LifeisXbox’s Will You Snail? Review | Be prepared to have your skill and self-restraint put to the test in this new action-platformer called Will You Snail? which will have you navigating through a series of testing levels. However, don’t think that’s all you will have to contend with as you won’t be alone; you are instead accompanied by a rather condescending AI character, making sure to let you know whenever you make any mistake or fail to get past the levels. Note, you will experience their negative, but somehow at the same time, humorous attitude throughout your experience as they always have something to say about your gameplay. The idea is that the AI ultimately predicts where you will be going and aims to create danger, in an attempt to stop you from reaching your goal, along with many other obstacles along the way that you will have to work your way around. Jump at great heights, shoot exploding blocks, manoeuvre around enemies, swim to your objective; it’s all up to you. Will You Snail? has been published by No Gravity Games and developed by Jonas Tyroller, creating a truly unique platforming experience for those who enjoy a challenge that very may well test your patience and ability to outsmart the AI. I will be referring to the game as Will You Snail (without the ?) for the rest of my review to stop any confusion with punctuation.
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox One S | Review code provided by PR/publisher. This review is the personal opinion of the writer.
What we Liked!
- Fantastic enemy AI | It would be wrong for me to start anywhere else other than talking about the enemy AI, known as Squid, before anything else. They literally make the game and are at the centre of everything. His consistent presence while you play can be incredibly annoying but hilarious all at once that quite literally would have me talking back to them at one point and then have me in fits of laughter the next. Squid always has something to say – whether he’s mocking your deaths, trying to make idle conversation, or making you feel inferior to them. Not only this but Squid is part of the gameplay as well. Oh yes. Squid has a very frustrating role – to carefully calculate where you’ll be moving and place deadly spikes in exactly those places. Touch them and you will be reset back to the beginning of the level. Squid is ruthless, unforgiving, and determined to make you fail while giving you plenty of banter along the way. Who knows, it could be the beginning of a beautiful, if a little sadistic, relationship.
- Energetic visuals | The use of colour that catches your eye in Will You Snail was incredibly bold and impossible not to notice. I believe the neon element alone gave the game an incredibly fun feeling but that was also combined perfectly with the unique graphic details that shape each level. Everything has straight edges; there is nothing circular in appearance that makes sense as the story behind the game is all about you being trapped in an AI programme. Oh, and how did I forget to mention you have quid hovering in the background, tormenting you all game, watching and criticising your every move which is always oh so pleasant.
- Alternate routes | As you progress through Will You Snail, you are told by Squid that there is a main route and an additional route that can be taken. The lower route tends to be the way you want to go to progress the story while the upper route leads you to secret areas and additional levels. Certain levels can only be accessed and navigated using a ‘glitch’ – it’s literally what the game calls it – that I think should be explored after the main game. They do tend to contain exploration points, dialogue boxes for story purposes, and puzzles. When venturing the main route, you should complete each level as it’s presented. Keep in mind that puzzle sections, usually those without enemies, can either be completed or skipped; entirely up to the user.
- Replayability factor | When it comes to the question of whether replayability is existent in Will You Snail, rest assured there are certainly variations in which the game can be played. Firstly, there is a difficulty setting that you can change throughout and with these comes difficulty points. The amount of these earned depends on what difficulty you complete the level. Indefinitely easy rewards one whereas easy rewards four – and yes, you read that correctly, easy is technically the hardest but the AI likes to make you feel as though you’re playing a children’s game. These can be obtained at any time as you can backtrack to any specific level. Two other challenges Will You Snail tasks you with are completing the game in under 30 minutes and another without dying. Along with these, there are your usual ‘exploration points’, which many of you will know as collectables, and multiple miscellaneous challenges that will easily occupy your time.
- Differentiating gameplay | As with the majority of games, it’s usually nice to have some change from time to time in terms of how the game is played to keep you on your toes. Will You Snail comes with variations of mechanics that do introduce you to new obstacles and enemies. They did keep the game fresh by making you change your approach to different level layouts. For example, some require precision while others are focused on speed; there is a healthy alternate balance. Difficulty also has a significant impact on this as while one level may appear ‘easy’, higher difficulties will test your coordination to their limit.
- Incredibly addictive | There is no doubt in my mind that Will You Snail doesn’t take long to become an incredibly addictive game. I did find myself in competition with Squid at all times as his remarks and sarcastic comments made me more determined to progress further. Whenever I died, which was an extremely regular occurrence, I would be straight back in to try again because beating any level made me feel very smug towards the AI. The levels are the perfect length to not become tiresome and difficult enough to get your brain in gear. The controls are also easy to make work of as the two things you control are your movement and jumping, making it easy to jump in and out of.
- Additional options | I found there to be a large range of customisation options for Will You Snail in the settings that many will appreciate, myself included. As you can see from the screenshots provided, the visuals are bright neon and they are constantly flashing while gradually changing colours. I liked this appearance but sadly my head disagree and over time started to give me a headache. Thankfully though, this was easily resolved by going into the settings and changing the type of colour. With this also comes postprocessing, detail, screen shake, and even Squid Visuals; there’s always a way to minimise his presence. The game also adapts the difficulty, if you have the setting turned on, to match your performance. This can be increased/decreased at any point manually too. Other gameplay options are also available to change according to the person playing; Speedrun timer, FPS, and exploration mode to mention a few.
- Faultless audio | Be prepared to hear Squid and his witty robotic voice along with a pretty hyper yet chill soundtrack in Will You Snail. The soundtrack consists of multiple upbeat tunes and should you find yourself listening to this instead of focusing on the gruelling task of finishing levels from time to time, I think it can be seen as a method of soothing players and keeping a generally positive mood. Due to the fast pace of Will You Snail, the audio had to be suited and I don’t think a better genre could have been chosen; it’s just not music I would typically enjoy listening to.
- Unmemorable story | One thing I think could have been portrayed better is the underlying background and story behind Will You Snail. If you take note of them, the conversation boxes that can be found on various levels do try and explain what has happened and to some extent why at the same time. As the conversation boxes can be in a mixed-up order as to when you find them, it can be a little confusing to come to terms with exactly what is going on. Luckily, you can view any conversations you’ve come across via a small section on the level select screen to read them in order. I guess the main thing I remember is being a snail called Shelly, who is trying to be murdered by an evil AI called Squid. If you want any more than that, you’ll need to pay attention to these conversations.
What we Disliked
- Frustration-inducing | Now challenging games are always going to test your skill along with your willpower and I think it’s safe to say, mine got truly tested beyond the max. This was because of the combination of trying to play the game on the equivalent to normal difficulty while becoming increasingly more annoyed at Squid’s little remarks; always knows exactly what to say to press your buttons. There is a humour side to him that I can appreciate but when I get stuck on levels I feel should not be that difficult and Squid tells me how many times I have died on that particular level, it got to me. Luckily, Squid has an anger management level for you to destress in that works wonders!
How long to beat the story | Approximately 4-6 Hours
How long to achieve 1000G | Approximately 15-18 Hours
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Hello, I’m Victoria. I’m from the UK and have been playing video games for as long as I can remember; back on DreamCast. I’ve pretty much fallen for Xbox since I was around eight years old and remember BioShock being my first game on the Xbox360. Although I find it thoroughly enjoyable to not only experience gameplay, I also find comfort in getting lost and engrossed in the online worlds that sometimes differ greatly from what we know. Another side of my Xbox passion would be achievement hunting and gamerscore. I thrive when I hear the little sound of one popping up on the screen and I’m always finding ways to work on my backlog when possible. Horror is my favourite genre so if you have any recommendations, don’t be afraid to send them my way!