*days may or may not be concurrent.
As much as they seem to have fallen from grace Rare was a great company back in the day. Most people will remember them for the Donkey Kong Country games and their N64 offerings. Yet as I'm sure many of you know their list of games stretches way way back before that. They had worked on plenty of games for the NES and the Game Boy, perhaps most notably the Battletoads games. But when I think of all Rare's pre DKC offerings one long forgotten game series sticks in my mind. Todays game is the second and at this stage last offerings in the series
I'm not sure how many people played the NES predecessor Snake Rattle & Roll, never owning a NES I sure as hell didn't, but I did know about it thanks to the wonder of video game magazines. The game was an Isometric 3d platformer involving the adventures of 2 Snakes, Rattle & Roll as they eat their way from level to level. The Game Boy game drops the Isometric view for a more traditional side on 2d platformer and the previous serpentine heroes have been replaced with two new Snakes in the form of Attila and Genghis. I'm not sure why the change from 3d to 2d, maybe it had something to do with the hardware I dunno, but I guess its good as its not just the same game but handheld. I think thats always been a trap for developers to try and bring the console experience onto the handheld consoles & I've always felt the strongest games are the ones they have been made the ground up for handheld not just ported from console games.
Back to the game. The whole idea of the game is to control your snake and eat various round objects in the game called Nibbley-Pibbleys. As you eat Nibbley-Pibbleys your snake will become longer and weigh more. You need to reach a certain weight to be able to ring the bell on the scales at the end of the level so you can advance to the next level. Its funny that when I think about it the whole game idea is almost like a throwback to the classic snake game, eat the apples make yourself longer, just built apon to make a fully fleshed 8bit game out of it. Other then that the game is your usual side scrolling platforming affair. You can defeat enemies by jumping on them or hitting them with your tongue. There are various power ups in the game such as ones to make your tongue longer, so you can jump higher, slow your decent and so on. The controls do at times feel a little loose and do result in an accidentally death via spikes a few times. But other then that its a fun little game that tries something different to the platforming norm of most old school Game Boy platformers (See Gremlins 2).
I'm sure I got this game back in 1993 or 1994, not really sure. Funnily enough I got 2 copies of it for my birthday, 1 from my parents and another from some friends at school. Yet despite having 2 copies of it I never tried the multiplayer and had honestly forgotten that it had multi until I saw the box art again while I was doing this post. It was also a good thing I had 2 copies because one of the copies got stolen shortly after. I think we were in the city and went to go see a movie. I must of left the game in the car but for some reason I didn't leave my Game Boy there (thank god). We came back to the car after the movie and it had been stolen. The cops did find it later but everything in it had been stolen. Yay for having 2 copies of the game I think, hell I think I even managed to get my parents to buy me another game as a birthday present cause that one had gone. Man I was a selfish kid.
Playing the game now its still lots of fun, I wouldn't class it in the top tier of Game Boy games but its certainly one that is worth a shot if your interested in looking for something that went under the radar. Its definitely one of the better platform games on the Game Boy not made by Nintendo. Having said that I'm getting a little bored of playing platforming games on the Game Boy, might have to try something different for the day. Also I'm getting rather bored at looking at black and white pictures here, so I think its time to add abit of colour into this thing.