it is an incredibly simple and uninteresting game at its heart.