Snake (video game)
Snake is a casual video game that originated during the late 1970s in arcades and has maintained popularity since then, becoming something of a classic. After it became the standard pre-loaded game on Nokia mobile phones in 1998, Snake found a massive audience.
The player controls a long, thin creature, resembling a snake, which roams around on a bordered plane, picking up food (or some other item), trying to avoid hitting its own tail or the "walls" that surround the playing area. Each time the snake eats a piece of food, its tail grows longer, making the game increasingly difficult. The user controls the direction of the snake's head (up, down, left, or right), and the snake's body follows. The player cannot stop the snake from moving while the game is in progress, and cannot make the snake go in reverse.
Many variations exist depending on the game's platform, with subtle rule changes such as the lethality (or not) of contact with walls. Some do not include walls; in these, it is theoretically possible to fill the whole screen with Snake, and therefore "win" the game. When the number of squares on the field is even, and there are no dead ends, a looping path can be constructed that passes over every square and returns to the start. This ensures survival until all squares are full.
The Snake variety of games dates back to the arcade game Blockade, developed and published by Gremlin in 1976. In 1978, Atari, Inc. released, as an unofficial port, an early home console version of the Blockade concept, titled Surround. Surround was one of the nine Atari 2600 (VCS) launch titles, and was also sold by Sears under the name Chase. That same year, a similar game was launched for the Bally Astrocade as Checkmate.
The first known personal computer version of Snake, titled Worm, was programmed in 1978 by Peter Trefonas of the US on the TRS-80 computer, and published by CLOAD magazine in the same year. This was followed shortly afterwards with versions from the same author for the Commodore PET and Apple II computers. A microcomputer port of Hustle was first written by Peter Trefonas in 1979 and published by CLOAD. This was later released by Milton Bradley for the TI-99/4A in 1980.
Some better-known versions include the Neopets example, which is known as Meerca Chase. Its revised version is known as Meerca Chase II. A variant called Nibbles was included with MS-DOS for a period of time as a QBasic sample program.
An analog joystick-controlled variant of Snake, called Anaconda, was included as a hidden minigame in TimeSplitters 2, which featured free rotation instead of a fixed 4-direction system, and multiple types of food.
Snake on the BBC Micro
There were several versions of Snake on the BBC Micro. Snake by John Cox from Computer Concepts was different in that the snake was controlled using the left and right arrow keys relative to the direction it was heading in. The snake increases in speed as it gets longer, and there are no "lives", making achieving a high score or reaching higher levels relatively difficult as one mistake means starting from the beginning.
Snake on Nokia phones
Nokia is well known for putting Snake on the majority of their phones. Versions include:
- Snake - The original, for monochrome phones. Graphics consisted of black squares, and it had 4 directions. It was programmed in 1997 by Taneli Armanto, a design engineer in Nokia and introduced on the Nokia 6110.
- Snake II - Included on monochrome phones. Snake improved to a snake pattern, introduction of bonus bugs, a "cyclical" play area (where crossing through one boundary would have you appear on the opposite side), and mazes (obstacle walls placed within the play area). An example of a phone with it installed is the Nokia 3310.
- Snake Xenzia - Included on present-day monochrome phones (and some cheaper color phones, such as the Nokia 1600). An example of a phone with it installed is the Nokia 1112.
- Snake EX - Included on color phones. Graphics improved to SNES quality. It supports multiplayer through Bluetooth and Infra-Red. An example of a phone with it installed is the Nokia 6260.
- Snake EX2 - This is included in several Series 40 handsets by Nokia.
- Snakes - A 3D version. This game was designed for the N-Gage, developed by IOMO (published by Nokia). It featured multiplayer through Bluetooth. Graphics improved to basic PlayStation quality. Introduction of hex levels, etc. Later Nokia started giving this game pre-installed(without multiplayer feature) in its Nseries phones like N70, N73, N80, etc. Snakes can be downloaded from the Nokia support page's Games section and played on any S60 device.
- Snake III - A 3D version, different from Snakes. Snake III takes a more living snake approach, rather than the abstract feel of Snakes. An example of a phone with it installed is the Nokia 3250. It is also available on the Nokia 5310, Nokia 5610, Nokia 2730 classic and the Nokia 6300, and it supports multiplayer modes via Bluetooth.
- Snakes Subsonic - Sequel to Snakes, released on May 22, 2008 for the second generation N-Gage platform.
On November 29, 2012, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City announced that the Nokia port of Snake was one of 40 games that the curators wished to add to the museum's collection in the future.
Snake embedded on Websites
Snake on YouTube
Snake can be played on YouTube videos that use the 2010 version of the player. When a video is selected, the user can press the 'left' key, the 'right' key, the 'home' key, or the 'end' key for any period of time before immediately pressing the 'up' key. The game will appear and can be played in the videoscreen.
Snake on Gmail
A version called Old Snakey could be played inside Gmail. This required accessing The Labs, turning on hotkeys, and then activating the app. Once available, it was played by pressing ampersand (&) anywhere inside the main Gmail window. Old Snakey was retired on May 1, 2012. Gmail Blog and (Dave Cohen)
- Light Cycle - Tron (fictional game) and its arcade implementation Tron
- Nibbler - arcade version
- SNAFU - Mattel Intellivision Variant
- Nibbles - MS-DOS (QBasic) some versions of suse linux
- Nimble Quest - iOS, Android
- Omega Snake - Texas Instruments PC
- Plasmaworm - Microsoft Windows (Digital Eel/Cheapass Games)
- Pizza Worm - MS-DOS
- Super Mega Worm - iOS, Mac OS X
- Rattler Race - Microsoft Windows
- Snake Byte - Apple II
- Snakeball - PlayStation 3
- SpaceBall - LG brand mobile phones
- Gerard Goggin (2010), Global Mobile Media, Taylor & Francis, p. 101, ISBN 0-415-46917-1, retrieved 2011-04-07
- Rusel DeMaria & Johnny L. Wilson (2003). High score!: the illustrated history of electronic games (2 ed.). McGraw-Hill Professional. p. 24. ISBN 0-07-223172-6. Retrieved 2011-04-07.
- "Blockade video game, Gremlin Ind, inc. (1976)". Arcade-history.com. 2008-04-04. Retrieved 2011-11-04.
- Blockade at the Killer List of Videogames
- Rusel DeMaria & Johnny L. Wilson (2003). High score!: the illustrated history of electronic games (2 ed.). McGraw-Hill Professional. p. 48. ISBN 0-07-223172-6. Retrieved 2011-04-07.
- "You have 4537 of 4549 known Tandy Radio Shack TRS-80 - Model I games". Retrieved 2011-11-04.
- "Retrogaming Times Monthly 7". My.stratos.net. 2005-01-01. Retrieved 2011-11-04.
- More, James (2009-01-20). "History of Nokia part 2: Snake | Nokia Conversations - The official Nokia Blog". Conversations.nokia.com. Retrieved 2011-11-04.
- "Taneli Armanto: Snake Creator Receives Special Recognition". Dexigner. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
- Posted by neoncherry (2007-08-12). "The Unofficial Nokia Gaming Blog: Snakes for S60 Download". Web.archive.org. Retrieved 2011-11-04.
- Google (2010-07-26). "YouTube's new 'Easter Egg': classic arcade game Snake". London: Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-11-04.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Snake (video game)|